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Pakistan Bird Flu Scare Costs Industry Rs 5.4 Billion

by 5m Editor
31 March 2004, at 12:00am

PAKISTAN - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its second quarterly report has highlighted the negative effect of avian influenza virus on the local poultry industry, saying it caused an enormous loss of about Rs 5.4 billion to the sector as a result the target growth of the live stocks sub sector seems difficult to achieve.

Pakistan Bird Flu Scare Costs Industry Rs 5.4 Billion - PAKISTAN - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its second quarterly report has highlighted the negative effect of avian influenza virus on the local poultry industry, saying it caused an enormous loss of about Rs 5.4 billion to the sector as a result the target growth of the live stocks sub sector seems difficult to achieve.

The central bank also apprehended that the prices of poultry products may rise in near future due to the losses suffered by the farmers during the bird flu crises.

The report said the virus has badly affected the poultry industry in several Asian countries including South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and China.

Fortunately, Pakistan and Taiwan have struck by a milder variant of the avian flu, caused by H7 and H9 virus but the reports about health risks faced by other countries severely hit Pakistan's poultry industry.

The report said the virus started affecting the poultry farms in and around Karachi only during November and December 2003, and it did not affect Punjab and NWFP province. Punjab account for 73 percent of the total poultry business in the country, but even then impact was visible from the countrywide fall in demand for chicken products.

Immediately after the spread of the news on poultry virus, by the last week of December 2003, the demand for chicken products throughout the country declined abruptly, causing prices to crash from about Rs 70.00 per kg to around Rs 43.00 per kg.

At one stage the retail prices reached a ten-year low, which resulted into the immediate income losses to farm owners and adversely affecting the upstream production in hatcheries and feed industry. According to the report there are around 300 million chicken birds in the country and more than 20,000 poultry farms with an investment of Rs 60 billion to Rs 70 billion in this sector. It quoted the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) that the avian influenza caused an estimated loss of Rs 5.4 billion to the sector. "This loss when adjusted in the value addition shows a decline of 1.3 percent in the growth of livestock sub-sector," it said and added this has dampened the chances of achieving the target growth of the livestock sub-sector, unless other contributors to the livestock sub-sector, which account to about 90 percent of the total exceed the targeted growth.

During January-February 2004 the sale price of almost all poultry products remained far less than the cost of production for many poultry farmers in the wholesale market, the bank said.

Source: eFeedLink - 31st March 2004

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