Stakeholders from the poultry sector have requested the government to reschedule existing bank loans issued to farmers and disburse fresh loans to individuals and institutions associated with the industry. “New loans should be provided to poultry farmers at the least possible interest rate immediately so they can continue production,” said Pakistan Poultry Association (North Region) Vice Chairman Atiqur Rehman Abbasi. He cautioned that there was a high chance of food crisis in the country. The cost of production of poultry sector has risen over the past two years due to which farmers were unable to earn significant profits. At present, poultry farmers are enduring severe losses that have dragged the entire sector to the verge of devastation. “Keeping this in view, the government should announce measures to address their problems and introduce a relief package for poultry farmers,” he said.
He called upon the leadership to order all banks to issue business loans to poultry farmers at minimum profit coupled with relaxed terms for repayment. He lamented that Pakistani poultry products could not be exported due to high production cost despite being at par with global standards. At present, poultry animals are being raised on farms at a cost of around Rs200 per kg, however, they are being sold at Rs140 per kg in the market. “Poultry farmers would not be able to bear losses for long and they will be forced to shut down their businesses,” Abbasi said. “In case of reduction in poultry production, price of chicken meat will soar.” Poultry feed was being sold at around Rs3,600 per 50 kg bag but in budget 2021-2022, the government slapped sales tax which lifted the total levy to 17% and made poultry feed more expensive, he added. Therefore, the government is requested to announce a special package for poultry farmers to enable the entire industry to continue providing cheap and healthy protein with affordable prices in future, he said.