LAHORE, PAKISTAN: The Pakistan Poultry Association has urged upon the government of Pakistan to facilitate the poultry industry in order to export hatching eggs to the Middle Eastern countries and also announce support prices for the crops of maize, sun flower and canola as these are being used raw material for the poultry feed industry.
This was demanded by Mir Tahir Ali Zaid, Central Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association, at a press conference held at the Lahore Press Club on Wednesday. He said that the drop in the price of day-old broiler chicks and live broilers is resulting in a capital drain of millions of rupees every day.
For the first time in the history of commercial poultry farming in Pakistan, millions of broiler-hatching eggs are being sold as table eggs every day at 50 percent of the production cost. This crisis, in terms of the capital drain, is greater than the bird flu of February 2006, because of the magnitude of the production. Besides, the high fuel and energy prices have increased the production cost, which has put an increased burden on broiler producers.
He said that the cost of production of chicken and eggs in Pakistan is higher than other countries of the region but during recurring episodes of over-production, we sell poultry at much below the production cost as compared to the prevailing international prices.
Now that Pakistan has been declared "free" from H5 N1 or the bird flu virus, the surplus production should be exported with government support to prevent the loss of billions of rupees and earn valuable foreign exchange, he demanded.
Talking about the feed prices, he said that due to shortage of feed ingredients vis-a-vis demand, prices of poultry feed raw material had increased by 25 percent, resulting in an increase of feed prices by approx 15 percent, maximum in one year.
He said that the sustainability and growth of livestock sector, poultry in particular, is dependent on the growth in agriculture. The government should announce support prices for the grower of crops specific to the poultry feed industry i.e. corn, sorgum, sunflower, canola and soybeans and make planned and concerted efforts to increase area under these crops. If agriculture is the backbone of the country, livestock and poultry is backbone of agriculture. The corresponding growth in agriculture is inevitable for growth and sustainability in livestock and poultry.
The central chairman of PPA said that as a nation, we suffer from malnutrition and starve from protein shortage.
The consumer education through development support communication and media campaign should help improve per capita protein consumption. The change in eating habits through awareness campaign should correct nutritional imbalance, he concluded.