LAHORE– The outgoing year 2019 has proved to be the worst year for poultry industry, breaking record of last 30 years’ losses mainly due to unprecedented escalation in cost of production.
The cost of poultry feed has flown upward, reaching the highest level of last 10 years owing to huge depreciation of rupee against dollar, record high markup rate and continued hike in power and gas tariffs, leading to jump in feed rate up to Rs3000 per 50kg bag from earlier price of about Rs2200.
These views were expressed by the Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit, who is also ex-president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
He revealed that average sale price of the whole year of poultry products should remain higher than the cost of production by at least Rs1-2 which is essential for the survival of business. However, the calendar year 2019 proved to be unfortunate for the poultry sector in the last 30 years, inflicting loss of billions.
Abdul Basit said that poultry sector is unable to pass on ever soaring cost of production to the consumers. Rather the industry survives by enhancing its efficiency through technology advancement.
Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman said that poultry products are sold below price of their original cost during eight months of the year. When chicken prices start to go upward during the rest of four moths, then industry is able to compensate its losses incurred throughout the year.
He said that government, instead of controlling fuel price or seizing power tariff hike, makes wrong propaganda against poultry farmers, who have contributed a lot to control ever-soaring inflation in the country.
Replying to a question regarding present trend of poultry rates, he said that poultry rates have not been increased as other kitchen items registered hike in prices during the last 30 years. Poultry products have been resisting inflationary trend, as they never go up as other products register hike in their rates due to high inflation.
He said that farmers community, including poultry farmers, are the most oppressed and vulnerable group, as they cannot fix the rate of their produce according to their cost of production. They are totally dependent on market forces, as against the manufacturers and dealers, who have full authority to set the price of their goods based on cost of production and other duties, he added.
Abdul Basit, who is also chairman of Bigbird, said that due to record hike in cost of production along with unmanageable ventilation system at controlled sheds even in winter, which may perish even the whole poultry stock, almost 25 per cent of farmers have shut their businesses temporarily, as they cannot take the risk of colossal lose. This also causes a sharp reduction in poultry stocks, lifting their rates automatically.
He said that poultry prices fluctuate only because of demand and supply mechanism. It is a perishable product as there is no storage facility in the country. Once the bird is ready in farm, it has to come to market and has to be sold without taking care of the prevailing price of the product in open market. Thus no individual can fix the price of chicken meat.
He claimed that most part of the year chicken prices remained less than cost of production. Only for few months in a year, a farmer gets premium which compensates his previous losses that is how the year average price becomes viable for a farmer to continue his work.
He explained there are many factors which have increased the cost of production. One of them is currency devaluation, as the cost of imported poultry medicines and vaccines in dollar terms have increased tremendously. Soya bean meal is the major and very essential vegetable protein source for poultry feed which is not produced locally and all are imported.— PRESS RELEASE