Poultry sector in a fix over market access to India


Poultry sector that falls under livestock has expressed grave concern on reported non-discriminatory market access being granted to India this week citing the drawbacks the factor faces due to flawed government policies.

In a letter written to the secretary of ministry of commerce (letter No:P34/CF/500) the senior vice president of Pakistan Poultry Association, Khalil Sattar, has pointed out various reforms that the government needed to take before opening the poultry sector for the Indians. He said first handicap that poultry farmers face was that they had to produce electricity at Rs 35 per unit from self installed generators as power was most of the time unavailable in remote rural areas where most of the poultry farms were located. This obviously increases the cost of poultry production in Pakistan as India poultry farmers get assured power supply at zero or subsidized rates much lower than their Pakistani counterparts.

He further pointed out that security situation in remote areas force even a medium-sized farmer to hire 12-16 security guards which again was an unnecessary expenditure as security of assets and businesses was the responsibility of the state. Another drawback that the poultry farmers face was the reluctance of qualified technical staff to visit remote area poultry farms because of fear of kidnapping, he added.

He said poultry could only be exported if a country had a system that ensured monitoring and disease surveillance. Moreover, he added that the state was required to issue the eradication list and list of notifiable diseases.

He mentioned New Castle, Avian Influenza and H5N1 were all notifiable diseases and once they were notified all kinds of poultry exports would be banned no matter if they be for broilers, parent stocks or layers.

He added New Castle was rampant in Pakistan due to lack of regulations for the prevention like farm to farm distance, disposal of dead birds and reckless use of vaccine and vaccination schedules. He further added that India would exploit these flaws and impose ban on poultry imports from Pakistan. India had taken all preventive and safety steps required internationally for export of poultry and would be able to export its products to Pakistan.

He pointed out that trade with India would open the way for import of cheaper poultry feed from India. This would stop the use of five million tons of local poultry feed that comprises of rice tips, corn, wheat bran, oil seed meals, sugarcane and molasses. This would create downward pressure of rates of these agricultural residues and impact the farmers badly.

He stressed on the fact that Pakistan needed a strong viable and operative National Tariff Commission to check the import of subsidised products from India. Before giving MFN status to India, the NTC should be strengthened and made fully operational, he demanded.


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