Poultry industry in crisis: Govt’s attention sought
LAHORE: Poultry is the most organised agricultural sector, and the industry is currently providing 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the total meat consumed, while, around 1.5 million people are employed in this sector, a statement quoted an official, as saying, on Monday.
Raja Attique-ur-Rehman Abbasi, vice-chairman of the Pakistan Poultry Association (North Region), said that the poultry industry is playing an important role in the economic development of the country.
It is the most affordable source of meat for the people and the industry is using the latest technology and state-of-the-art machinery owing to which the country produces international standard broilers, he added.
For several years, the poultry industry has been trying to provide the people with affordable and quality protein in the form of chicken meat and eggs, Abbasi said, adding that fluctuations in the price of chicken meat are determined by the basic principles of supply and demand.
That is why the farmers often have to sell lower than the production cost, because it is a perishable item.
In the same way, in the price fluctuations of the whole year, sometimes the farmer is in profit and sometimes in loss but on an average, the price is reasonable throughout the year.
The official said the cost of production of poultry has been steadily rising in the last two years and due to this the farmers have not been getting any significant profit from their businesses for almost two years.
In the present scenario, the poultry farmers are facing severe losses and have become bankrupt. It is clear that due to these circumstances, the farmers are facing a difficult situation; therefore, the government should also take steps to address their problems and announce a relief package for the poultry farmers, he added.
The Pakistan Poultry Association (North Region) vice-chairman said due to high production cost, Pakistani poultry products cannot be exported, despite being standard, as they are also available in the international market at low prices.
At present, poultry is being raised on farms at around Rs198/kg, which is being sold at Rs110/kg today. In other words, the farmers are losing Rs30,000 on chickens; thus, the farmer is losing Rs3.6 million/flock, which might force him to close the farm.
In the last few days, the broiler chicken suffered from Newcastle disease and there was a shortage of its meat due to which the rate of chicken went up temporarily to Rs400/kg. All the government agencies and media came into action. But now the chicken worth Rs200 is being sold at Rs100 from the farms and the meat is being sold at Rs180.
Now, the government agencies and the media are completely silent for the poultry farmers, who are suffering severely. As a result, there is a risk that chicken meat will become scarce if the farm closes, he said.
At present, the feed rate is around Rs3,750/50kg bag, as in the federal budget, the government has imposed a sales tax of 7 per cent more on soybeans, which has now gone up to 17 per cent, making the poultry feed more expensive.
Therefore, the government is requested to please announce a special package for the poultry farmers, so that the industry continues to provide affordable and healthy protein and its price remains under the purchasing power of every consumer.
The government is also requested to withdraw duties and sales tax on the import of feed ingredients and make every effort to provide relief to the poultry industry.
Later, the vice chairman thanked the print and electronic media for always supporting the poultry industry in every difficult hour and conveying the concerns of the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) to the government functionaries.
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