The recent decision of government to export maize which is the main ingredient in formulation of compounded poultry feed is likely to spell disaster for poultry production in the country. The current production of three million tons of maize in the country is hardly sufficient to meet the demand of poultry feed mills, domestic food consumption and industrial use. The current price of Rs 15, 000 per ton of maize is likely to shoot up thus making the poultry business a losing concern. Poultry meat at present accounts for 40 per cent of total meat consumption. Any supply shock to this level of meat production would result in a boom in the red meat prices due to uneconomic broiler meat production. This anti-people policy must be avoided by the PPP government, which professes to be pro-poor. The export of maize would have a direct effect on "atta" prices as well because maize would go out of circulation as a food item. This damaging effect in addition to rise in price of chicken meat that provides a nutritious high protein diet at reasonable price, would make a balanced affordable diet a dream for common people. The government is urged to reverse the policy of maize export and put a ban on it in national interest. -DR M. YAQOOB BHATTI, Lahore Cantt July 17.