LAHORE – The crippling long-hour electricity loadshedding coupled with scorching heat has hit the poultry industry hard as each unit of electricity at poultry controlled shed is costing up to Rs40 to owners.
Strongly protesting severe power breakdowns particularly in Punjab, poultry industry stakeholders said that due to severe power outages, the poultry sector has to install two types of heavy generators, one operates in the absence of electricity while other standby generator that runs when first one is failed due to sizzling climate. Owing to prolonged power breakdowns, generators also failed to operate and run at maximum 60 per cent of their capacity, costing us as high as Rs35 to Rs40 per unit, they added.
They said that govt instead of controlling fuel price or seizing power tariff hike, makes wrong propaganda against poultry industry which has contributed a lot to control ever-soaring inflation in the country.
They said that poultry products are sold below price of their original cost during eight months of the year. When chicken prices start to go upward during the rest of four moths, then industry is able to compensate its losses incurred throughout the year. They said that July, August and September are the worst months for poultry sector, as its farms’ cooling system, running on desert coolers, flops completely and tens of thousands of birds in single controlled shed put on severe risk. Hence, during this period the production of chicken decreased manifolds while demand goes up sharply, as this is the period of school vacation and also weddings, increasing the demand of poultry products. This wide gap of demand and supply push the rate of chicken meat upward in this time but it is considered that poultry farmers are manipulating the rates on the eve of Eid, as this festival has also been falling in July-Sept for the last decade, stated Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit.
He said that government considers that farmers have raised rates due to Eid but the fact is that demand-supply mechanism fixes the rate and less supply and extra demand raise prices of all products, including chicken. It cannot be manipulated as this is perishable item and cannot be preserved for a long period.
He suggested the government to give priority to the trade and industry as far as supply of electricity is concerned as the low productions phenomenon has taken hostage export-oriented industry thus depriving the country of much-needed foreign exchange.
He said that the private sector is the engine of growth and it is provided a conducive atmosphere with uninterrupted power supply the economy would make a speedy turnaround. He said that industry needs a continuous supply of electricity to keep the units operational and to complete export orders well within the given timeframe but only because of the shortage of electricity the exports are not up to the mark.
He said that Pakistan had already lost a number of international markets and the new longer hour power cuts had further aggravated the situation. He said that cheaper and uninterrupted power supply is only way to achieve economic targets set for the year 2012. He said that crisis in industrial sector was not only causing the flight of capital and relocation of industrial units to the countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia but had also reduced government revenues drastically.