April 21, 2016


Pakistan's poultry industry struck by massive farm shutdowns



Pakistan's poultry industry is significantly marred by high production costs, rising taxes on feed and political instability, leading to the shutdown of more than 40% of farms in the country.


Key areas impacted were the Potohar region of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, with losses amounting to PKR22 billion (US$210 million) in the last nine months. In the last two years, farm numbers had plunged from 25,000 to about 14,500.


One kilogramme of chicken meat - once priced at PKR150 (US$1.43) months ago - is now sold for PKR320 (US$3.06). By April, prices for chicken sourced from farms had inflated so drastically that it has become "unaffordable for common people", The News International reported.


Worries festered over the impact on public health, specifically chicken as the main protein in Pakistan which the working class depends on for physical vitality.


Khakid Saleem Malik, central chairman of the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) attributes the widespread farm shutdowns to losses suffered from selling chickens at "cheaper rates" in order to meet public demand.


"We are continuously facing big fluctuation of demand and supply after closing down more than 40 per cent farmhouses. So, rates are going higher in retail market," Malik said.


He also blamed the government for imposing taxes and duty on feed items like soymeal, sunflower seed meal and rapeseed meal.


"We are meeting with farmers to (resume business) and are hopeful that prices of chicken will come down in June," he added.


- The News International

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