In order to create alternative livelihood for the people in rural Afghanistan and to improve their economic standing, CARD-F took an initiative to further develop and strengthen the poultry value chain in Afghanistan. The decision was taken on the basis of assessments conducted by CARD-F, which concluded that most of the provinces in Afghanistan have favorable climatic, social and economic conditions for poultry products.
In addition to the above mentioned, the assessments also showed that there is a huge demand for agricultural products currently offset by huge imports and this was particularly true for poultry: currently Afghanistan is importing more than $100 million worth of poultry products per year from neighboring countries and from far distances (e.g. Brazil, USA). The Afghan poultry sector is currently unable to respond to the high local demand. At present, there are few facilities in Afghanistan (breeder farms and hatcheries, which are not sufficient to supply enough inputs to broiler and layer farms). Furthermore, there is a lack of sufficient support services to assure the success of the poultry sector in Afghanistan. As a result, there is a high volume of poultry imports having low quality, high mortality rates, and sub-standard breeds with low production potential and not suitable to the climatic conditions of Afghanistan. Based on CARD-F research, consultation and analysis, CARD-F proposed investment in the poultry sector that comprised: establishment of breeder farms, hatcheries, new and expanded broiler farms, new commercial scale and household layer farms. The CARD-F support also includes services that are crucial to the viability and sustainability of the aforementioned interventions. These will include training services in management and poultry husbandry, veterinary services and cost sharing incentives.
One of the major challenges of the poultry value chain is inexistence of healthy feed for chicken; the low-quality of imported feed has increased the mortality rate of the day-old-chicks up to 10%. In order to address this issue, CARD-F provided grant support for construction of a commercial scale feed mill in Jalalabad with a capacity of producing 10 metric tons of chicken feed per hour. This feed mill operationalized in December 2016 and by early 2017 started producing poultry feed which makes it the first ever producing mill in Afghanistan. At the current capacity the feed mill produces 31,000 metric tons of chicken feed annually which supplies a significant portion of market demand in Eastern zone of Afghanistan. It is estimated that this feed mill will drastically reduce the import of low-quality feed.
Establishment of Breeder Farms
Before CARD-F existence there were a lot of initiatives taken to enable the poultry value chain. However, lack of sufficient supply of breeder chickens had paralyzed the value chain and had left Afghanistan dependent on the imported chicks with a very high mortality rate and high prices that made it difficult for the poultry business to operate profitably and to compete with the imported products. CARD-F identified this issue and addressed it by constructing 12 breeder farms with a joint capacity of producing more than 7 million fertile eggs annually in Nangarhar, Balkh and Herat provinces. These facilities will supply fertile eggs to the hatcheries and further strengthens the poultry value chain.
Establishment of Hatcheries
Inexistence of hatcheries was the second obstacle in completing the poultry value chain. CARD-F has constructed 6 commercial scale hatcheries in Nangarhar and Herat Provinces that can potentially hatch more than 7,282,880 day old chicks (DOCs) annually. Six additional hatcheries are under constructions in Kabul, Khost, Kandahar and Takhar provinces that significantly adds value to the poultry value chain. The 7,282,880 day-old-chicks are then supplied to the broiler farms.
Establishment of Broiler Farms
In order to substitute import of chicken meat in the local market, the hatched chickens from the hatcheries are supplied to the 211 newly constructed commercial scale broiler farms by CARD-F in Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Helmand, Laghman, Kunar, Kandahar and Nangarhar Provinces. In addition, CARD-F upgraded 50 existing broiler farms in Nangarhar Province to enable them produce on a commercial scale. These facilities have a joint capacity of producing 11,353 metric tons of broiler meets annually to supply to the marketplace as a result of CARD-F’s intervention.
Establishment of Layer Farms
In addition to the broiler farms, CARD-F has also established 4,113 small scale layer farms for rural women and 6 commercial scale layer farms in Balkh, Badakhshan, Takhar, Parwan, Kapisa, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Khost, Logar, Laghman, Kunar and Herat provinces, in order to keep the flow of eggs supply in the market. In addition to the eggs supply this initiatives assisted 4,113 rural women to improve their economic standing. These facilities have a joint capacity to produce 43,707,264 table eggs annually and supply in the local and national markets.
Supply in the Market
CARD-F, in addition to enabling the poultry value chain also facilitates market for the poultry products produced by the facilities it established. Currently 2.23 million fertile eggs, 9,125 metric tons of chicken meat, 1.81 million day old chicks and about 18 million tale eggs are being supplied in the market as a result of CARD-F’s interventions and support.
Live Birds Market
In order to cover the whole poultry value chain CARD-F has built a Live Bird and Eggs Market. In order to ensure the sustainability of the project, CARD-F has built this market on cost-sharing basis in Kabul City comprised of 20 shops.
CARD-F has established four poultry clinics, one veterinary clinic and four Veterinary Filed Units (mobile veterinary service providers) in Nangarhar, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh and Khost Provinces. By establishing these facilities, CARD-F aims facilitating veterinary services in the poultry sector which will result in better health of the animals and reduce the mortality rate within the sector.