What does Italian poultry farming have in common with poultry farming in other Mediterranean countries? What are the growth prospects in the most productive areas? To what extent can the Italian poultry farming business expand?
Today Turkey is the biggest producer of poultry in the Mediterranean area. Its production between 1990 and 2015 grew exponentially, shifting from its early production of 200,000 tons/year to its 2,114 million tons/year. As Lara Sanfrancesco, Unaitalia executive director pointed out “Turkey’s integration of its supply chain and its production management is similar to the Italian one. By comparing the production of the European countries, we could obtain a ranking in which Turkey would rank second, right after Poland, which is still the biggest producer in the Old Continent. And Italy would only rank sixth. We should analyze the Turkish market with a defensive approach. However, Italy has got expansion prospects in several countries of the Mediterranean area, such as Egypt, Morocco and Algeria, where the demand for chicken meat and eggs is growing and the per capita consumption is currently quite weak (7 kilos/year in Egypt and 11,6 Kilos/year in Algeria). According to Ghassan Sayed of Wpsa Italia (World’s Poultry Science Association), Italy should seize the opportunity to expand in southern countries, focusing on its strengths, such as production and genetic quality. “The world and the Middle East are calling for a less extensive use of antibiotics, an increased use of nutraceuticals and more attention for biosafety.
Opportunities in Tunisia
Sihem Dabbou, student at Università di Torino (Italy) confirmed the extent of the expansion of poultry farming in the Mediterranean countries. She reminded that this sector covers 33% of the total national livestock and 100% of eggs production. The sector has been growing since 2007, and now Tunisia produces 127,000 tons of chicken meat, almost 2 billion of eggs and 67 million tons of turkey meat - she explained. Hygienic conditions have improved as well: control plans have been launched in hatcheries and barn to fight salmonella. However, a lot is still to be done. We are still relying on imports for animals, medicines and vaccines and we have to face weather conditions which can jeopardize our production – concluded Dabbou.