Tajikistan has upped its chicken meat and egg production in 2020, the Tajik government reported.
The small Central Asian republic, located between China and Afghanistan, has managed to improve self-sufficiency in poultry products and is on the brink of being able to export eggs for the first time in its history. From January-October of 2020, Tajikistan produced 22,800 tonnes of poultry meat, 90% up compared to the same period of the previous year, the Tajik Agricultural Ministry reported. The average retail price of chicken meat amounted to TJS25 (US$ 2.2) per kg, which is 20% higher compared to the same period of the previous year, the Ministry reported. The price hike is triggered by high feed costs. Local customers are believed to be very sensitive to price fluctuations since the average wage in Tajikistan is limited to TJS1357 (US$ 130) per month.
Egg production climbed to 761 million eggs, adding 33% to last year’s level, the Ministry stated. Against this background, several companies from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have appealed to Tajik authorities seeking permission to import eggs. Several more egg farms which are currently under construction in different parts of the country could push the production even higher.
The Tajik government prohibited poultry meat and egg exports in 2018, and local sources remain confident that the ban will not be withdrawn in the foreseeable future. “Egg consumption per capita in Tajikistan stands at 197. To meet the demand of 9 million citizens, we need to produce 1.7 billion eggs per year. If we begin exporting, we will experience a price hike on the domestic market,” Madshokir Nazarov, director of the Tajik poultry department, told Russian news outlet Sputnik.
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According to Nazarov, the production growth in the poultry industry is made possible with tremendous government support. It is believed that Tajikistan offers the most beneficial investment conditions to poultry farmers among all Central Asian countries. “In 2013, the Tajik government has fully exempted local poultry farms and companies engaged in feed production from taxes for 12 years. Now, we see the results thereof,” Nazarov said.
Over the course of the past few years, Tajik poultry farmers managed to improve effectiveness significantly. For instance, egg-laying capacity at one of the local farms jumped from 500-600 eggs per 1,000 hens a few years ago, to 970 units, Sputnik reported. This level has been achieved thanks to the use of feed antibiotics, vitamins, and other feed additives, most of which are imported from Europe. Local farmers raise concerns that the import of feed additives to the country remains disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This could cause a sharp drop in productivity in the Tajik poultry industry, Sputnik said.