Poultry roadshows, modern facilities and training for chicken farmers – helping turn local chicken farming into a profitable business

The past two days, the Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) hosted one of a series of poultry road shows in Balkh
This road show for the poultry industry followed similar events in Baghlan and Samangan. These exhibitions let farmers and producers exhibit their produce and machinery and help attract new investors.

Financial and technical assistance for the exhibitions came from the German government, as part of its various measures to help Afghan farmers, manufacturers, cooperatives and traders of poultry products increase their incomes. Apart from road shows, Afghan German cooperation provides funding for modernizing facilities, training and dialogue forums.

At today’s and last week’s roadshows, the German programme for promoting sustainable economic development and employment (SEDEP) exhibited new model poultry houses and shop designs. Participants could find out more about new and hygienic slaughtering methods for chicken in new slaughterhouses with adjoining poultry outlets.

The panning director of the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (DAIL) Mazar-e Sharif, Islamuddin Amaki, said during the roadshow that the Afghan government recognizes the importance of the agricultural sector. “We need to improve our local products and then promote them accordingly, so agriculture can help to develop Afghanistan’s economy.” The poultry sector in Afghanistan faces various challenges. As farmers cannot respond to the high level in local demand, most chickens and poultry products are imported and of low quality. To meet demand, local farmers need modern facilities, such as breeder farms, slaughterhouses and hatcheries as well as training. Both farmers and producers also need opportunities to showcase the quality of their produce to potential investors and wholesale customers.

Last month therefore also saw the opening of two modernized poultry slaughterhouses with adjoining sales units in Aybak, the capital of Samangan. With modern facilities, farmers can improve the quality of their poultry, helping to gain a competitive advantage. Another butcher from Mazar-e Sharif added, “We modernized our facilities similarly in Mazar a little while ago and experienced a 100% increase in fresh poultry sales. I’m very happy my friends in Aybak also have good facilities.” The new modern design of the sales areas in combination with better hygiene standards is already attracting new customers, leading to an increase in the shops’ revenues and creating new jobs.

German support for poultry farmers in northern Afghanistan also includes training to teach them modern farming techniques. At a recent workshop on poultry sanitation for 100 farmers in Balkh, participants learned about basic farm hygiene and how to cut deaths among young chickens. With funding from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Afghan-German Cooperation has planned a further nine workshops for farmers.

Poultry is one of five products Germany supports through its programme for sustainable economic development and employment promotion (SEDEP). The measures aim at improving value chains for poultry and dairy products, wheat, almonds and horticulture in Afghanistan. Apart from training and infrastructure development initiatives, the German government also helps establish dialogues between public and private sector actors. Farmers and government can address concerns and draft policy recommendations to improve economic opportunities.