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Grains Council Helps Rebuild Iraqi Poultry Industry

by 5m Editor
19 August 2008, at 10:37am

IRAQ - The US Grains Council (USGC) has selected three Iraqi professors to visit India to learn more about animal nutrition, poultry sciences and veterinary public health.

When Iraq's poultry industry collapsed after the start of the first Gulf War, a breakdown in management and technical skills among poultry professionals followed.

The country is now beginning to rebuild its poultry industry.

According to Abdellah Ait-Boulahsen, USGC project director in Iraq, rebuilding efforts have been hampered by many challenges, including a prevailing deficiency in management and technical skills.

"There is a need to update the skills of local trainers as the broader constraint is the complete isolation of the agricultural university and professional community in Iraq for more than 15 years," he said.

To assist in the rebuilding process, the US Grains Council sent three Iraqi professors to India this week where they are learning about animal nutrition, poultry sciences and veterinary public health.

"It is important to understand that India was once where Iraq is today in terms of its poultry industry," explained Amit Sachdev, USGC consultant in India.

"India still has a long way to go in processing its poultry but the production systems have been developed with small farmers and that is what Iraqi industry workers can learn," he said.

The advancements India has made in poultry technology are being utilized in a system similar to Iraq's as both countries market their poultry live.

Mr Ait-Boulahsen said the three visiting Iraqi professors in India will serve as the Council’s contacts for future training programs in Iraq as they utilize their new knowledge back home.

Last year, in cooperation with USGC, the three and other professors led 12 poultry production workshops in Iraq. Once they return to Iraq, they will pass along what they’ve learned in India to members of the Iraq Poultry Producers Association, which the Council established in 2004, and to poultry sciences graduate students.

5m Editor