LAHORE - The Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) has opposed the interference of the government to fix prices of poultry products, which are perishable items, controlled absolutely by the demand and supply mechanism under free market economy.

These views were expressed by Pakistan Poultry Association (Northern Region) Vice-Chairman Ch Muhammad Fargham, in a press statement issued here on Tuesday. Raising his serious concern over the government attempt of fixing rates of chicken, he said that the industry is extremely depressed by this illegal action of the authorities.

This is the time when the farmers are trying to recover their annual losses, as they suffered huge loss throughout the year due to high cost of production and lower prices of chicken items in the market.

“Where were the provincial and federal governments when the farmers during the last six months were selling day old chicks and broilers at an average price of Rs 20.8 and Rs 129.9 during which time day old chicks and broilers were sold as low as Rs 04/chick and Rs 89 respectively against the cost of production of Rs 45 and Rs 160 respectively and millions of chicks and embryos were being destroyed,” he asked

He queried as to where was the government when breeder farmers had no cash flow to feed the breeders and had to sell young breeders for meat.

He pointed out that the Commissioner of Animal Husbandry in the Ministry of National Food Security had submitted cost of production to the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court as far back as March 2012 at Rs 31.27 for day old chicks and Rs 132.50/Kg for broilers.

The current costs are around Rs 45 for day old chick and Rs 160 for broilers. As per calculation of Director PRI Rawalpindi Cost of production is Rs 145 per kg live.

The Association has been fully intimating the government that the situation would lead to acute shortage of poultry products as the losses would result into reduction in production and that prices will shoot up. “We had advised the government that in the event of increase in price, supply would partially but gradually increase to some extent. We had strongly advised the government not to intervene in free market mechanism.