The poultry industry in Egypt is not only facing high prices of feed but the banning of the transportation of poultry from one governorate to another to prevent avian flu spreading has seen a severe reduction in the number of slaughterhouses.
Another problem is that the role of the Chicken Stock Exchange has declined, which means that prices depend on supply and demand. The executive manger of the Chicken Stock Exchange in el-Qaliubia Governorate, Ahmed Nassar, says that el-Qaliubia produces 70% of the country’s chickens.
“However, productivity is falling in el-Qaliubia, while it is increasing in el-Sharqia and el-Beheira governorates,” he says, adding that most of el-Qaliubia’s 4,500 poultry farms have stopped working. “Others are now being used to produce eggs and breed turkeys, because Law 70/2009 bans the transportation of live chickens from one governorate to another.”
“Another problem is the severe shortage of slaughterhouses. Meanwhile, chicken breeding is limited to the summer season, because bird flu is more dangerous in winter, while the prices of fodder and vaccines have skyrocketed,” according to Nassar. He argues that the best solution is to allow chickens to be transported among governorates under strict medical supervision.
Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, who owns a farm that produces eggs, told Al-Messa’ local newspaper that he is now running at a loss because the prices of chickens are fluctuating, while the price of fodder has shot up to LE3,500 (about $580) per tonne.
Shehab Fathi, another chicken farm owner, is one of those farmers who have switched to producing eggs, because they’re easier to transport than chickens, while production continues all year round. “Egypt produces around 850 million chickens per annum, which is a lot for a country in recession, where many people are poor. The fact that tourism is in the doldrums has also hit the poultry producers hard. The law banning the transportation of live birds among governorates is another big problem, as Egyptians prefer freshly killed poultry to frozen birds,” he explains.
Source: The Egyptian Gazette