Over 2,500 Punjab Poultry Farms Closed in Two Years15 January 2013
PAKISTAN - The number of poultry farms in Punjab has dropped significantly to around 22,500 from 25,000 over the last two years, as a large number of stakeholders have taken out their investment due to multiple reasons, including ban on poultry exports to Afghanistan, which is Pakistan's largest market.
While talking to The Nation, Dr Akram Ch observed that chick farming has been suffering because of poor law and order situation, acute power shortages, high prices of poultry feed and scant resources to combat breakouts of poultry diseases which have killed thousands of birds in short periods of time.
Dr Akram has developed a technology of induced moulting and extended it to poultry farmers, providing consultancy services at national and international levels to various layer, layer breeder, broiler breeder and grand parent companies.
Dr Akram is presently the Chairman of the Department of Poultry Production, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and is amongst one of few whose research is linked with the poultry industry. He is a member of ASRB, UVAS and has been working as a consultant in Action-aid international UK and FAUP.
“It is a fact that Pakistan’s poultry industry is facing a lot of problems and challenges. In spite of that, the sector is one of the largest and fastest growing agro-industries everywhere in the world just due to an increasing demand for poultry meat and egg products.”
Major problems facing the industry can be put in order by working on a few things, and adopting instructions set by poultry scientists. “If academia and poultry farmers sit together, share experiences and get guidance from various aspects of farming, then basic learning about farming can be accomplished by farmers, which is, presently done by the UVAS’s Poultry Production Department in Pakistan.”
Dr Akram said that poultry meat is an important protein source.Its quality is pertinent to the quality of life of poultry birds. Chicken feeds come from many sources including land, marine, plants and animal products.
Despite a decline in the number of poultry farms, the average farm production of poultry birds has been going up, as chick populations have soared to almost 710 million this year from about 390 million of 2010, Dr Akram added.
This has provided relief to consumers against a sharp increase in prices of red meat owing to its increasing exports. He stated that poultry production in traditional rural set-ups is also being gradually modernised, as farmers’ incomes have improved on the back of high support prices of their crops.
But some investment has also come in from abroad, basically in the shape of technical support to poultry feed mills and hatcheries. He said that if the super floods of 2010 had not destroyed number of farms a big difference in the number of farms now in operation could have been noticed.
Latest data shows that banks made net loans of Rs.4 billion in 2011 to the poultry sector and distributed loans of around Rs.3 billion in 2012. He said that poultry farms in Sindh have particularly benefited from bank loans in the last two years but total financing has fallen short of their actual needs.