U.S. Agency for International Development

Feedlots Help Meet Demand for Meat

Feedlots Help Meet Demand for Meat
Cows graze on new feed at a USAID-Inma feedlot in Ninawa province.
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USAID-Inma Agribusiness Program
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Cows graze on new feed at a USAID-Inma feedlot in Ninawa province. The feedlot is one of ten USAID-Inma sponsored feedlots throughout the country.

There is a growing demand for red meat in Iraq. Before the start of the USAID-Inma program, state harvest facilities in Iraq had stopped processing animals and the input network for feed, veterinary care and other services were fragmented and of limited support to a commercial market. Moreover, no commercial feedlots existed.

In 2009, in an effort to address the red meat issue in Iraq, USAID-Inma initiated the establishment of ten confined feeding facilities for sheep and cattle in several regions of the country.

The feedlots provide a continuous supply of animals available to retail and wholesale markets, which then creates more availability of red meat for the consumer. In addition, the feedlots also create indirect opportunities for jobs and revenue for service enterprises such as feed, forage, diagnostic laboratories and input animals.

The success of the USAID-Inma feedlots has spurred a number of individuals and organizations to develop their own independent feeding operation based on the USAID-Inma feedlot model. At the last part of 2011, the Diyala-based Hussayniah Feedlot began operations. The feedlot is the first privately-owned feedlot in Iraq based on the USAID-Inma feedlot model. The event marked significant success for USAID-Inma, which provided technical assistance to the design of the facility and the overall operation of the feedlot. The establishment of the USAID-Inma sponsored feedlots and the private enterprise feedlots will provide a better quality red meat supply to the population and help create more jobs for Iraqis in the future.

The USAID-Inma feedlot project has had a positive impact on the general population through increasing the quantity of meat available in the Iraq market place. By June 2011, production of all feedlots totaled more than 800,000 kilograms, with actual sales of more than $5 million.

The introduction of the ten USAID-Inma feedlots and the feedlots that are replicating the USAID-Inma model has re-established the commercial agricultural network in Iraq.  It has also allowed for USAID-Inma to facilitate the dialogue between the Red Meat Association and the Ministry of Agriculture on issues such as the import of bull semen to improve cattle stocks.

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