Blockades of roads and impounding of containers, carrying perishable goods, have hit the transportation of poultry products across Punjab, as daily movement of almost 2.2 million broilers and around 2 million day-old chicks has been restricted by the police barriers, leading to shortage and then hike in prices of poultry products in the country.

Pakistan Poultry Association north zone chairman Raza Mehmood Khursand said that impounding of containers, for the last many days due to uncertain political atmosphere, is causing losses to the industry, because the life of day-old chicks is not more than 10-12 hours, which are perishing due to traffic movement blockade.

“Hatcheries, which are producing day old chick, are unable to distribute them to the layer and broiler farms. Parent stock hatcheries are unable to deliver parent stocks to the breeder farms. A number of feed containers that were destined for Attock, Chakwal and Abbottabad have been seized on GT Road by the Police and they are using them for blocking the roads.”

Raza Khursand said supply-side constrains led to heavy mortality, causing huge losses to owners of poultry farms, which would ultimately lead to unavailability of broiler in the market, besides price hike.

Due to severe power breakdowns industry is mostly relying on in-house power generation through diesel. Hence, the suspension of diesel supply to the poultry farms has also created problems for poultry products production. “The lack of diesel in controlled environment farms can result into 100% mortality for want of air circulation in the houses. Shortage and non-supply of feed can also result in mortality.”

Raza Khursand said that non-delivery of broiler day old chicks is causing a severe loss to the hatcheries, as the highly perishable chicks can neither be stored nor used for any other purpose. Their non-placement at the farms will create a short supply in the coming 7-8 weeks which will force the increase in prices of chicken meat, he added. “Non-placement of Parent Stocks will create a long term short-supply after 6-7 months for a prolonged period of a year to 14 months.” The PPA NZ chairman said that the Association had laid these facts before the Secretary Livestock who convinced the relevant government quarters to facilitate poultry but unfortunately the containers could not be removed for the movement of vehicles carrying day old chicks, feed or diesel to the poultry farms. As such, the sector has suffered and is extremely apprehensive of what would happen in the coming days, he added.

It is to be noted that the whole province remains paralyzed as majority of petrol pumps remained closed and the supply of essential goods including poultry products remained suspended.

Punjab was sealed by containers some four days back when the government blocked all entry and exit points of the provincial capital after the announcement of PTI long march. The police, though, relaxed its attitude and containers on some roads were removed, but it was for a limited time, as the containers were placed again and no one was allowed to enter the city.