Chicken production surged to 596,000 tonnes (t) in the five-year period, whilst the production of eggs also rose significantly, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.
However, the main goal in the next five years is not to increase output volumes, but to reduce production costs to make the poultry sector more competitive on the international market.
Valentina Odintsova, head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s department for modernising industrial livestock said the five-year growth figures were achieved primarily due to large-scale modernisation in production.
“In recent years more than 500 different facilities have been modernised and two new poultry farms have been built, including LLC Komarovka in Brest Oblast and LLC Alexandkiskoe in Mogilev Oblast,” she said.
“In addition, the organisation of breeding farms, imports of the best breeds and cross-breeds from abroad, as well as the establishment of new domestic breeding lines, have allowed the country to almost completely replace poultry with low productivity with the new herd.”
Productivity has significantly increased, but should still rise by a quarter in the next five years, in accordance with the state program for the development of the poultry sector.
According to Odintsova, in 2010-2015 the volume of poultry exports rose to 136,600 tonnes, so the overall share of export in the structure of sales amounted to 22%.
She also added that Belarus is not going to further invest into new poultry capacities, as by 2020 the country should produce 605,000 tonnes of poultry meat per year and 2.8 billion units of eggs.
Top priorities for 2016-2020 are the modernisation of poultry production facilities and increasing export supplies, as well as the improvement of bio-security, Odintosva said.
“In 2015, through the modernisation of poultry production facilities volume of production of poultry increased by 42,200 thousand tons, which is equivalent to the volume of one large poultry farm,” she added.
However, Inna Tolkacheve, deputy head of Soligorskaya Poultry Farm, said there was an issue with scaling up due to the lack of feed base in Belarus. The country has no feed and has to import it using foreign currency, which makes it very expensive, since Belarusian ruble remains weak in the foreign exchange market.
Largest markets for Belarus poultry are countries in the CIS region, including Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
In addition to the development of exports, Belarus sees some potential in the increase of domestic consumption for poultry meat, since, on average, the country’s citizens consume about 24 kg of poultry per capita - significantly lower than neighbouring states.