Central Asia is waking up

09-03-2012 | | |
Central Asia is waking up

Often neglected on the world map, in terms of poultry production, are the countries of Central Asia. Yet these countries are making efforts to boost their industry, although at various paces. The situation in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is reviewed.


By Vladislav Vorotnikov, Russia
Since the beginning of the 1990’s the poultry industries in virtually every country of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, etc) went into decline.
For the period from 1991 to 2000, production figures decreased by 1.5 times on average. Most large enterprises went bankrupt forcing them to leave the market, resulting in a dramatic increase in the share of small enterprises making up the structure of total production – from an average of 45% in 1991 to about 83% in 2005.
At the present time, these countries are actively attempting to develop their poultry industry’s, and some have approved the relevant federal support programs to provide a package of measures to support industry growth (Table 1 and 2).
Kyrgyzstan still behind
In 2010, imports of poultry meat in Kyrgyzstan was estimated at 87.6 thousand tonnes while the level of internal production amounted to 4.4 thousands tonnes. The volume of egg imports reached 56.6 million pieces, with domestic production equalling 373 million pieces. According to the results of 2011 despite the plans of the Ministry of Agriculture of the country, these statistics have not changed significantly.

Poultry production was about 5.1 thousands tonnes, while imports rose to 94.3 thousand tonnes. Egg production increased slightly to 381 million, while imports of eggs declined to 48.2 million units. For the past three years the Ministry of Agriculture has repeatedly suggested to apply a duty on imports of poultry meat and eggs.

During the year 2010/11 Kyrgyzstan imported poultry from Russia and Kazakhstan for $60 million, of which $3 million has been spent on the importation of eggs, which Kyrgyzstan is currently producing to excess. Today the average price of imported poultry is 47 soms (US $1.004) per kg and 2.5 soms (US $0.053) per egg.

Domestic producers can not compete with dumping prices of Kazakhstan and Russia, since the cost of poultry production in Kyrgyzstan is much more expensive. For example, the cost of one egg in Kyrgyzstan is 4.5 soms (US$ 0.096), and 1 kg of poultry – 80 soms (US$ 1.71). As a result the national poultry farms sell their products at prices below the prices of import and suffer huge losses.
In September 2011 the Minister of Agriculture, Torogul Bekov suggested to enter a customs tariff of 30% on imports of poultry meat and eggs from Russia and Kazakhstan. However, the government of the country doesn’t want to aggravate relations with these countries – which currently are the main trade partners of Kyrgyzstan, and therefore no actions in this direction have yet been taken.

State farms in Tajikistan

Currently there are not any independent poultry enterprises in Tajikistan. Almost the entire volume of poultry meat produced in the country is accounted for by state unitary enterprise, ‘Poultry Industry of Tajikistan’, which includes about 34 relatively isolated, but no independent poultry farms and plants.

Currently the State Poultry Development Program for 2007-2015 provides large-scale investments in the sector of poultry production. For the last couple of years the Poultry Industry of Tajikistan made significant progress in terms of production volume. However, many of the official statements from the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture often do not correspond to reality.

For example, in 2011 the country produced about 160 million eggs, while the annual demand is 1.2 billion pieces. However, in mid 2010 officials said that soon the industry will reach self-sufficiency in egg production. By 2016 this figure will increase to 600 million units per year. The main importers of eggs are Russia, India, Pakistan and Iran.
The livestock of poultry is currently amounting to 4.2 million head, which is 48% more than in 2005 and 16% more than in January, 2010.Poultry production in carcass weight in 2011 was about 3,146 tonnes, which is roughly a 12% increase over the rate of 2010.
It is interesting to note that the poultry industry in Tajikistan (the poorest country in the former Soviet Union) is now officially declared as the fastest growing and most promising sector of the economy in the coming years. Approximately 30% of poultry meat on the national market today is imported.
Small scale in Turkmenistan
According to preliminary estimates for 2011, Turkmenistan produced about 5.9 thousand tonnes of poultry. The Ministry of Agriculture in the country actively attracts investments in agriculture, particularly in the poultry sector, but so far they are very poorly compensated.

To date, the share of large enterprises account for no more than 15% of total poultry production in the country, while the remainder is accounted for by small producers. The import share is estimated at 22% and significantly reduced over the past few years, on an average of 2-3% per year. In 2010 Turkmenistan had imported about 15 thousand tonnes of poultry meat and for 2011, this figure promises to decrease only slightly, to 14.8 thousand tonnes.

However, the major manufacturers from Russia and Ukraine do not want to get on the market of Turkmenistan, due to the cost of poultry today. On average this is 10 manats (~3 US$) per kilo, while the average cost of one egg equals to 0.36 manat (US$ 0.12). This is significantly lower than the average rate of the neighbouring countries. However, local products have a pretty good quality, judging by the reports of local veterinary services. Low cost of sales is a significant obstacle for the development of poultry production in the country because the cost of the production process is very often greater than the cost of the finished products on the market.
Tax exemption in Uzbekistan
The Republic of Uzbekistan is now running the federal programme of supporting the poultry industry. In addition to the massive investment, another factor for the development of the industry has become a full exemption of poultry enterprises from all taxes and fees in 2010, and this measure remains in force.
These enterprises currently are not paying the customs duties on imports of breeding material, technology and equipment which is necessary for the development. The amount of 40 soms billions (US$ 24 million) of government subsidies, which were planned to be spent on the development of poultry industry within the implementation of the federal program for the 2011-2015 year, will eventually be enlarged, and by providing bank loans on advantageous conditions and partly covering the cost of purchasing of the new equipment, this figure has to be spent until the end of 2012.As a result, until 2011 about 820 poultry farms of 3.5 million heads of poultry were constructed.
According to preliminary estimates by the end of 2011, poultry stock in Uzbekistan amounted to 44 million head, up 25% over January 1, 2011. Egg production amounted to 4292.6 million, up 13% year-on-year. An indication of self-sufficiency in poultry meat is 71%. Production of poultry meat in carcass weight according to the experts was about 36.2 thousand tonnes, 22% more than during 2010. Imports amounted to 10.4 thousand tonnes. However, if the production of poultry meat in Uzbekistan has a chance to reach self-sufficiency not earlier than 2017, the index of self-sufficiency in egg production can be achieved already this year. Some large companies are beginning to establish export routes to neighbouring countries, but the volume of total export supplies is still too small.



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Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent