Monday, 23 April 2012, 07:20 GMT
Turkish eggs outsell Kurdish eggs

This file photo depicts white Turkish eggs in a warehouse in Kurdistan./ PRESS PHOTO

The Kurdish Globe

Although Parliament decreed a law in 2008 to protect domestic production,

Kurdistan Region currently produces more eggs than the local demand calls for and exports some of its domestically produced eggs to other parts of Iraq. Regardless, more Turkish eggs are consumed due to higher demand by consumers and lower prices compared to domestic ones.

Numerous shops and street vendors welcome buyers with red and white eggs at Sheikhalla Bazaar in the downtown Erbil market. Most shop owners and egg vendors argue that demand for white eggs from Turkey is 10 times greater than for domestic red eggs.

Noori Saeed Kanabi, a shop owner selling eggs since 1991, says Turkish egg prices are lower than Kurdish eggs, which "has kept the balance of prices in the market." "If an egg import from Turkey is banned, domestic egg prices would immediately double," Kanabi told the Globe.

According to KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources statistics, there are 10 poultry plants all around Kurdistan that produce 88,177,000 eggs per year. There are seven egg production plants with a yearly production capacity of 467,380,000 eggs.

Other plants produce different types of eggs for various purposes. In total, Kurdistan produces 684,808,180 eggs yearly.

According to Ramazan Mohammed Karim, director of Animal Resources at the Ministry Kurdistan needs 646 million eggs per year, which means that it produces more eggs than it really needs. He said excess eggs are exported to Baghdad and other cities in the southern Iraq.

According to Karim, lack of border control and the export of eggs to other cities prevents them from identifying exact demand and supply levels.

Although Parliament decreed a law in 2008 to protect domestic production, government has not yet implemented this plan, at least in regards to egg production, since although the region produces more eggs than the domestic demand, the government still allows massive amounts of eggs to be imported from abroad.

Mohammed Abbas, Secretary General of Erbil Governorate's Economists' Council, said lower prices and consumer taste has made Turkish eggs survive in Kurdistan markets, which is why government has not banned egg imports from Turkey.