Lahore - Pakistan Poultry Association (NZ) Chairman Dr. Mustafa Kamal has said that poultry farmers have been facing huge losses for the last one year due to political instability and high energy cost, while the recent heavy floods have also affected the sector drastically.

Addressing a press conference here at press club, he said that if situation continues, poultry farmers would start shutting up their poultry business, which would cause shortage of cheap protein source and ultimately consumers have to suffer by paying much more.  “Presently the cost of production of broiler is about Rs.135 per kg whereas it is being sold at Rs95-100 per kg, causing a loss of Rs40-45 per kg, which is not bearable by the producers.

He requested the government to take notice of the present scenario and help poultry farmers in this critical situation by announcing relief package for poultry farmers. Former PPA Chairman Abdul Basit, Raza Mahmood Khursand, Khalique Arshad and others were also present at this press conference which was convened to discuss the rates of broiler chicken and its impact on the poultry industry.

PPA Chairman further claimed that chicken meat was being sold below its production cost for last one year as a result of which poultry farmers were forced to close down their businesses after sustaining large scale losses. He said that the government should come forward to support the ailing industry as it take immediate action in case of rise in the prices and order a crackdown against the sellers but extending no helping hand when this industry was facing hardships. He said that prices in free market system are determined on the basis of supply and demand but government if wanted a controlled market with regard to chicken meat then it should fix minimum and maximum prices for this sector.

PPA representatives demanded that the government should realize the hardships of the poultry farmers and announce 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. They said that loan recovery should also be deferred for one year from the poultry farmers who already had bank loans so they could ensure its repayment after the situation improves.

PPA leaders also demanded that the policy of depositing post dated cheques on import of machines being used by poultry industry should also be abolished as poultry farmers could never take it back despite having legal right. Dr. Mustafa Kamal said that poultry sector has been providing affordable poultry products to the masses to fulfill the requirements of animal protein. Poultry at present contributes 40% of the total meat consumption and generates employment and income for about eighteen hundred thousand people. Poultry sector generates employment and provides source of income to more than 1.8 million people of Pakistan.