Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) is contributing tonstrengthen key agricultural value chains in Afghanistan, through the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF).
Over 85 percent of the chicken consumed in Afghanistan is imported from places as far as Brazil. A trader in the western city of Herat saw this as an opportunity and in 2007 established a slaughterhouse and freezing plant for chicken with the capacity to process 250,000 birds per month.
Initially 100 percent of his supply came from somewhat disorganized purchases from small scale poultry growers, and 3 farms owned by the company, with a total output of 40,000 birds per month.
The company later established a mother stock farm and a hatchery with thecapacity to ultimately match the processing capacity of the slaughterhouse, however due to insufficient capacity at the broiler farms, the company had resorted to sell day-old chicks, while underutilizing the slaughterhouse and freezing plant.
A loan from the ADF enabled the company to increase the production of family owned farms to 59,000 broilers per month, a 47 percent increase. The increase in the scale of the farms and in the utilization of the slaughterhouse resulted in the creation of 22 full time jobs, while positioning the company as the single largest producer of frozen chicken in Herat province.
The company distributes whole chickens, and quarters through a network of retailers in Herat City, while also supplying wedding halls and restaurants.
The company owner is one of over 16,000 farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs that have had access to finance through the ADF.
The ADF was established through a $100 million grant provided by USAID to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and is successfully filling the gap that limited farm and non-farm agricultural investments.