Though Afghanistan imported most of its chicken, it was not easy for a local company to take over the market
18 JUNE 2013 | HERAT, AFGHANISTAN
Nematullah Ayobi decided to start a chicken business in 2007, never imagining that six years on, he would be the largest poultry supplier in Herat province. Today, Toyoran-e-Ayobi has a thriving trade selling whole chickens, quarters and breasts through a network of retailers and supplying wedding halls and restaurants as well.
But Mr Ayobi’s success was by no means guaranteed. Even though 85 per cent of the chicken consumed in Afghanistan was imported from as far away as Brazil, the new business struggled to be profitable.
Initially, Mr Ayobi was forced to rely on supplies from small farmers and three broiler farms owned by his family. This left the new company’s 250,000-bird slaughterhouse and freezer plant grossly underutilized. This continued even after he set up his own breeding farm and hatchery because the broiler farms could not keep up and the fledgling company had to resort to selling day-old chicks.
A loan from USAID’s Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) changed all that. Production at the family farms increased by 47 per cent or 59,000 broilers per month and the company was, at last, able to use the slaughterhouse to the full. Mr Ayobi hired 22 new workers for his growing business.
Mr Ayobi says he could not have done it without the loan from ADF, which aims to strengthen value chains in Afghanistan.
“It complied with my religious and cultural principles, while helping me grow my business,” he says of his experience as one of more than 16,000 farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs helped by ADF.
Last updated: January 20, 2015