Tajikistan boosted poultry production by 30% in 2021, reducing dependence on imported broiler meat and eggs, the Tajik Agricultural Ministry said.
During a press conference in Dushanbe on 31 January, deputy Agricultural Minister, Nigina Anvari, said that Tajikistan produced 44,100 tonnes of poultry meat in 2021, compared to 30,600 in the previous year.
Poultry production is a key segment of agriculture in Tajikistan and is playing a crucial role in improving protein content among the population, she said.
Tajikistan is a small country in central Asia bordering Afghanistan on the south and China on the east. It remains the poorest country among post-Soviet states, with 40% of the 9.5 million population living below the poverty line.
The Agricultural Ministry reported that thanks to a rise in domestic production, Tajikistan managed to reduce imports in 2021. Tajikistan’s poultry consumption stands at 65,000 tonnes per year, as the per capita consumption equals less than half of the level recommended by the Healthcare Ministry.
Bringing the per capita consumption to the targeted level would raise the demand for poultry meat in the country to 135,000 tonnes per year, the Agricultural Ministry said in a statement.
The Tajik poultry production dropped to less than 1,000 tonnes in the first half of 2018, when several poultry farms stopped operation. This prompted the government to urgently embark on numerous state support measures.
Tajikistan imports poultry meat from Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Uzbekistan, and Russia, the Agricultural Ministry reported.
Currently, there are 203 poultry farms in operation in Tajikistan, of which 99 produce eggs, 92 broiler meat, 8 produce both, 3 focus on hatching eggs and day-old chicks, and 1 produces eggs, broiler meat, and hatching eggs, the Agricultural Ministry said.
At full designed production performance, the poultry farms can produce 50,000 tonnes of poultry meat and 1 billion eggs, the Ministry reported. In 2021, the Tajik egg production amounted to 833 million units.
However, not all farms in Tajikistan work year-round. Some farms tend to close for the winter months due to high heating costs. “In order to maintain a stable temperature inside the farm, you need to buy coal or ensure a constant supply of electricity. For example, in winter, the price of coal rises, and of course, it is expensive for a farmer. That is why many did not work [during last winter],” a local farmer told the Russian news outlet, Sputnik.