Poultry industry seeks govt help to avert bankruptcy
March 1, 2020 12:09 AM
The poultry industry has asked the government to take serious measures to cut the production cost, as the sector has been facing massive losses for the last couple of years, mainly due to an unprecedented hike in input costs.
Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Saturday, Pakistan Poultry Association Vice Chairman Chaudhry Muhammad Fargham said that farmers have suffered heavy financial losses over the last two years while most of farmers have lost their entire working capital and are on the verge of bankruptcy. If they are not given a relief package at this stage, 40 to 50 percent of farms will be closed, he said.
Fargham said that cost of poultry feed has gone up and reached the highest level in the last 10 years owing to a huge depreciation in rupee’s value against dollar, a record high markup rate and continued hike in power and gas tariff. He said the outgoing year proved to be the worst year for the poultry industry. “Over the last two years, there has been a gradual increase in the input cost of poultry production. The recent rise in input cost has rendered this business unprofitable,” he said.
The poultry industry is passing through a period of heavy financial losses and needs urgent attention, he said. “Since poultry is a perishable commodity, the farmer cannot transfer this hike in price to consumer as prices are determined on the demand and supply basis. This high cost of production is also the main detriment to export of poultry products and this makes Pakistan poultry uncompetitive in the export market,” he added.
Replying to a question about the present trend of poultry rates, he said that poultry rates have not been increased as other kitchen items have registered a hike in prices over the last 30 years. He said the farming community, including poultry farmers, is the most oppressed and vulnerable group, as it cannot fix the rate of its produce according to the cost of production. It is totally dependent on market forces, as against the manufacturers and dealers, who have full authority to set the prices of their goods based on cost of production and other duties, he added.
He claimed that most part of the year chicken prices remain less than the cost of production. Only for a few months a year a farmer gets premium, which compensates for his previous losses and that is how the year average price becomes viable for a farmer to continue his work. He explained there are many factors which have led to an increase in the cost of production. One of them is currency devaluation, as the cost of imported poultry medicines and vaccines has increased tremendously in terms of dollars.