The poultry industry has demanded the government to negotiate a trade deal with Saudi Arabia to export surplus chicken from Pakistan.

PPA former chairman Abdul Basit observed govt should convince the Saudi govt to strike deal with Pakistan to import halal meat from Pakistan for its requirement as other countries which are exporting halal food to Saudi Arabia are not Islamic countries. Pakistan has great potential of halal food export and it not only can meet the demand of Saudi Arabia but also the whole world, Basit added.

PPA former chairman said that presently Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest importer of broiler meat, with a total import of 875,259 metric tons but unfortunately Pakistan’s share is very negligible, as Brazil dominated the Saudi poultry import market, with 79 per cent market share, followed by France with 18 per cent, and the US with 3 per cent-all non-Muslim countries. Basit added that govt should also negotiate for better security of its people’s jobs in the Kingdom.  

Dr Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association (NZ), while demanding facilitation by the federal government for establishing trade ties with Saudi Arabia, said if export to Saudi Arabia is established, we would earn better foreign exchange and our excess products would be consumed at appropriate rates.

Dr Muhammad Mustafa Kamal recalled that due to the favorable government policies and dedicated hard work of the farmers in the past, the sector has been growing at around 10 per cent per year. However, he said, recent political unrest has destroyed the whole system of marketing and has resulted into a big gap between demand and supply.

Farmers have lost heavily during last one year. Most of the farmers lost their entire working capital and are at the verge of bankruptcy, he said, adding that if any relief package is not provided to the farmers at this stage, it will result into the closure of 40 percent to 50 percent of the farms, resulting into a shortage.

It may be appreciated that chicken meat and egg prices also affect the price structure of other food items like mutton and beef.

He said the domestic poultry sector is supplying quality animal protein in the shape of chicken meat and eggs. Chicken meat is 40 percent of the total meat consumed in Pakistan. Pakistan consumes 60 eggs per capita per year, he maintained.