04 December 2020

Finally, domestic chicken and import reduction: Consortium of domestic and foreign investors – “International Fresh Food” seriously enters into broiler production in our country.

Finally, in Macedonia there is a serious production of chicken, for which millions of dollars have been spent for import over the years. The International Fresh Food consortium, made up of domestic and foreign investors, has entered broiler production with an ambitious business plan and construction of farms, slaughterhouses, and halls across the country. In a period of 4 – 5 years, they plan to produce 12.5 million broilers per year, and thus complete their medium-term plan.

-It all started with the entry and expansion of KFC in the Balkans. KFC’s chicken demands are high, and they needed a regional supplier and a regional partner. Given that we were already aware that there is a shortage of chicken production in our country, the idea of ​​investing in broiler production was born. It is a very big investment and together, with the partners from our country and abroad, we made a decision to realize the idea – says Arben Abdurahmani, a well-known and respected businessman whose latest investment, as part of the consortium, propels the economy of an entire region.

In Kriva Palanka, it is a case of an investment in a poultry breeding center and broiler production of chickens. In general, it consists of reconstruction of the existing, as well as construction of new facilities for broiler production, incubator station and facilities for accommodation of a parent flock, whcich will all develope in stages.

-The idea is to reactivate something that worked many years ago. Very often, when making investment decisions you are not guided only by business logic and mathematics, but sometimes there are other factors that are crucial. One of those factors is the people and the environment where the business is managed. In this case, the persistence, honesty and unreserved support of the former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Mr. Ljupcho Nikolovski, was the decisive factor for investment in Kriva Palanka. In addition, the friendly behaviour of the local population and the existence of an adequate workforce to perform such activity is also one of the factors that affected our decision. All this prompted us to accelerate the activities, and to realize the investment sooner than planned, as well as to launch the preparation of the facilities – says for Agrotim, Abdurahmani.

The strategies for agricultural development, as well as the support and the benefits for agricultural and rural development which are in general provided by the Government of RSM, were one of the motivating factors for making the decision for the overall investment. The investment is currently in the consortium.

Yes, at the moment the whole investment is from the company. To be more precise, this is a group investment by several domestic and foreign investors with their own private funds. In the future, we lay down the possibility of using some of the funds available in the country. It is a modern capacity with the most advanced equipment. The whole complex will be in accordance with the highest EU standards in terms of environmental protection, health and welfare of the animals as well as protection and safety at work. In addition, the entire production will meet the special KFC standards, which are even higher than those required by EU standards and legislation – said Abdurahmani.

Their plans are to produce poultry meat intended for the internal and external market in a fully integrated system, all the way from the production of one-day-old chicken to a confectioned fresh chicken meat delivered to the final consumer. This means producing eggs for incubation, hatching, rearing, and hatching of chickens, slaughter and chopping, packaging and distribution to the final consumer.

We are talking about production of 12.5 million broilers per year. For that purpose, in the past period we provided land for construction of broiler breeding facilities throughout the country (Ohrid, Struga, Kichevo, Gostivar, Tetovo, Skopje, Kochani, Shtip, Radovish). In the area of ​​Sveti Nikole,a land has been provided for the construction of a facility for production of food for feeding the chickens with a production capacity of 55,000 tons per year. In addition, land is also provided in the municipality of Vrapchishte where the construction of a facility for slaughter and poultry chopping with a slaughter capacity of 6,000.00 chickens per hour is planned. It is a slaughterhouse with the latest technology, and it will meet the highest EU standards in the field of food safety, as well as special standards of KFC, which are even higher than those required by EU standards and legislation. The whole investment will develope in several phase, and it is planned to be completed within 5 years – says Abdurahmani which also added that at the beginning, 20-30 000 chickens will be bred and placed per week.

We have a supply agreement with the holder of the KFC franchise which is itself part of a joint group of investors. For start, we begin with breeding and placement of 20-30 thousand chickens per week, primarily intended for the internal market and for export in the region. After the construction of the slaughterhouse, the plan is to export to EU countries, but also outside the EU. According to the plan, in a period of 4-5 years we should achieve the number of production of 12.5 million broilers per year and thus complete the medium-term plan. It is an intensive production, with production of 30,000 chickens per day.

We asked him, what does this investment mean for the economy for local and rural development, and ultimately, for the total domestic food production?

-As you know, we produce consumable eggs and chicken and beef products. This investment is a natural completion of our production in the field of poultry. Given that these are investments in rural areas, the expectations are that it will have a positive impact on rural development, primarily with direct and indirect employment and engagement of about 3000 workers, from rural areas. We hope that the demand for food for feeding the poultry, and the guaranteed placement, will encourage local farmers to increase the production of grain crops. The Republic of North Macedonia is a net importer of poultry meat, so around 95% of its needs are met by imports. The production of domestic poultry meat will ensure the placement of freshly chilled chicken meat, that meets the most strict criteria for food safety and quality. “With this, we hope that this percentage will decrease and in time we will be able to export to the CEFTA countries, to EU countries, but also outside the EU,” said Abdurrahmani.

Given the current coronavirus situation and the crisis that is inevitable in the economy, agricultural and livestock production is the most reliable business. This is confirmed by Arben Abdurahmani, who has been in the agricultural sector for many years, and precisely knows the advantages of investments in this sector.

It is definitely one of the safest businesses out there. We can give up many things, but we must eat. Having as much food production as possible is very important for every country. The coronavirus pandemic has shown that to us. Creating the most favorable conditions for agricultural production should be an imperative of every government. Here, I would like to emphasize that from the very beginning of the realization of the investment we had the unreserved support of all institutions, from both the central and local government. Agriculture is one of the most important factors for the safety and security of every society. Without sufficient food production and with an import dependency, every society becomes vulnerable. In times of such global crises like these, food shortages can only make matters worse. That is why we are getting involved through our social responsibility to help the country handle the crisis as quickly as possible – concludes Abdurahmani.