Poultry sector rendered uncompetitive due to heavy duty, taxes on raw-material: PPA chief

LAHORE: Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) has said that the Pakistan Poultry Sector has been facing neumrous issues due to unreasonably heavy duty and taxes on raw material, rendering the sector uncompetitive home and abroad.
He was briefing Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA) about the latest situation of the sector here. Muhammad Khaleeque Arshad, Dr Asim Mehmood Khan and others were also present.
He said that the sector has been playing a pivotal role in the country’s economy, as it provides good quality and protein-rich food at a price affordable by the common man.
 “The poultry sector also contributes to the growth of a host of industries, due to its consumption of agro-industrial by-products that are used in the manufacture of feed.
The growth of the Poultry sector is also conducive to developmental goals, as it provides job opportunities in both
metropolitan and rural areas, the PPA chairman.
Further, it creates opportunities for the export of food to neighboring countries, and acts as a regulatory factor in controlling the prices of other
meats, pulses and vegetables, bringing stability into the economy.
The historical development of the Poultry sector in Pakistan is an interesting
phenomenon.
 The last 35-40 years have witnessed a period of steady growth since its
inception, however this growth has been declining since 2013 due to concerning gaps in supply and demand, he said, adding the last three years have witnessed a further deficit, contributing to rising input costs in feed, energy bills, and unfavorable bank discount rates, all of which could not be compensated by revenue.
This led to a significant decline in working capital throughout the poultry apparatus. The impact of COVID-19 was also not taken lightly, especially as the pandemic hit at a time where the industry was already struggling, further deteriorating the poultry sector’s relationships with banks and other financial institutions.
Meanwhile, exports also dropped down to a bare minimum due to high input costs and unavailability of freighter airline services, he said, unfortunately, SBP COVID-19 support packages were unresponsive to the decline of the poultry industry, as banks were sceptical to take the risk- a distrust which existed well before the onslaught on the pandemic.
This deterioration is further aggravated by the attitudes of different governmental
agencies towards the poultry businesses, who seem to fail at understanding the market forces that govern the volatile poultry business.
 To put it simply, the poultry enterprise
operates on the principles of supply and demand, where demand fluctuates widely
depending on many factors. Production however, more or less remains constant and unchanging due to fluctuations in the prices of poultry products in the market. This phenomenon is read negatively by producers, who interpret it as a means of exploitation by agencies such as the media, food security departments, competition commissions,
Livestock Departments, Price controls including local administrations, Federal and Provincial Cabinets who are unanimous in their slander against the poultry enterprise, e added.
This favorable puts strain on the effort to uplift the industry, as it faces such hostile and unfavorable conditions.
In efforts to address this, the poultry sector repeatedly put forward their
submissions to the relevant authorities, which were at times understood, yet left without addressing, he said, adding that in the agriculture sector in general, and poultry in particular, the “cost of production” is an incorrect explanation, as none of the farmers would understand it, who are only concerned about their individual input costs, which owing to a variety of factors, has gone up by over 200 percent in the last 8 years.
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