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Power Cuts Force Culling of Millions of Chicks in South Africa

There are more warnings of rising food prices due to load shedding, with the cost of chicken in the spotlight. The South African Poultry Association said processing has had to be reduced over the past six weeks due to a backlog caused by extended load shedding. Ten million chicks have had to be culled. At the same time, fast food outlet KFC has already been struggling with the supply of chicken and there are fears the retail sector could be affected. Egg suppliers have also borne the brunt of the rolling power cuts. Agricultural economist Thabile Nkunjana said the poultry industry requires a consistent supply of electricity. “It is one of the biggest within the livestock industry, and it has relatively a large amount of people that depend on it primarily from the commission alone, and then also you have other processors on the outside. There’s a lot that is depending on the poultry in general,” he said. Nkunjana said this comes as the industry recovers from an outbreak of bird flu.