The establishment of around 2,500 poultry farms in eastern Nangarhar provinces has met domestic need and generated thousands of jobs for people. However, the farm owners complain the government is paying no attention to their business which faces some issues.
They cite imported chicken and lack of eggs production among reasons affecting their business. A Pajhwok reporter visited a poultry farm in Saracha area of Behsud district where 2,000 chickens were being raised on each floor of the two-storey poultry farm. Many people worked in the farm. Haji Mohammad Ishaq Quraishi, who built the poultry farm on his two acres of land with the help of CARDEF, said he was happy with his business. He spent $50,000 on construction of the farm and CARDEF organization also helped him in the construction process and provided him ideas, he said. Quraishi said in the past he would grow crops on his land, which were not economical. He himself worked in the farm with 30 hired people. Ghulam Jan, a worker in the farm, said his economic situation was not good in the past but now that problem had been solved by finding a job at the poultry farm. “Our businessmen should invest in areas that create jobs for other people, giving jobs to more people can help improve the security situation,” he said. Poultry Farms Union (PFU) in the eastern region said more than 3,000 poultry farms existed in the east, including 2,500 in Nangarhar alone. PFU spokesman Sayed Rahim Khan Babakrkhel told Pajhwok that poultry farm owners faced lack of market and forage. “Pakistani chickens are still sold in the market because they are cheaper, while raising chickens here is expensive,” he said. He said the lack of chickens producing factories was another problem as they brought newborn chickens form Pakistan. “Another problem is the lack of bird forage, we have only one factory that produces such food but it only meets 60 percent of our needs,” he said. He said poultry farms might not survive if the government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), continued to ignore the industry. Dr. Abdul Hadi Babar, manager of livestock at the Nangarhar agriculture, irrigation and livestock department, said poultry farm owners faced no problem in finding market for their products in the province. “Poultry farms are established in Jalalabad and the whole of Nangarhar province, except grown chickens that come from Pakistan. All other size of chickens are grown inside the province, these chickens are even exported to northern provinces and capital Kabul,” he said. Babakharkhel said efforts were on for building chicken producing factories and problems regarding poultry feed production has also been resolved to some extent. Afghanistan Laborers Association said poultry farm owners should take care of the health of their workers and the government should also support the business. Dr. Mohammad Liaqat Adil, head of the association, said poultry farm workers remained busy day and night but they only received salary for eight hours work. He called overworking of farm workers a big injustice. Thousands of youth would avail work opportunities if the government paid attention to the poultry farms industry, he added. Despite creating jobs for thousands of people, poultry farm owners in Nangarhar warned their farms could collapse if the government did not pay attention to them.
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