The Ministry of Agricultural Jihad of Iran has rolled out a plan to replace the imported genetics with its own Arian crossbreed.
In a statement on 1 May, the Ministry claimed that only 8 countries have technical and scientific abilities to develop new poultry crossbreeds, and Iran was among them. Currently, 85% of broilers in Iran belong to a Ross crossbreed, and this dependence, the Ministry said, “can endanger the country’s food security”.
There is no official information on the current share of the Arian crossbreed in Iranian broiler meat production, but it is believed it has been steadily growing in the past few years. However, the Arian crossbreed lacked improvements, so a lot of work needs to be done, the Ministry added.
In February of 2022, 180 members of the Iranian Parliament signed a joint statement calling to enhance the development of the Arian crossbreed to get rid of import-dependence on genetics in the poultry industry, which accounted for 70% of protein consumption in Iran.
The Iranian MPs voiced concerns about the continuing sanction pressure of Western countries against Iran, stressing that this policy could one day bar Iranian poultry producers from imported genetics.
Speaking during a government meeting on 17 April, Seyed Javad Sadati Nejad, Minister of Agricultural Jihad, said that Iran was seeking to meet its own demand in Arian crossbreed, but the authorities decided to export some production surplus.
On 25 April, the Ministry approved the export of Arian poultry in limited quantities as well as hatching eggs, adding that the export quotas could be increased if necessary. However, the price of the Arian crossbreed was on average 12% higher compared to other more popular Western crossbreeds, the Minister admitted.
Iran opened a new breeding centre focused on the Arian line in South Kerman in October 2021. Several similar facilities were launched in different parts of the country over the previous several years.
Mohammad Pouladkhaei, head of the South Kerman agricultural organisation, said that the Arian’s breeding cycle was 42 days, and the crossbreed has a good feed conversion ratio. He also explained that the authorities agreed to provide state support to farmers planning to breed Arian poultry, including with subsidies.