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USGC Supports Modernisation of Iraq's Feed Industry

by 5m Editor
12 January 2009, at 6:48a.m.

IRAQ - The development of a sound commercial feed industry in Iraq finds its way to the top of the US Grains Council's priority list.

A better managed, more modernized feed industry will increase the quality of the feed product it produces causing a direct impact on Iraq's livestock and poultry sector's mortality rate. This in turn will provide a greater quantity and better quality supply of available food products and a more prosperous middle-class while having a direct influence on global grain trade.

Currently, corn imports are low at 180,000 metric tons (7.1 million bushels) but according to US Grains Council (USGC) consultant in Iraq, Dr Abdellah Ait-Boulahsen, imports are set to quickly increase as the political situation in Iraq improves. Accompanied by Dr Ait-Boulahsen, USGC recently arranged a team of four feed industry experts to travel to Morocco to provide educational seminars on modern feed manufacturing technologies and management practices. Team participants included Dr Salah Bakir, chairman of Vano Group; Dr Hma Sardar Abdullah of Al Muna Company; Ali Barzan Adnan of Barzan Poultry Company; and Salah Mustafa Karwan of Rassun-Vano Ltd.

"This training gave us a clear vision of how Iraq can efficiently use imported grains and feedstuffs to improve farm performances and margins while enhancing the growth of its poultry industry," noted Dr Bakir, Iraqi Poultry Producers Association member. "Definitely, a modern commercial feed industry, with direct access to the world grain market, is the way to go."

Iraq's corn import potential is estimated at 1.4 million tons (55.1 million bushels) based on pre-war (1990) per-capita consumption, and projected long term at 3.5 million tons (138 million bushels) as consumption increases. "Through past activities, the Council has been consistently advocating a shift from the old government-controlled system of on-farm, small-scale feed mixing to modern commercial feed industry, as a key step to promote poultry industry development in Iraq," said Dr Ait-Boulahsen.

"With improvement in the security situation, the Council's efforts are paving the way to major structural changes in the way chickens are being fed in Iraq." Currently there are four feed plants under construction in northern Iraq and six new projects underway in the central provinces of Baghdad and Babylon.