LAHORE: The Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) on Saturday urged the government to allow the free market to operate and let the demand and supply determine the price of poultry (chicken) and its by-products.
In a press briefing, PPA Vice Chairman for the North Region Raja Attiqueur Rehman Abbasi said that the poultry sector formed about 40 per cent of the total meat consumption. Abbasi added that the country’s Poultry industry supplies prime quality protein food in the form of poultry meat and eggs, at a very affordable price.
“The country’s poultry industry has an annual turnover of over Rs800bn and provides employment to over 1.5 million people directly and indirectly,” he said.
The PPA officer bearer added that the industry was producing 1,322 million kilogramme of chicken meat and 17,500 million table eggs annually. He claimed that the industry has provided affordable meat to the masses since its establishment.
Abbasi said that the rates of poultry products were based on demand and supply mechanisms, and added that products being perishable items can’t be stored for long and have to be sold. “Therefore, most of the time poultry farmers have to sell their broiler below the cost of production,” he said.
PPA Regional Secretary Major (r) Syed Javaid Hussain Bukhari shared that the farmers during the last six months were selling day old chicks and broilers at an average price of Rs4-20 and Rs90-130 respectively. Whereas cost of production of day old chick was Rs45 and Rs160 of chicken meat, he claimed.
He maintained that the PPA through various press conferences and press releases had fully apprised the government that the situation would lead to acute shortage of poultry products as losses would result in reduction in production and that would also increase prices.
“We had advised the government that in the event of an increase in price, supply would partially but gradually increase to some extent,” Bukhari said, adding that they had strongly advised the government not to intervene in the free market mechanism.
“The governments paid no heed. Our pleadings fell on deaf ears and as a result, poultry farmers are bearing huge losses,” he added.
He shared that from October 20 onwards this year, the PPA had established stalls of broiler meat where a subsidy of Rs10 per kilogramme on chicken meat is provided to the customers.
“60 more such stalls were inaugurated today at Tollinton Market in Lahore where subsidised chicken meat would be sold,” he added.
The Association strongly urged the government to allow free market mechanism functions to regulate demand and supply and not to intervene in market prices.