According to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2008-2009, the poultry sector is a vibrant segment of the agriculture industry in Pakistan as it is providing employment to approximately 1.5 million people. Besides, the contribution of poultry to the agricultural growth is 4.81% and to livestock growth 9.84%. Poultry sector provides poultry meat, the proportion of which is 19 % of the total meat production in the country. There was an investment of Rs 200 billion in the poultry sector during the year 2008-2009. Growth rate of the sector is recorded to be 8 to 10%.per annum. In production of eggs and poultry meat, feed contributes 60 to 70% in the cost of production. During the year 2008-2009 there was a population of 28.42 million Layers, 448.55 million Broilers and 7.99 million Breeding Stocks. In order to feed 484.96 million poultry stocks, about 5.0 million metric tons of poultry feed was produced in the country. Maize is the major cereal component in the poultry feed. But the availability of maize within the country is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the sector. Pakistan Poultry Association, therefore, appealed to the government not to allow export of maize but instead 2, 50,000 metric tons of maize was exported duty free resulting in shortage of maize in the country. Beside this, 25% regulatory duty has been levied on import of maize. The poultry sector requires 3.5 million metric ton of maize for poultry. In view of the fact that poultry stocks are increasing at an average rate of 10 percent, the feed demand, including that of the maize component, is likely to further increase in future. It is a matter of serious concern that price of maize during the month of October, 2009 was Rs.550/- per 40 kg whereas it has now jumped to Rs. 850/- per 40 kg. That is an increase of 55% up to the month of January 2010. In view of the above situation, the price of poultry feed will be increased with a consequent increase in the prices of chicken and eggs, affecting the consumer badly. It is apprehended that the poultry sector will have to use wheat also for manufacturing of poultry feed, which as we all know, is in short supply even for the human needs of the country. The government is requested to allow import of maize on 0% duty from May, 2010. The new crop of maize would become available from June, 2010 onwards by which time, hopefully, the availability of maize for poultry-feed manufacturing would be improved. -DR BASHIR MAHMOOD BHATTI, Secretary General, Pakistan Poultry Association, Islamabad, February 13