LAHORE  -  Chicken will be the most consumed meat all over the world by 2030 as compared to beef, mutton and other meats as it has less cholesterol and fats with high quality protein.

“A protein consists of 23 amino acids and the poultry is the only meat which comprises such amino acids which are most suitable for human requirement. Though pulses have amino acid yet it cannot prepare proper protein suitable for human body,” observed noted poultry researcher and PPA (NZ) chairman Dr Mustafa Kamal.

While giving a presentation to Lahore Economic Journalists here at LCCI on Wednesday, Dr Kamal argued that the meat consumption and health has a strong correlation as the US and EU countries citizens life expectation is high at around 80 years as their per capita consumption of chicken is up to 45kg annually versus Pakistan, India and Afghanistan’s where ratio of life expectation of citizens is at around 60 years as their per capita consumption of chicken is very low, i.e. in the range of one kg to 6 kg per annum.

He said that poultry industry has the capacity to double the poultry meat production from 1.50 billion broiler birds to 3 billion in five years that would totally address the animal protein deficiency in Pakistan provided government ensures enabling business environment.

He said that due to three times hike in cost of production along with unmanageable cooling system at controlled sheds in July-Sept period, which may perish even the whole poultry stock, almost 30 per cent of farmers have shut their businesses temporarily, as they cannot take the risk of colossal lose. This also causes a sharp reduction in poultry stocks, lifting their rates automatically.

Strongly protesting against severe power breakdowns particularly in rural areas, poultry industry stakeholders said poultry sector has to install two types of heavy generators, one operates in the absence of electricity while other standby generator that runs when first one is failed due to sizzling climate. Owing to prolonged power breakdowns, generators also failed to operate and run at maximum 60 per cent of their capacity, costing as high as Rs40 per unit, he claimed.

Dr. Kamal said that poultry prices fluctuate only because of demand and supply mechanism. It is a perishable product as there is no storage facility in the country.

He claimed that most part of the year chicken prices remained less than cost of production. Only for few months in a year, a farmer gets premium which compensates his previous losses that is how the year average price becomes viable for a farmer to continue his work.

Pakistan, being predominantly a Muslim country, stands to benefit from growing demand of Halal food world over. Even restaurants like McDonalds and KFC are offering Halal products in Europe, USA, Thailand and other parts of the world.

He observed that presently Pakistan’s normal import duty on import of chicken is only 25 percent against India, which has slapped 100 per cent import duty on chicken to protect its local industry.

He said that worldwide, there are subsidies on export of processed chicken. Some provide subsidies on freight, some have lower preferential rate of electricity for agriculture, poultry and livestock and some purely as an incentive for foreign exchange earnings. There is a need to bring down the cost of production of the poultry processing plants by increasing their capacity utilization particularly in the face of power and gas outages.