Zambia and DRC concluded the preferential trade agreement between the two countries in 2015 to facilitate cross border trading on a number of products which among them include, manufactured, mining, agriculture and livestock products. Benefiting from this preferential trade agreement requires that the trading countries position themselves to explore the bigger market opportunities created under such an agreement. Zambia exports substantial volume of agriculture and livestock products into Congo specifically Katanga province which in most cases is referred to as Zambia 11th province. Exports of chicken and egg products into DRC have been one of the pillars that led to growth of the poultry industry in Zambia. Statistics indicates that Zambia exports between 25% to 30% of trays of egg and about 10% to 15% of the live and frozen chickens into DRC.
Live bird exports into DRC has for a number of years been rocked with domestic market structural challenges at Kasumbalesa market on the Zambian side. This is due to the fact that live bird chicken trading days were restricted to two days in a week. This trading practice restricted exports into this lucrative market and Zambia was losing millions of dollars as a result of this.
Following the complaints from the farmers on this restricted trading practice at this market, the Poultry Association of Zambia started engaging the relevant authorities who included the municipal council in chililabombwe, the Ministry of Commerce, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as well as Ministry of Livestock and the traders at kasumbalesa market to try and resolve this this market issues. After a series of meetings which date as far back as February 2016, finally an agreement has been reached amongst various stakeholders to increase the number of live chicken trading days from two to three in order to facilitate exports of live chicken into DRC and also ensure that Zambia benefits from the preferential trade agreement with DRC. The new trading days are now Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, hence farmers should take advantage of this opening to export more chickens into DRC. It has to be emphasized that this agreement has been reached taking into account the interest of both the traders and poultry farmers. With this additional day, it is anticipated that a number of poultry farmers will now have an extra widow to export their live bird to DRC.