Chicken, eggs meet 40pc of country’s meat needs

‘Taxes, govt apathy affecting poultry industry’

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Chicken and eggs are making up 40 pc of our meat needs and the prices of chicken vary with the variation in the demand and supply circle. Being an important provider of the meat to the consumers countrywide the poultry association of Pakistan on Friday called for support and backing by the government.
At a press conference Poultry association of Pakistan has demanded of the government a package of reforms in the poultry sector and support in form of loans on easy installments, waiver of taxes and other facilities. Chairman of All Pakistan Poultry Association Khalid Salim Malik while addressing the press conference along with office-bearers and former chairmen of the association said poultry association is the provider of protein to the nation at the lowest cost while the government instead of acknowledging its contribution is putting unbearable burden of taxes on the industry.
If the trend continues and the government did not take right steps, he warned the prices of chicken would go out of reach of the common man. Khalid Salim Malik along with Dr M Sadiq, Dr Aslam and Dr Hasan Sarosh, former chairmen said uncertainty in demand and supply chain and the reduced prices of chicken are the main factors behind the deteriorating situation of the poultry industry. Poultry dealers at present are compelled to sell chicken below its production price. Due to this factor alone, poultry farms across the country are bearing huge loss and a large number of them already closed down their business. At present around 2 million people are linked with the poultry business and the volume of investment in this industry is around Rs750 billion. The growth rate is 10pc while 200 million chicken is present in the poultry farms across the country. To a question, Malik said daily 4 million chicken is consumed by the families while in Karachi alone 1 million chicken is consumed. The government should acknowledge the industry he said as it is employment to the unemployed and food to the unfed.
About eggs, he said annually 15 billion eggs are produced and consumed in the country while the annual production of chicken is around 1.5 million tons. Dr Aslam on the occasion said there is a steady rise in the use of chicken meat because of the low prices of the poultry products. If the government does not provide any relief to the poultry traders in the form of subsidy, the industry will be in deep trouble and chicken will become a rare product in the market. One-day old chicken is being sold at Rs5 while the cost on it varies from Rs30 to Rs35 daily, he said. The disparity in the rates affects the business of the poultry farmers and steps in this regard should be taken sooner the better.

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