LAHORE

The poultry farmers have suffered a loss of about Rs6 to Rs7 billion during the last three months due to multiple reasons including high energy cost, heavy taxations, low demand and lack of government incentives for the industry.

“If situation continues, poultry farmers would start shutting up their business, which would cause shortage of cheap protein source and ultimately consumers have to suffer by paying much more, observed Pakistan Poultry Association Central Chairman Khalid Salim Malik.

“During the last three months broiler continued to be sold in the range of Rs140-150 with loss of up to Rs45 per kg while eggs were sold with loss of Rs12 to Rs18 per dozen, which is not bearable by the producers. Even, in present situation, the farmers are making no profit and selling their products with no profit no loss, he added.

He requested the government to take notice of the present scenario and help poultry farmers in this critical situation by announcing relief package for poultry farmers.

The cost of production in the region including India and Iran is very low and Pakistan should also follow the policies of regional countries to compete them in Afghanistan market.

PPA Chairman further claimed that chicken meat is sold below its production cost most of the year. He said that the government should come forward to support the ailing industry as it take immediate action in case of rise in the prices and order a crackdown against the sellers but extending no helping hand when this industry was facing hardships. He said that prices in free market system are determined on the basis of supply and demand but government if wanted a controlled market with regard to chicken meat then it should fix minimum and maximum prices for this sector. Khalid Salim Malik said that the price fluctuation was observed according to demand and supply formula.

PPA leader demanded that the government should realize the hardships of the poultry farmers and announce a support package for the industry which should include interest-free loans from the scheduled banks to enable those farmers to restart business that had been closed down because of losses.

Khalid Salim Malik said that poultry sector has been providing affordable poultry products to the masses to fulfill the requirements of animal protein. Poultry at present contributes 40% of the total meat consumption and generates employment and income for about eighteen hundred thousand people. Poultry sector generates employment and provides source of income to more than 1.8 million people of Pakistan.

He said that growing at a rate of 12 percent with an annual turnover of around Rs700 billion the Pakistan poultry sector growth may be halted owing to anti-industry policies of the government. At present, over 190 billion rupees worth of agricultural products and by products are being used in poultry feeds. Currently, the sector is contributing 1.5 per cent to gross domestic product of the country.

There are over 25,000 poultry modern farms spread into the rural areas across the country. The sector is producing 1,220 million kilogrammes (kg) of chicken meat and some 10,000 million eggs annually.