Unaffordable Poultry Meat Blamed on Hatchery Cartel

PAKISTAN - A cartel among hatcheries has been blamed for the high price of chicken, now 200 rupees per kilo.
calendar icon 29 September 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Chicken prices are going beyond 200 rupees (PKR) per kilo because of what The Nation of Pakistan reports to be a potential cartel among hatcheries.

The cartel - established recently and still to be investigated - is selling day-old chicks for PKR 73, while it costs them round PKR 14 to 15. This extraordinary price hike has put poultry meat out of the reach of the already inflation-stricken people.

A Pakistan Poultry Association spokesman said that the rise in the price is caused by the skyrocketing price of poultry feed, which was increased up to 82 per cent in the recent past.

It is to be noted that over PKR 200 billion has been invested in the poultry industry which has created job opportunities for over 1.5 million local people while there are many other sectors which interlinked with this industry. The volume and importance of this industry could be judge by the fact that the industry uses agricultural grains worth PKR 50 billion annually.

A poultry dealer alleges that more than 10 big breeding companies producing day-old chicks have had their own farms set up. When live broiler price plummeted, they did not pass on the benefits to consumers. Instead, the companies have had their own network across the country and produce chicks for their own farms, creating a very strong demand for the remaining birds.

The Nation reports that more than 50 per cent of poultry farms have been closed due to feed price hike and increase in one-day-old chick price.

There have been calls for Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, and Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chaudhry Iftikhar Muhammad, to take action against the breeding companies involved, compelling them to sell chicks at a controlled price.

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