Safco: Animal health leader

SAFCO Animal Health is a collaborative enterprise of National Foods Ltd and Capital Foods (Pvt) Ltd, two of the longest serving and most trusted feed companies in Zimbabwe. We have put together professional staff with the right experience, equipment, manufacturing capacity, expertise and products to create a complete animal husbandry service.

Report by by Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni
Safco Animal Health is conveniently located at 72 Lytton Road in Workington and 26km-peg along Mutare Road in Ruwa. There are plans to open up more sales outlets in strategic parts of the city as well as branches in other towns to increase market coverage in the near future.

 
What makes Safco unique?

Unlike most stockfeed companies, Safco offers a complete one-stop-shop experience including a full range of livestock feeds, Maxipacks, mineral vitamin premixes, feed additives, raw materials, veterinary products, laboratory testing, day old chicks, poultry equipment and general livestock consultancy all under one roof. Headed by  Lovemore Mutetwa at Lytton Road and Raymond Murombedzi in Ruwa Safco are supported by a  sales team made up of energetic, highly-motivated and experienced staff that is easily accessible for personalised attention.

 
Safco products and services
The main products include all stockfeeds for poultry (broiler and layers), pigs, dairy and beef cattle, sheep and goats, as well as feeds for horses, fish and dogs among other livestock groups. These feeds are supplied as complete ready-to-use products or concentrates for those poultry farmers who have their own feed ingredients, mainly maize grain.

 
The company also supplies feed packs called Maxipacks for those livestock producers who have their own soyabean meal and maize for on-farm feed mixing.

 
More and more farmers in Zimbabwe are mixing their livestock feeds on-farm in order to improve their profit margins and Safco is geared to supply them not only feed ingredients and practical advice, but also the technical know-how on feed formulations and quality testing. The feed quality testing laboratory provides accurate results within 24 hours for farmers to make informed decisions about the quality of their stockfeeds or raw materials.

 
Whilst very keen to grow their livestock business, many farmers lack extensive knowledge. For this reason Safco also provides back-up service through visits to farms by its technical team as well as periodic farmer training seminars. This partnership between the company and farmers complements government’s efforts of providing farm extension services critical to agricultural growth in the country.

 
Safco quality
Poultry feed should be purchased from reputable, qualified manufacturers who have the capacity to produce good quality feeds.  A poultry farmer should be confident that Safco feeds are formulated by experienced livestock nutritionists/scientists to meet the specific requirements of livestock and the feeds have been tested and registered by the relevant government authorities.

 

In addition to an in-house quality testing laboratory; Safco is also a member of the Stockfeed Manufacturers Association  of Zimbabwe.

 
The association is an independent body that was established to promote good operating standards and to protect the public and the industry from unprofessional and unqualified operators.  Our warning to poultry farmers is: “You would be well advised to purchase feeds only from bona fide members of this organisation. If you buy substandard feeds you will have problems. Good feed at the right price will be profitable.  Bad feed whatever the price will lose you money”.

 
Safco advice to poultry farmers
Feed is the most important and expensive input in poultry production. Its costs account for between 60 –70% of the total variable costs of a broiler production enterprise. The prudent producer will therefore thoroughly plan all feed requirements to avoid losses and unnecessary surpluses.

 
Today’s broilers are capable of reaching slaughter weight far quicker than their predecessors. Broilers are normally fed from day-old to finishing, by which time they should have attained just above 2kgs live weight. It is important to monitor feed consumption and weight on a regular basis. The performance of the birds can be checked against predetermined performance standards.

 
Poultry farmers should watch their birds closely and at the first sign of non-performance they should immediately seek help and intervention to rectify the situatancy or find the cause. Safco is there to assist you with nutrition and veterinary consultancy as well as extension services.

 
Our company nutritionists will help you to better understand how feed works and if necessary we can design a customised feed to meet your specific requirements. Feed intakes and conversion rates are affected by many factors.  Nutrient specifications of the feed, environmental conditions, chick quality, feed quality and stockmanship all play an important part in obtaining a maximum feed conversion ratio which is absolutely critical for profitability.