The commercial poultry sector had been growing during the past decade at the rate of ten percent annually except in the year 1997 when it registered a minus ten percent growth due to a total ban on marriage banquets. However, the growth in the past two years of 2006-07 and 2007-08 and projections for the year 2008-09 show a minus ten percent growth per annum which is a sign of great concern. The decline in production and the depressed market due to lack of purchasing capacity of consumers are alarming. Yes, the prices for poultry meat are going down but the policy planners need to look at these two key signals while evaluating the future prospects of commercial poultry production. The per capita availability of poultry meat would reduce by 21 percent from 5.75 kg in the year 2006-07 to 4.52 kg in 2008-09. This would amount to minus 21 percent decline in the use of poultry infrastructure at current estimates. As such the policy planners ought not encourage any large future production ventures unless and until the market shows signs of recovery. Chances of that happening are quite slim in the scenario of global recession. The already installed capacity of breeder hatcheries and poultry feed mills are sufficient for another decade to satisfy the poultry meat requirements in the foreseeable future. -DR M. YAQOOB BHATTI, Lahore, via e-mail, December 18.