LE 100 million facility to house 57 abattoirs
CAIRO: Members of the Poultry Division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce announced this week the establishment of a LE 10 million capital abattoir operation company with facilities to be located in Al Nahda City Industrial Zone.
The company will operate 57 abattoirs to supply chilled and frozen chicken to distributors throughout Greater Cairo, newly-appointed Company Chairman Abdel Aziz El-Sayed said. Construction of the facilities is expected to cost about LE 100 million, all of which will be financed through a loan from the Social Development Fund (SDF) to be paid back over 30 years, he added.
The announcement comes just days after SDF accepted a LE 500 million loan from the Kuwait Development Fund to finance the modernization of the Egyptian poultry industry.
The government has recently stepped up efforts to fight the spread of the Avian flu by implementing tougher regulation of the poultry industry. With the late January announcement of the 11th Avian Flu death, Egypt continued to lead non-Asian countries in the number of deaths resulting from the disease.
On the legislative level, the Ministries of Finance (MOF) and Agriculture (MOA) have announced they are working on drafting a law to eliminate the sale of live chickens by 2010 to be raised for discussion at the People s Assembly during its current round.
Under the proposed legislation, MOF would enter as a partner with private poultry distributors to fund the establishment of MOA-monitored abattoirs. The facilities would then be used to produce chilled or frozen poultry, replacing backyard farms and the current practice of selling live poultry through private butchers.
Several automated and semi-automated slaughterhouses are now under construction by poultry producers including Cairo for Poultry, according to Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza, but the newly announced company is set to become the first to specialize in abattoir operation for the distribution to resellers.
The Egyptian poultry industry relies on the services of 70,000 poulterers. Of 1.7 million chickens produced daily, about one-third come from backyard farms, while larger producers facilities only have the capacity to store 300,000 chickens per day, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a United-Nations affiliate. FAO says it expects the problem will only be compounded as national production continues to near its pre Avian Flu level of 2.5 million chickens per day expected by mid-2007.