ISLAMABAD: Amid ongoing feed crisis in the country, poultry rates continue to rise, making new records every day as in some markets, retailers are charging prices at their will.

In various markets of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Rs60 per kilogramme price difference for live chicken was being observed, with the rates ranging between Rs390 and Rs450 per kg.

Similarly, chicken meat has already crossed beef (with bones) price and with no respite in sight in the feed crisis, the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days.

The crisis has emerged due to differences between the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, and as a result of which nine shipments of soybean remain stuck at the Karachi ports.

The soybean meal is the key ingredient of the poultry feed and as a result the poultry farms are not getting enough feed for their flocks.

Incidentally, responding to the issue of high poultry rates in the country, Minister for Food Security Tariq Bashir Cheema recently not only accused the PPA of blackmailing the government but added that the feed included toxic ingredients as genetically modified soybean was used to make chicken feed.

The soybean shipments have been stranded at the ports since October 2022 but the feed crisis started to emerge later in December 2022 as the local stocks started to deplete.

The official rate of a live broiler chicken was Rs295 per kg on Dec 20, 2022, reaching Rs380 per kg on Friday but this price is only applicable in the weekly bazaar of Islamabad.

On the other hand, live chicken price was around Rs260 per kg in March 2021, and the officials of the food ministry said the PPA was manipulating the prices and was involved in unfair price hike.

Published in Dawn, january 7th, 2023

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