The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project helped Poljovet increase their production of day-old chicks for broiler breeding to 8 million a year. The company now services the growing needs of chicken meat producers.
“We sell almost all of our day-old chick to Bingo,” says Zvonko Deronjić, Director of Poljovet from Gradačac, Northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project supported Poljovet in purchasing new pre-hatchery and hatchery equipment that enabled them to increase their annual production of day-old chicks for broiler breeding from 6 to 8 million and meet the growing needs of their main buyer in BiH.
As Zvonko explains, the poultry production value chain is rather complex, but with growing production capacities and modernization, domestic poultry producers are increasingly satisfying the needs of each of the production steps while reducing the need for imports.
“We now have a parent flock that produces some 2.5 million fertilized eggs a year, and we buy an additional 5 to 5.5 million fertilized eggs from a domestic producer. We next work on hatching and production of some 8-million-day-old chicks for a domestic broiler producer who grows the chicks and supplies fresh chicken meat to the retailers,” Zvonko continues.
Though an integral part of the BiH’s poultry industry now, Poljovet was not established with such a vision back in 1996. Zvonko and his wife Amira, both veterinarians, established Poljovet as a company that had was going to trade in agriculture and veterinary equipment and materials.
“Our company’s name is a combination of poljo (short for agriculture in local language) and vet (short for veterinary) and we offered everything a farmer may need, from tools, seeds, fertilizers, and plants protection, to animal food, food supplements, and OTC medication for animals. We also provided veterinary services and advice,” says Zvonko, and that is how they developed relations with poultry producers.
Back in the day, Zvonko’s clients also started requesting day-old chicks for their farms so, in 2003, Poljovet installed the first incubator, the first hatchery, and started hatching chicks using fertilized eggs imported from Austria. As years passed, Poljovet acquired a parent flock and started producing their own fertilized eggs. First just over a million a year, in 2008, but this number grew to 2.5 million by 2017.
Year by year, hatching day-old chicks became a significant part of Poljovet’s portfolio that also includes growing steers. In 2014, Poljovet signed a contract with Bingo that essentially meant that Bingo was going to buy almost all day-old chicks they produced and as Bingo’s production grew, Poljovet’s followed.
"We are now satisfied with the pre-hatching and hatching equipment we have. The assistance we received from the FARMA II project helped us reach the desired production levels much faster, but we are not stopping at that. Next, we are going to modernize our parent flock farms. We need to make our production of fertilized eggs more efficient. This means that we have to install automated nests, so that is our next challenge," Zvonko concludes.