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LAHORE: The Broiler Farmers Association Punjab alleging a hike in poultry feed prices as a reason behind the higher chicken meat prices for the consumers claimed that it had already led to the shutting down of 50 percent of the control poultry sheds in the province.

“There are 36,000 control poultry sheds in the province and half of those have been closed down because of higher prices of the poultry feed while operational farms are sustaining a continuous loss.

The price of chicken meat should be Rs450 per kilogram at the farm gate which at present is only Rs260 per kilogram,” claimed Broiler Farmers Association Punjab Chairman Sardar Tajjamal Hussain while talking to Business Recorder on Tuesday.

Tajjamal also alleged that not only higher rates but the substandard poultry feed is another reason behind the shortage of chicken meat supply. He said at present they are getting poultry feed at Rs7200 per 50kg bag and it has added Rs2100-2200 per 50kg bag during the last six months.

Tajjamal said the government should take notice of it as there are many formulas where poultry feed can be made without the use of soyabean. He said closing down of the poultry sector would also impact the whole agriculture sector as the major portion of maize production is consumed by the poultry sector.

Similarly, he said, wheat, broken rice and rice husk are also used in the preparation of poultry feed. If the sector consuming this product is closed down then it would leave a negative impact on whole value chain, he remarked. Similarly, he said the closure of poultry farms would impact the hotel, catering and marriage centers’ business.

He said the poultry sector’s produce is a perishable item and farmers could not hold it waiting for the prices to go up. He said that was why farmers are forced to sustain losses. He said the government should also ensure the implementation of a law that ingredients used in poultry feed should be printed in detail on feed bags.

He said they had raised this issue with the livestock department so that farmers should know what ingredients they were feeding to their birds. He said it would also ensure the quality of feed. “If the quality feed is given to the present 50 percent working sheds, their birds can gain more weight adding to the production,” he claimed.

Sardar Tajjamal said the government should take immediate notice of the situation and create an environment which could ensure a win-win situation for all stakeholders of the poultry sector.

Meanwhile, a poultry feed manufacturer reacting to higher prices said that soyabean meal constitutes 60 percent of the poultry feed. At present, the government departments had put 5 ships of soyabean meal on port on the issue of being GMO. He said due to this those who had soyabean meal were offering their stocks on very higher rates leading to hike in feed prices.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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