The KP government’s ban on exports of poultry products to Afghanistan has added one more to the list of many other problems facing the industry.
The poultry industry fears if the ban is not lifted immediately, India and other countries will capture the huge Afghan market for poultry products making Pakistan’s reentry difficult.
The Pakistan Poultry Association has sought intervention of the federal government and reminded the authorities that the KP ban violates the Supreme Court order that had allowed poultry exports to Kabul, setting aside a previous order of the Peshawar High Court.
Regardless of the legal aspects, the ban will not help stabilise prices in KP, poultry farmers say. Instead, it may lead to closure of businesses, resulting in poultry supply shortages and consequent rise in prices, upsetting the entire Rs700bn plus poultry industry in the country.
Pakistan has been providing transit route to India, Brazil and the US for shipment of food, eggs and poultry products to Afghanistan. Poultry farmers of these countries can fill in the gap created by the absence of Pakistan’s poultry products in the Afghan market. That will result in the loss of export earnings and encourage smuggling.
Afghanistan is a big market for Pakistan’s poultry and poultry products’ exports of about $4.2m, accounting for one-fourth of the total export earnings, FY14 stats obtained from Pakistan’s Bureau of Statics reveal.
Our poultry sector, devastated by the super floods of 2010, had quickly bounced back with some investment made in establishment of poultry sheds, in-house power supply and breeding technology.
Since then, this sector has been growing at around 8-10pc despite occasional hiccups like withdrawal of tax exemption on poultry feed and preferential treatment to poultry meat imports for foreign fast food chains, PPA officials say.