LAHORE - As thousands of birds have been killed while millions are at risk due to scorching heat coupled with prolonged power supply suspension of 10-hours to the industry, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has urged the Ministry of Water & Power to exempt poultry sector from the continuous power loadshedding of long duration which is hitting the small poultry farmers hard.

LCCI President Abdul Basit, in a letter written simultaneously to the Punjab chief minister, Water and Power secretary and Lesco chief executive, said that poultry farmers, hatchery owners and poultry processing plants (slaughter houses) are all suffering huge losses due to severe and constant power loadshedding of 10 hours from 6 PM to 4 AM. He said that this is the most urgent matter to be looked into to avert loss of billions to the poultry industry.

Basit, who is also former chairman of Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA), said that PPA is collaborating with the government to supply poultry products in Ramazan bazars at less than the market price. If all their birds die because of this long 10 hours loadshedding how general public will get this benefit while people attached with this industry would have to bear huge loss.

He said that poultry industry and the LCCI had already brought this matter to the notice of Ministry of Water & Power but no action has been taken yet. Basit said that most of the poultry farmers are small investors. “One control shed may cost Rs20 million and they cannot invest on prime time generator sets. They do have standby generators, which can support for maximum two hours,” he added.

He said that the hatcheries are also facing the same problem. They have hatching eggs of different days settings. He said that with this loadshedding of long duration all the chicks in eggs ready to hatch can die which means no chicks for the poultry farm to house in coming days. He said that slaughter houses can slaughter only at night because of very hot weather birds can only be transported after sunset to the slaughterhouse otherwise they will die during transportation.

The LCCI president said that due to continuous power breakdown of 10 hours, poultry industry have been suffering heavy losses while situation would further aggravate if corrective measures are not taken by the Ministry of Water & Power. Basit demanded the Ministry of Water and Power to take notice of the situation and exempt poultry farms from prolonged, awful and heavy loss-making loadshedding.