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USDA International Egg and Poultry

24 July 2013

USDA International Egg and Poultry: AfghanistanUSDA International Egg and Poultry: Afghanistan

Although comprehensive data are not available, all anecdotal information suggests that domestic production of poultry in Afghanistan will continue to grow in 2013. Afghan producers will increase production by investing in land to expand large, integrated facilities.
USDA International Egg and Poultry

Despite increases in domestic production, poultry imports are expected to continue on the upward trend in 2013 and 2014 since domestic poultry production does not meet rising demand. According to exporter data, poultry imports are estimated at a total of 37,499 mt in 2012. The United States remains the largest supplier.

Data source: data copied: July 12, 2013,,
FAOSTAT, Statistics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

The Afghan poultry industry is limited by the country’s poor infrastructure and expensive operating costs due to a lack of competitive feed and poultry breeder stock industries/markets. Domestic poultry production on a commercial scale is not competitive with imported frozen poultry.

Source: The data are not available from official Afghan statistics; however, the information mentioned above was taken from GATS, exporter data. Exporters within the EU-27 include the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and France.

The United States is the dominant supplier to Afghanistan accounting for approximately 75-80 percent of the imports (volume basis). Imported frozen chicken dominates the urban marketplace in Afghanistan because of its low prices. It is cheaper than other meats in the marketplace. The usual mix of imported frozen chicken meat is 80 percent leg quarters and 20 percent whole birds. The majority of Afghans prefer chicken leg quarters at home, while whole birds are largely reserved for restaurants, weddings, and government functions. Consumers prefer live chickens to frozen chicken because of taste preferences and are most concerned about quality and slaughtering procedures. The product has to be Halal (the prescribed method of slaughtering all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law). Total US poultry exports to Afghanistan were valued at $32.3 million in 2012, a four percent increase in value from the previous year. The total quantity, however, declined by 2.2 percent to 29,317 mt.

Data source: Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

Transportation Challenges

The majority of US poultry exports enter Afghanistan through Pakistan. Pakistani ports are known for frequent delays and unpredictable demurrage fees. Additionally, exports to Afghanistan via Pakistan have been blocked at irregular intervals for various reasons. US poultry exports to Afghanistan fluctuate depending on ease of access via Pakistan. A Transit Trade Agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan was signed in 2012 to help facilitate trade between the two countries but some obstacles remain to full implementation e.g., disagreement over approved shipping routes. Containers of frozen poultry have experienced delays in the past for unpredictable reasons.

Import Requirements

US suppliers should confirm that their customers have met the import requirements e.g., importers must obtain a business license, certificate of permission from the Government of Afghanistan, and submit samples for testing to Afghan customs authorities.

Point of contact for further information:

Jahrullah Safi
Agriculture Specialist
US Department of Agriculture
US Embassy, Kabul
301-490-1042, ext. 4425

Source: USDA GAIN Report dated July 7, 2013

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