An extraordinary price hike of day-old chicks by a potential hatchery cartel has made poultry meat out of reach of the already inflated-stricken people in Pakistan.
Chicken prices are going beyond Rs200 (€1.66) per kg because of the potential hatchery cartel - established recently and still to unearth - is selling day-old chicks at the rate of Rs73 (€0.60) while it costs them round Rs14-15 (€0.12).
A Pakistan Poultry Association spokesman was of the view that this hike in chicken meat is on account of skyrocketing price of poultry feed which was increased up to 82% in the recent past.
A dealer from Gujranwala, seeking anonymity, said that over 10 big breeding companies which deal in ‘day-old-broiler’ have had their own farms set up. He explained that when the live broiler price plummeted because of the supply-demand mechanism, the lower prices are never passed on to the consumers.
“Instead these companies that included K&N, Sabir, Hitech, SB and Jadeed have had their own network across the country, use this breed for their own farms. They have the ability and capacity to proscribe the breeders for more than 10 days for their own farms. In this way, the ratio of small poultry farmers across the country, who are bound to close their farms, is increasing day-by-day,” he said.
A report recently published revealed that over 50% of poultry farms have been closed due to feed price hike and increase in one-day-old chick price.
Babar Khan, a poultry farmer in Gujranwala said that due to the unbearable cost, large number of poultry farms are being closed rendering hundreds of workers jobless.
“Due to such hegemony the poor farmers with low investment are being crushed and are bound to shift their businesses. Poultry farmers and distributors should totally boycott the purchase of one-day-old broiler chicks till the government take measures and fix ‘day-old chick’ rate round Rs20-25,” he commented.
Mohammad Suhail, a poultry farm owner of Lahore, was of the view that he is contemplating changing the mode of business as it is becoming more difficult to keep poultry business on because of extraordinary production cost.
Another owner of Gujranwala, Mohammad Arshad said that one-day-older chick cost Rs15 per piece to breeding companies, if they sell their product at 100% profit margin which is round Rs30-32, the masses would find chicken meat around Rs150, which is almost out of the reach of common people.
Most poultry farmers find it sheer injustice that poultry meat was the only reasonably priced meat after beef, mutton and fish and now is becoming out of reach of the common people because of exorbitant prices.
The poultry farmers are demanding government intervention to reduce the high rates of day-old broiler chick and ultimately provide poultry meat to masses on affordable prices.