High Costs Force Poultry Producers to Raise Prices

PAKISTAN - The latest feed price hike and shortage of day-old chicks are taking their toll on poultry farmers.
calendar icon 14 March 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

Poultry farmers have expressed concerns over increasing prices of feed, saying a large number of farms are being closed leaving hundreds of workers jobless, reports Daily Times.

"We consider this unbearable cost as sheer injustice as in poultry business the return is too little, and there is hardly any attraction for investments to operate the same on large scales," Adil Chaudhry, a poultry farmer has told APP.

He said the poultry feed by its quality and price is the major factor in determining the cost of poultry products like eggs and broilers and profitability of the poultry farm. He said poultry meat, as being an easy and relatively cheap method of raising dietary standard of the people and the only reasonably priced meat after beef, mutton, fish and sometimes more reasonable than those of pulses and vegetables even.

Commercial poultry production commenced in Pakistan in 1963; earlier, hens were mostly maintained in the backyard of the houses in villages on a small scale, with very little investment by the villagers in terms of money and material. Poultry feed gained in importance with the emergence of poultry farming on a wider scale in the country. At present, poultry feed is produced by commercial feed mills as well as by home mixture. He said with the global changes in the price structure of the cereal grains and other feed stuffs, the poultry industry get handicapped on account of high feed cost when it go over to more than 60 per cent of the total cost of production.

Chairman of the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA), Khalil Sattar, defending the price adjustment of poultry meat, said: "The increase or very low prices of poultry meat is never in the benefit of farmers or consumers as well, as when the prices are extraordinary high or low, then it becomes difficult to sustain in this business and eventually they close down their farms."

He linked the price hike to the shortfall in the supply of poultry bird from the farms. He said the higher cost of poultry feed is mainly due to the increase in the price of the various ingredients particularly fishmeal in their poultry feed. Poultry on a commercial scale in the private sector started due to pioneering efforts of PIA in 1965, when the first modern hatchery unit in Karachi was established. Later on, the investments have taken keen interest in this sector, as was result of which substantial development has taken place towards expansion of this industry.

The commercial poultry farming emerged through the combined efforts and foresight of the government and the private enterprises. The shortages of animal protein in Pakistan is estimated at 980,000 tonnes on the basis of human population of 150 million, according to Daily Times.

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