PAKISTAN - An oversupply in the market is being blamed for falling prices of poultry meat and eggs in Pakistan, while the sector is made vulnerable due to political instability and high power costs.
Poultry rates have recorded a steep fall in open market during the past couple of weeks mainly due to over supply, reports The Nation of Pakistan.
The retail rate of chicken has nosedived to PKR140 per kg in some areas of the provincial capital while the average price is hovering at around PKR155 per kg at majority outlets.
Likewise, the rate for eggs is being officially announced at PKR100 per dozen for the last 10 days but retailers are selling them as they wish.
Market sources said that the live chicken bird is being sold at PKR115 per kg on average against the farmers production cost of PKR130 per kg for the last six months, causing a loss of around PKR15 per kg to poultry farmers.
They say that the PKR700-billion poultry industry is at the threshold of a financial crisis. The sector provides livelihood to 1.8 million households through about 25,000 poultry farms and hundreds of thousands of chicken outlets.
Farmers told the newspaper that the production cost of a mature live chicken bird is PKR125 to PKR130 per kg, including price of one-day old chick, feed, medicines and vaccines and power generation cost.
Poultry farmers have been facing huge losses for the last six months due to political instability and high energy cost.
If the situation continues, poultry farmers will start shutting up their poultry business, which would cause a shortage of affordable protein and ultimately, consumers would suffer by paying much more, observed Pakistan Poultry Association North Zone chairman, Dr Mustafa Kamal.
He has requested the government to take notice of the present situation and help poultry farmers by announcing a relief package.
Dr Kamal claims that chicken meat is being sold below its production cost and that the government should take immediate action to raise prices and order a crackdown against the sellers.
He said that prices in free market system are determined on the basis of supply and demand but if the government wants a controlled market for chicken meat, it should fix minimum and maximum prices for this sector.
The industry demands that the government realises the hardships of the poultry farmers and announces 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 closed it down because of losses.
Dr Kamal said that poultry sector has been providing affordable poultry products to the masses to fulfill the requirements of animal protein.
According to The Nation, poultry contributes 40 per cent of the total meat consumption and generates employment and income for about 1.8 million people.
TheMeatSite News Desk