Afghan poultry industry expected to grow


Although comprehensive data are not available, anecdotal information suggests that domestic production of poultry in Afghanistan will continue to grow in 2013.

Afghan producers will increase production by investing in land to expand large, integrated facilities, a recent USDA marketing report stated.

Despite increases in domestic production, poultry imports are expected to continue on the upward trend in 2013 and 2014 since domestic poultry production does not meet rising demand. According to exporter data, poultry imports are estimated at a total of 37,499 mt in 2012. The United States remains the largest supplier.

The United States is the dominant supplier to Afghanistan accounting for approximately 75-80% of the imports (volume basis). Imported frozen chicken dominates the urban marketplace in Afghanistan because of its low prices. It is cheaper than other meats in the marketplace. The usual mix of imported frozen chicken meat is 80% leg quarters and 20% whole birds.

The majority of Afghans prefer chicken leg quarters at home, while whole birds are largely reserved for restaurants, weddings, and government functions. Consumers prefer live chickens to frozen chicken because of taste preferences and are most concerned about quality and slaughtering procedures. The product has to be Halal (the prescribed method of slaughtering all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law).

Total US poultry exports to Afghanistan were valued at $32.3 million in 2012, a 4% increase in value from the previous year. The total quantity, however, declined by 2.2% to 29,317 mt.