Despite of being the most organized agri-sector poultry is still in a phase of crisis, and government’s intervention to control prices may further worsen the scenario, said Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) North Zone Vice-Chairman Raja Attique-ur-Rehman Abbasi.

Prices of chicken products are determined purely on the basis of market supply and demand,” he said, adding, “This is why at times prices of chicken products are below the input cost borne by the farmers and they are compelled to sell their commodity at a price lower than the cost of production and hence bear losses.”

“The phenomenon of low and high prices helps farmers to achieve an average price (year-on-year) which is slightly better than the input cost, where a farmer can make some profit provided the efficiency remains good,” he added. He revealed that the annual turnover of poultry sector was over Rs800 billion and it provided employment to over 1.5 million people directly and indirectly. “Pakistan produces 1,322 million kg of chicken meat and 17,500 million eggs annually.”

The production cost of chicken meat is Rs180, however, when it reaches the market it costs around Rs265. “It is noticed that 30-35% of farms have been closed due to the loss being faced by the poultry farmers over the last few months,” he lamented.

Last year, the demand for chicken meat fell to 30-35% due to which poultry farmers were depressed and the industry was facing losses worth millions of rupees.

Abbasi said the association had cautioned the government that it should not intervene in fixing prices, otherwise, it would result in shortage of chicken meat and closure of farms.