Beef and mutton, at present, are selling at prices higher than white meat (Fish and POULTRY). Even then consumption of beef and mutton is increasing because of consumer’s food habits.
In order to decrease the pressure on beef and mutton, the production of which is time-consuming and more expensive, the output of white meat, particularly of POULTRY seems easier both time-wise and cost-wise.
POULTRY industry itself be distinguished as “wet” POULTRY and processed POULTRY. An over view of processed POULTRY industry viz-a-viz ‘wet’ POULTRY industry is given below.
The POULTRY industry in the country has, during the past two decades, made rapid strides transforming its rural unorganised stakes into a some what-modern industry. But it is still primarily characterised as a ‘wet’ agri-business.
Although the POULTRY processing industry, as against ‘wet’ POULTRY venture, has obvious advantages yet consumers in general do not realise this and make their purchases from the “wet” markets which exercise the least care for a hygienic environment. Processing industry, on the other hand, fulfils all the obligations of quality, cleanliness as well as price parity.
Unfortunately, no viable steps have so far been taken, either at pubic or private level, to encourage POULTRY processing in the country. It is still passing through a transitory period of evolution or of gestation which is typical of any agri-business or agro-industry.
As such, no appreciable investment into his field has so far been coming forth. However, a multinational company has recently ventured to invest $1300 million in the hope establish a viable POULTRY processing unit.
Instead of providing some attractive incentives for encouraging this important industry, recently GST has been imposed on processed chicken. This would certainly hamper the development of ingrated POULTRY units (INPUS).
According to market reports the sale of branded POULTRY products has dropped by about 50 percent owing to the imposition of GST.
The consumer at large is the least aware that the chick purchased from the wet market invariably weigh 15 to 20 percent less of the price paid for. Moreover, the scales used in the wet market are also tempered with, to weigh defectively in favour of the sellers.
This malpractice may be checked with the introduction of the universally accepted device of electronically weighing at all levels.
Despite such a set-back, mostly short lived, the POULTRY industry must prosper if the government provides a special incentive package to attract expatriate investment.
The cost of raising/processing POULTRY in Pakistan is not competitive with our next door neighbour, India. In India, per kg cost of chick is 30 to 40 percent less than ours. It is due to adequate to availability of corn at reasonable prices there.
This important POULTRY feed ingredient, being scare here, is much more expensive in Pakistan. The import of soyabean and other inputs does not help much to the POULTRY feed to become cheaper.
It is understood that an association of POULTRY processors has recently been formed by the name of Pakistan Association of POULTRY Integrated (PAPS). It is a good omen to work collectively in this somewhat virgin field.
For accelerating the development of integrated POULTRY units a few suggestions are made for the consideration of the government and the processors, as under:
1) To achieve the economy of scale, the level of production needs to be raised through the rationalisation of input cost and maintenance of quality.
2) A well knit marketing infrastructure may be planned and established for popularising the sale of quality branded POULTRY products.
3) In order to build up a fool-proof tax mechanism, cash transaction should be replaced with payments duly documented.
4) Contract Farming may be introduced whereby the sponsor company should supply the farmers day old chicks, feed, farm supervising services, and technical support with the assurance of lifting 100 percent output.
With the development of POULTRY industry on scientific lines quality produce would be available to the consumers at large at competitive prices ridding them of the unhygienic wet markets, and we shall also be able to build up an export trade for our products particularly to the gulf states where tremendous potential exists.
Ecologically, Pakistan has an edge over many South Asian countries in developing her export trade of vet products.
On the management side also the country has world class business schools which are producing high calibre managers to cater the needs of the private sector ventures in this field.