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LAHORE: Poultry meat and products can earn significant foreign exchange by making inroads to the global Halal meat market, which currently is US 600 billion dollars per annum, provided the sector is supported by the government to help drastically cutting down its cost of production.

“If we can win only one percent of the regional market, it can earn $1 billion per annum and only advantage we have to our competitors is that we can supply poultry meat and value added products in less time than Brazil or other countries capturing it currently. It takes 60 days to reach meat to Middle East from Brazil while from Pakistan it can reach only in 10 days,” said Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA North Zone) Chairman Dr Abdul Karim Bhatti.

Bhatti was speaking at the programme “discussion” arranged by the Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA) here on Friday.

He was accompanied by Khalique Arshad (representative of value added poultry industry), Farooq Asghar (feed miller), Dr Asim Mahmood and Dr Hanif (poultry experts).

Bhatti claimed that cost of production of poultry had increased by 200 percent during the last eight years because of different factors which included depreciation of the rupee, global increase in the prices of grain and slapping of duties to the tune of 35 percent plus 17 percent sales tax on raw material of poultry feed. He claimed that there was no duties and sales tax on import of raw materials till 2013 which helped boosting this sector.

He floated a charter of demand to help the poultry industry gets on its feet again which include support from the financial institutions which in his opinion would create an environment conducive to business. The sector should be helped to bring down its cost of production and government should remove all import taxes and duties on import of raw materials, vaccines, chemicals and equipment for poultry production.

He said poultry sector should be provided energy tariff, which is given to the agriculture instead of charging them industrial energy tariff. Reintroduction of 25 percent freight subsidy for exports and allowing a minimum of 12 percent rebate on exports of poultry products.

The PPA also called for devising a policy to promote growing oilseeds such as soybean, canola and sunflower in the country which is the major ingredient of poultry feed and is imported currently. It also called for rescheduling poultry marketing setup and developing processing to stabilize poultry pricing and preparing for bigger export market.

Later, Dr Asim Mahmood, Chief Organizer IPEX, informed that 22nd International Poultry Expo-2022 is going to be held from February 17-19, 2022 in the provincial metropolis. It is an annual show which is being held after a gap of two years because of COVID-19 pandemic. He hoped that over 30,000 visitors would visit the expo daily which would besides showcasing different products and evolution of poultry industry in Pakistan, also host a poultry science conference.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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