Pakistan: Feed millers cartel behind chicken feed price rise
The exorbitant increase in the price of poultry feed
from October 2006 to November 2007 is believed to be the work of a cartel of
Commenting on the increase, SAPS (Society for the Advancement of Poultry
Sciences) general secretary Dr Shakaeb Ahmad said: "What is astonishing is that
the chicken feed prices have shown an increase of 40 to 51% from June 2006 to
October 2007 whereas it should have been 18%, considering the progressive
inflation rate in the country."
If the upward trend continues, the price of chickens and eggs will not be
affordable for common buyers and small farmers will be pushed out of business in
the face of growing production costs.
Ahmad further commented that the
fact that all feed companies imposed a price increase at the same time and date,
regardless of quality, was surprising.
"A perfect understanding appears to exist," he said, adding that larger feed
producers filled their storage when prices were low in the crop season, selling
the produce later at exorbitant prices.
Many poultry farmers are reported to
agree that a cartel must have been actively behind the 'systematic' raise in
prices of chicken feed.
Mohammad Azhar, a poultry farmer stated, that
feed millers created an artificial shortage of feed ingredients while storing
huge quantity of raw material to manipulate prices.
The Pakistan Poultry
Association has refused to give any official statement on the issue. No measures
as yet are being taken to address the grievances of small farmers.
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