The facility is the biggest in the country and one of the biggest in the Caucuses. According to the representatives of the project, it will be focused on exports of beef and lamb to the Iran and Gulf countries.
Armenia’s minister of agriculture Sergo Karapetyan said the new 2,400 sq m slaughterhouse will have the capacity for 200 heads of cattle and 200 heads of sheep and goats per shift. The facility is expected to process 100,000 heads per year, although this may be doubled as the country’s livestock industry develops.
“Today, we have launched the biggest slaughterhouse in Armenia, which will let the country increase the volume of meat exports to neighbour countries,” said Karapetyan at the opening ceremony. “We believe that this will stimulate the development of the livestock industry in our country.”
The facility is certified to produce halal meat, which will help it to supply beef and lamb to Muslim countries. The main target destinations will be Iran, Iraq and Kuwait. It is estimated that investment in the new facility is worth about US$ 60m, which will help Armenia increase its volume of beef and lamb exports by 5,000-10,000 tonnes per year.
According to the Iranian ambassador in Armenia, Mohammed Reisi, the new slaughterhouse will produce high quality meat products. “Armenia already supplies high quality meat products to [Iran], where there is steady high demand,” he said. “The opening of the new slaughterhouse will expand the volume of supplies.”
At the same time, according to the head of the Veterinary Inspectorate of the State Service for Food Safety, Hovhannes Mkrtchyan, Armenia may also boost the volume of exports to countries in the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU), including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
“After long negotiations we have been approved to export some beef cuts to the Russian market,” he said. “This means that they lifted the ban on our beef and lamb, which was in place since 2007. We are looking to expand the range of products approved for supplies within the nearest time.”
The construction group Armenian Avenue forecast that between 2015 and 2017 the country’s meat exports could rise by nearly six times to the EEU from the current amount of 496t to 3,000t.