September 27, 2023


Chicken prices surge in Kurdistan Region, Iraq amid export demand and diseases



In recent weeks, chicken prices in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have significantly increased, driven in part by surging exports to other provinces within Iraq, and due to the spread of diseases in local poultry farms, Kurdistan 24 reported.


Poultry farmers in the region have been selling their chickens at elevated prices over the past few days, but the poultry market has experienced disruptions due to a shortfall in local consumption.


Muhammad Karim, the proprietor of a poultry farm in Sulaimani, provided insights into the price fluctuations. He said that the price of chicken is not fixed, and chickens have continuously been exported to Southern Iraq, resulting in higher chicken prices caused by increased demand.


Jamal Hussein, the director of livestock resources in Sulaimani, emphasised the role of diseases in the decline of poultry farms. Two prevalent poultry diseases, Newcastle disease and Infectious bronchitis, have been particularly devastating, resulting in significant chicken mortality. Unfortunately, the number of affected chickens is expected to rise further.


The province of Sulaimani hosts a significant poultry industry, comprising 585 poultry meat processing facilities and 800 chicken breeding coops. Additionally, there are approximately 100 unlicensed projects in Sulaimani that have contributed to the spread of diseases among local farms.


Newcastle disease, highly contagious and viral, affects poultry and other birds. Its symptoms include respiratory distress, paralysis, twisted necks, digestive issues, diarrhea, reduced egg production, and mortality. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), when introduced to a susceptible flock, the virus rapidly infects virtually all birds within days. While the disease can spread to humans (zoonosis), the symptoms in humans are typically mild.


Similarly, infectious bronchitis (IB) is caused by an avian coronavirus. Its symptoms comprise coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, respiratory difficulties, and decreased egg production.


-      Kurdistan 24

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