In a recent seminar on 'Modern Biotechnology in the Russian poultry industry: the global and domestic experience' issues were raised concerning the appropriate use of resources for feeding livestock prevalent on poultry farms.
In Russia now there is a clear tendency to reduce the amount of fish meal consumed by poultry farms, according to Lyudmila Khoroshevsky CTO for Poultry in the company, VitOMEK.
Statistics show that poultry industry demand for fish meal in 2010 was 420 thousand tonnes, while in 2011 it was reduced to 390 thousand tonnes, and this year, experts predict it could fall to 350 tonnes.
Domestic production in 2011 was estimated at only 90 thousand tonnes, and imports were 50 tonnes. Despite the acute shortage of fish meal in the Russian market in 2011, imports of these products decreased by 12% compared to 2010 levels. Experts suggest the reason for this is the switch from fish meal to chickpeas by middle-size poultry producers, which is not only 2-3 times less expensive, but according to some research can be even more nutritious.
According to expert estimates, in 2010 Russia produced about 40 thousands tonnes of chickpeas, and in 2011 this figure increased to 70 thousands tonnes. It is predicted that by 2012 this figure will rise to 120 thousand tonnes, despite the fact that, in general weather conditions in Russia are unfavorable for the cultivation of chickpeas and badly affect its yield.
According to some reports in three years chickpeas can reach the level of 20% in poultry feed in comparison with today's 3-4%, resulting in an increased demand for chickpeas by 6-7 times to 450 thousand tonnes.