Domestic poultry production supplies more than half of domestic demand
Poultry plants produced around 60 thousand kilograms of chicken last year
According to the most recent report by the livestock directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), there are 972 properly licensed poultry projects in the region.
Ramazan Mohammed Karim, head of the livestock directorate of the agriculture ministry, believes that Kurdistan is in need of around 100 thousand tons of chicken per year.
The report mentions that not all of the poultry plants listed were producing, and some of them were not operating at all.
Dr. Azad Khoshnaw, a veterinarian and media director at the livestock and veterinary directorate general told the Kurdish Globe that only 632 (i.e. 65%) of the poultry plants in the region are operational and productive.
Haidar Farhan Hassan, chairman of the Kurdistan higher board of poultry industry, on the other hand, believes that the percentage of producing projects is only 40%.
“If all projects operate with full capacity, they can meet 100% of the domestic demand,” argues Hassan. “If the poultry projects can be sup- ported by the government in the right way and the import of foreign poultry products can be controlled, then the region can be self-sufficient in meeting poultry demands.”
Currently, the market demand is satisfied with imports from Turkey and Brazil.
Governmental assistance during 2012
According to the livestock directorate’s report, the government has supported those poultry project owners who have marketed their poultry through the slaughterhouses, by offering a financial support of IQD 350 (approximately US$ 0.30) per kilogram of chicken.
Hassan told the Kurdish Globe that their competitive advantage in comparison with their Turkish and Brazilian competitors is that they have fresh chickens; while in the frozen chicken they cannot compete with the imported products.
The total amounts of financial support were IQD 4 billion (approximately US$ 3.4 million), in addition to slaughtering price support and a 50% subsidy on 3 tons of soya dis- tribution over poultry plants.
Poultry owners, however, prefer to get subsidized feeds rather than soya.
“If we get 50% subsidized feeds for only one year, we can resume production in all poultry plants in the region,” argues Hassan in an interview with the Globe.
There are 8 poultry slaughterhouses with a total slaughtering capacity of 33,000 poultry per hour. Moreover, the region has 14 feed production plants with a collective capacity of 186 tons per hour.
Egg production in Kurdistan
Besides the chicken meat as the main product, the poultry plants in Kurdistan produce eggs and other products.
Khoshnaw told the Globe that the poultry plants have produced more than 400 million eggs in 2012. In addition, as per the data mentioned in the report, there are 6 egg production plants with a capacity of 335 tons of eggs for consumption, while there are 27 plants that incubate 112 million eggs in one year.
An employee works inside a poultry near Erbil.