Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Broiler Farmers have called for reducing the input cost of raising chickens, application of agricultural electricity tariff on poultry farms and snubbing the illegitimate profit being earned by the middle men to provide chicken meat to the masses on reasonable rates on sustainable lines. General Sales Tax (GST) on import of soya bean, an important ingredient of the poultry feed, was 10 per cent which has been increased to 17 per cent in the recent budget despite claims of reducing it. Taxation on different ingredients of poultry feed had resulted in pushing the price of 50kg feed back to Rs 3700 per bag from Rs 1900 per bag some three years back. Similarly, maize another nutritious ingredient of the poultry feed is being exported unbridled this year which has jacked up its prices in the local market thus multiplying the input cost of the poultry farmers.
Broiler Farmers Association (BFA), representative of the poultry farmers, Chairman Sardar Tajjamal and General Secretary Rana Amir made this demands while talking to members of the Agricultural Journalists Association (AJA) here on Thursday.
They claimed that subsidy on electricity tariff for poultry farms had almost been withdrawn and now they were paying industrial tariff which has also increased the poultry chicken meat prices. Similarly, diesel prices had also increased which was used to run generators to meet the electricity requirement. They said around 26,000 broiler farms are operational in the province which also fulfill the need of Balochistan and KPK. They claimed that fixation of price of chicken meat is purely on demand-supply base. Lahore consumes about 3.2 million kilograms of chicken meat daily while production is at its peak right now. They said broiler association fixes the farm gate price throughout the province and then it is conveyed to the District Administration for notification. Around 4,000 vehicles loaded with live chicken reaches Lahore daily out of which 3800 directly approach the meat sellers. He said at present chicken cost them Rs 200 per kg (Live) at farm gate.
Sardar Tajjamal said that a group of 14 people were controlling the chicken meat business in Lahore and they were depriving the farmers of due price by making unjustifiable deduction in farm gate price. He said that the government allows Rs 8 per kg to traders and Rs 8 to retailer of the chicken meat as their margin. To a question, he said that harsh weather plays role in lowering the production of poultry as chicken does not gain weight in extreme heat or winter season. He claimed that was the reason prices were higher during Ramzan and Eid ul Fitr. He said on average a farm houses 30,000 chicks and they should be around 75,000 kilograms of weight at maturity but during that period chicks could only gain 45,000-50,000 kilograms of weight thus impacting negative the production.
They also said that Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) does not represent farmers but the feed millers who try to manipulate the whole trade. PPA members could be called breeder as they produces chicken which are later raised at farms, they added.