LAHORE: Poultry prices fluctuate only because of demand and supply phenomenon. it is a perishable product and there is no storage facility available once the bird is ready on the farm it has to come to market and to be sold irrespective of price. nobody can fix the price.
This was stated by former Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association Abdul Basit in a statement issued here on Monday while justifying the higher poultry prices prevailing in the market
He said that the poultry farmers always wish to get higher prices then the cost of production but they cannot, consumer always wants to buy at a lower price but he also cannot. it is like vegetable when price goes up certain elements start negative propaganda that poultry farmers have pooled up. They must bear in mind that if poultry farmers could increase the price then they would never let it come down. But the fact is that in most part of the year chicken prices are less than cost of production. Only for few months a farmer gets premium price, which compensates his previous losses that is how the year average price becomes viable for the farmer to continue his work, he added.
Basit said that the production of chicken is 1000 million birds in a year which means about 3 million a day this can be more in some part of the year when weather is good and load shedding is less as the controlled sheds have evaporative cooling system, which is based on desert cooler technology which does not work in July, Aug and Sept. In these months the 1st priority of farmer is to keep the birds alive while weight gain is 2nd option so the supply reduces.
He explained that the cost of production also varies like any other agriculture produce say if some farmer gets 70 maunds from 1 acre of land he has a different cost of production from another farmer who gets 20 maunds production out of the same area same is the case with poultry. with such load shedding of electricity one can imagine what is happening at poultry farms. When a poultry farmer houses the chicken into his farm he has to provide electricity, for that he has Wapda connection, standby generator for Wapda and then another generator as standby of Standby (generator) which costs currently Rs 40 per unit other then the capital cost of generators imagine in rural areas where there is more then 20 hours load shedding.
He continued that there are many other factors which have increased the cost of production one of them is currency devaluation the cost of imported poultry medicines and vaccines in dollar terms have increased tremendously. Soya bean meal is the major and very essential vegetable protein source for poultry feed which is not produced locally it is imported from India. some time back it used to be around $200 per ton now it is over $500 per ton. one dollar used to be close to Rs 80 and now it is close to Rs 100. look at transportation cost the chain is grand parents are transported to GP farms then feed and all other things are transported after that hatching eggs which are pregnant eggs are transported to GP hatcheries then parent Chicks are transported to parent farms then again feed and all others to PS again hatching eggs to commercial hatcheries then Broiler chicks to Broiler Farms and feed and all others to Broiler farms then finaly Broiler meat birds to whole sale market then to retailer and then to the kitchen.
Basit added that in all this steps massive transportation cost is incurred other then production cost. look at Grain prices wheat is Rs 1050 for 40 kg all other grains follow the foot steps. Poultry feed is 70 percent of chicken cost and feed consists 60 percent grains.