Pakistani poultry producers favour free market
The poultry sector in Pakistan still favours the free market structure and has urged the government not to implement any new tax, according to official sources.
“Poultry is a perishable commodity, which cannot be stocked, and its rates are determined by supply and demand,” said Abdul Basit, a former chairman of the Pakistan Poultry Association to local media outlet, The News.
Basit stated that every year the poultry trade passes through a lean period when production costs are not recovered, followed by two cycles of high prices that not only cover up the losses but earn farmers additional profit.
Poultry rates, however, have now remained below production cost for over eight months with farmers suffering heavy losses in two successive poultry breeding cycles. “This has devastated numerous farmers as costs have gone abnormally high due to explosive power outage in rural areas where most of the poultry farms are located,” he said, adding that after the introduction of closed poultry farms, it is absolutely essential to keep poultry sheds cool through 24-hour operation of fans and desert coolers.
Should the fans stop for two minutes, the entire stock of 30,000 to 60,000 birds would die instantly. He said farms run fans and desert coolers for up to 22-hour a day on diesel-run generators. The power cost, he added, soars to Rs45 per unit instead of nine rupees charged by the Water and Power Development Authority.
Basit states that when the poultry rates go down the government remains a silent spectator but when the rates go up the government tries to intervene, which is against the principles of free market economy. Dr Ghulam Mehboob, chairman of a large poultry breeders group, said that while the industry was suffering due to the pressure of market forces, the government has put in regressive measures.
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