Iran increases poultry production to avoid social unrest
According to Abbas Recai, chairman of the Majlis at the Iran Islamic Council on Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources, Iran currently produces about 2.15mt of table poultry and 900,000 of eggs, to the value of IRR1.2trln (US$377m).
"Poultry production is extremely important for the whole country. The industry has created more than 300,000 jobs for young professionals. Also, by developing of our own meat production, we will put an end to uncontrolled imports of livestock and poultry products," said Recai.
"The production of table poultry rose during the past year, mostly due to active state support. But to develop the poultry industry in the country further, support from the government and the Majlis will not be enough. Manufacturers themselves need to think how to become more effective," he added.
Iran initiated active support for poultry meat farmers in the second half of 2012, when sanctions by Western countries led to a deficit of table poultry in country. Prices jumped by 25%, which led to the public riots. However, according to Iranian experts, the country has successfully overcome the consequences of sanctions on the meat industry.
"We still suffer a lack of feed, but the problem is not so serious as it was two years ago. During the past year, the country has become almost fully self-sufficient in table poultry production and increased imports of meat from alternative destinations. For instance, Iran became the largest purchaser of beef from Brazil," said Iranian agricultural analyst Alli Edikut.
In addition, according to Hossein Mokaddamniya, head of the Nationwide Association of Poultry Farmers, the country can guarantee that the crisis in 2012 will not recur. He said the current price for 1kg of table poultry remained stable, at US$4.20, which is appropriate for local consumers.
He also noted that the country was looking to become an exporter of poultry. According to him, the country could already supply about 100,000t of poultry per year for exports, mainly to neighbouring countries. In particular, one major purchaser of poultry could be Syria, where the meat industry is hampered by the ongoing civil war.