Both raw and finished poultry products will be exempt from the charges as of 1 September this year until 1 August 2013, which is hoped to help around 35,000 producers and 350 feed businesses. The break has come at a time of heightened feed prices, which have contributed to higher prices.
Minister of agriculture and rural development Rachid Benaissa explained that bank loans with a 0% interest rate would also be available to help some producers sustain production and modernise production methods.
Currently the Algerian poultry industry employs between 100,000 and 300,000 people and has an annual turnover of $1.5bn. Benaissa said the survival of the industry was important and the government would therefore announce a programme of modernisation for the sector.
“The sector requires a massive concerted effort to develop the sector sustainably. The latest move can alleviate the effect of increasing the cost of production on the prices of poultry products, including chicken, stabilising the prices first, before gradually pushing them down,” he explained.
Poultry producers in the country have announced a commitment to act and work together as a sector to ensure better market supply conditions for the consumer.
Along with other industry stakeholders, they have vowed to fight against waste in the livestock feed sector in a bid to reduce the cost of white meat.
At the moment the estimated use of poultry feed in the Algerian industry is around 3.5kg per 1kg of meat produced, whereas farmers in “developed” countries use less than half of that. The dramatic difference in feed usage has been attributed to the “modern farming” and production techniques used in other countries, which Benaissa said partly explains why the price of chicken in Algeria is twice that of Tunisia or Morocco.
Poultry producers have also pledged to modernise buildings and improve farming conditions in order to meet technical standards and improve animal health, performance and mortality rates.