Former chairman of Pakistan Poultries Association Syed Tahir Ali Zaidi feared that eggs and chicken are likely to cost more in the coming months following considerable increase in poultry feed prices due to lack of rainfall and higher global rates this year.
Talking to newsmen here on Monday, he said that average prices of poultry feed consisting of oilseed cakes, rice bran, grounded maize and soya rose up to 39 percent year-on-year in July, up from 27 percent in June globally, due to lack of rainfall and several other reasons, which would also affect the local market.
He said that feed was a key input in poultry farming and this sharp price increase suggested that cost of eggs and chicken (protein food items) might rise sharply in coming months. “If farmers choose to substitute poultry feed with cereals then prices for cereals could rise as well,” he said.
Rising feed prices are an early indicator of the potential impact that the deficient monsoons could have on food prices. As delayed monsoons hurt production of vegetables, cereal and oilseeds, it is expected wholesale price index and food inflation, which is currently in the range of 10.5 percent y-o-y, to rise further in the coming months.
The Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman said that farmers community, including poultry farmers, were the most oppressed and vulnerable group, as they could not fix the rate of their produce keeping in view of their cost of production.
They were totally dependent on market forces, as against the manufacturers and dealers, who had full authority to set the price of their goods based on cost of production and other duties, he added. He said the govt instead of controlling fuel price or seizing power tariff hike made wrong propaganda against poultry farmers, which had contributed a lot to control ever-soaring inflation in the country.
He said poultry products were sold below price of their original cost during eight months of the year. When chicken prices start to go upward during the rest of four moths, then industry is able to compensate its losses incurred throughout the year, he added. He said July, August and September were the worst months for poultry sector, as its farms’ cooling system, running on desert coolers, flops completely and tens of thousands of birds in single controlled shed put on severe risk. Hence, during this period the production of chicken decreased manifolds while demand goes up sharply, as this is the period of school vacation and also weddings, increasing the demand of poultry products.
He said crippling long-hour electricity loadshedding coupled with scorching heat has hit the poultry industry hard. Strongly protesting power breakdowns particularly in Punjab, poultry industry stakeholder said that due to severe power outages, the poultry sector had to install two types of heavy generators, one operates in the absence of electricity while other standby generator that runs when first one is failed due to sizzling climate.
He suggested the government to give priority to the trade and industry as far as supply of electricity was concerned as the low productions phenomenon had taken hostage export-oriented industry thus depriving the country of much-needed foreign exchange.