Where do the Chickens in Mozambique come from?

In Africa, From Johannesburg to Bilibiza, Journeys, Mozambique, Our Blog by hufanLeave a Comment

Happy big fat chickenWhen we stayed in the north of Mozambique, in Bilibiza, we were surprised to see, that all the chicken you can buy are quite small and did not have much meat on them. We guessed that this was because they did not get any extra food, but just lived of what they found around the village. Seemed to be what might be called a “natural chicken”, fast and agile. But when we got to Maputo, just walking on the streets, you could see street vendors selling big, fat and white chicken. Just seeing them, you knew that these are not just growing in the backyard of some private person.

Then we went to visit the family of our friend Luciano, staying at his grandfathers house somewhere in the suburbs of Maputo. There we also saw some of these really fat, white chicken running around in the yard. They looked really happy and as I only eat happy meat, I enjoyed eating chicken here almost every day. One day after our arrival we got to know, that the chicken-farm next door belonged to Lucianos father and that the white chicken here in the yard actually came from this farm. So one day Alfeu took us with him and showed us around the farm, explaining us a bit about it.

The first shocking news was that they have to buy the chicks from South Africa or even Portugal because they are not produced here. That is shocking because, even though they seem to grow here under more or less good circumstances, by eating these chickens I still support a chick manufacture in Portugal which is producing fertilized eggs in big quantities and about which I have not the slightest idea how they treat their breeding chicken. Baby chicksAlso it is shocking because it shows how colonialism is still maintained after more than twenty years of independence. Chicks from Portugal produce more meat in shorter time than the local chicks especially when they are fed with special food, that is also imported.

Of course that is just an other sad example of how dependent Mozambique is on other, more developed countries. If you go into a grocery store, you will realize, that the majority of products you can buy there are from South Africa. But it is a quite hash example, because it shows, that even such a basic product as chicken depends on foreign countries.

Three week chicksAlfeu buys the chicks for 24 Metticais. The chicks then need about six weeks to reach a saleable size and can then be sold for 120 Metticais. It surely is good profit, but it raises the question in how far humanity is concerned about overcoming poverty, when such kind of dependencies between “underdeveloped” and “developed” countries are maintained for the sake of economic interests. It seems like that there is a certain interest in holding back information and technology to consciously create this kind of dependency. And everybody, you just like me, supports it, not just here in Africa, but all over the world, by going shopping without questioning the origin of the products we buy.Baby chicks keeping warm at fire

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