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Strategy for Development of Poultry Sector.

Global agricultural marketing is undergoing a dynamic shift and many developing countries are also now exporting their surplus.

Food being basic necessity of living being, food security shall continue to be the major concern of developing countries like Pakistan and thus it shall loom large on national development agenda of Pakistan. Agriculture, the mother sector of our economy plays a central role towards national food security and overall economic development of the country. Not only it has to satisfy the growing demand for more food, for 140 million population, growing @2.6 per cent per annum but also to support other industries and services besides being the major employment sector, of the country. Needless to mention that export oriented agriculture production ultimately increases net revenue through foreign exchange.

Global agricultural marketing is undergoing a dynamic shift and many developing countries are also now exporting their surplus. This, however, warrants not only strategic planning in agricultural production but also in agricultural marketing. In the latter area this shall imply working closely with the market, the consumers and other stockholders along with the governments and agencies involved in this business. Coming back to food security, an integrated agricultural and rural development alone can secure the food basket for the masses in years to come. In this regard livestock, fisheries and poultry sub-sectors need to be developed along with major and minor crops sub-sectors, but as I said earlier the key word remains an integrated development. A growth in one sub-sector at the cost of the other can't be reckoned as true development rather it would be an ecstatic development. Whereas, due to lack of an integrated approach in wheat and other food crops in the past we have become net importers. In oilseed sector too, the demand has out-paced supplies. Consequently this year inspite of a good wheat harvest of 19 million tonnes we may have to import few million tonnes. In case of edible oil we spent, for example, 28,675 million rupees in 1995-96 on imports.

Since livestock and poultry can be raised and developed on marginal lands, these can potentially contribute towards an integrated and diversified agricultural and rural development provided we succeed in bringing a major shift aiming at transforming livestock sub-sector into formal sector of economy which at present operates at subsistence level. This is possible only by intensification of production system - a system which is production efficient. Since livestock and poultry can convert agricultural products and by-products efficiently into value-added animal protein of high quality, an intensive livestock and poultry production has net pay off. For sustainable development of these sub-sectors, however, we have to have rely heavily on agricultural produce of the country viz; coarse grains and oil seed meals etc.

The poultry sector, which at present is only livestock sub-sector operating at commercial level, can gainfully absorb, to its advantage, the produce of agri-based industries particularly the oilseed industry. This shall not only add in production efficiency in poultry sector but shall underpin much needed sustainable development of ail seed sector as well. As underscored earlier the import bill of edible oil is by no means less than that of oil/fuel and a poor country like Pakistan can hardly afford spending its foreign exchange reserves when it can boost potentially edible oil production at home through oilseed development and by making edible oil production efficient. Poultry sub-sector, as indicated earlier can contribute to the latter end. But before we get to its details, let us review hurriedly the performance of poultry sector over the last three decades.

It was in mid-sixties when the poultry production sector witnessed a shift from backyard poultry production to commercial production. Although, the credit goes to PIA, for its PIA Shaver Project, as far as the initiative was concerned, the major underlying factor was the increase in per capita income which invariably led to higher consumption of animal protein based diets. As with wheat, red meat production lagged behind the demand but as against wheat, meat was not imported and as such poultry sector came in, to bridge the gap between demand and supply taking advantage of growing per capita income and population. Consequently, this sub-sector registered phenomenal growth till mid-eighties which is calculated at 15 per cent on an average. The investors in this sector were able to secure heavy returns and today investment in this sub-sector valued Rs.30 billion. The growth in poultry sector continued to meet the growing demand for egg and meat and 13 per cent growth on an average was recorded in egg productio n from 1972-1978. The annual per capita availability of eggs increased at annual rate of 9-l2% reaching 40 eggs per capita in 1983 and the prices of the eggs increased at an average rate of 8 per cent per year since 1970-71.

Similarly, broiler production increased at an average rate of 15 per cent, as the poultry being efficient user of raw feed was able to help bridge the gap between demand and supply. This led to unprohibited investment in poultry sub-sector inspite of few epidemics in the past. The growth, however, in this sector was mainly a function of demand and supply rather than production efficiency. Moreover, the fact remains that the unexploited agricultural surplus, plus the enhanced grain availability under PL-480 was then instrumental in meeting the feed requirements of poultry industry. The relative inefficiency, in terms of poor feed quality; inadequate flock health protection and lack of market infrastructure was masked by the ever increasing demand for egg and meat due to urbanization and per capita income along with the uninterrupted tax holidays enjoyed by the poultry sector which led this sector coming to age with Rs. 30 billion worth investment today. But the era of absolute advantage the poultry sector enj oyed is nearing to an end as the over investment in this sector coupled with production inefficiency and lack of market infrastructure has led the industry to a stage where further growth could only be secured through strategic planning and an integrated and diversified development.

Present profile of poultry sector (commercial) is as under (see table-I)

A major determinant in poultry production is feed efficiency which relies heavily on well balanced feed. Some 60-70 per cent of total cost involved in poultry production is incurred on feed. If the feed quality is sub-optimal it shall, invariably, adversely affect production economics, due not only to poor meat and egg yield but also to poor health, intoxifections, vaccination failures, over medication, etc. with net losses. The ill-fated smal1 poultry farmers, which number more than 2000, meet this fate every year and are never able to get in to business again what to talk of entering the mainstream. However, the little investment they had goes into the pockets of those few which were able to mint money when lady luck was kind to them and are still wallowing in money at the cost of the poor small poultry farmers. Each time a new group of small farmers gets entrapped, looking at the greener pasture across the fence, but hardly anyone of them could sustain in the business for five years. Why? the answer is si mple, for sustainable development of poultry sector the small farmer needs to be supported by those who hold the purse string in this sector. Today the big farmers who are 10-15 in number and have monopolized the secondary production own breeding farms, hatcheries, feed mills and now pharmaceuticals. Neither the chicks, nor the feed for the medicines have any quality control. Your name chick breed in the world, how inefficient it may be or any drug or vaccine how ineffective it may be, you will find it with them. Could anybody, in primary production survive in this business wasting money on inefficient production? Well this is time to decide either to behave like men or monkeys? If we have to grow, we have to share but share with whom naturally with the stake holders-the small farmers and those producing raw material for poultry feed such as vegetable meals. In this regard we have to have:

* Invest in small farmers through contract farming in the primary production area i.e. egg and meat.

* The quality of day old chicks monitored, through an efficient sero-monitoring of breeder stock as the small farmers should get well-immunized and efficient chicks to invest upon.

* An efficient feed, well balanced in terms of protein/amino acids, energy and vitamins and minerals. Feed production, storage and quality control needs to be optimized, feed formula should be explicit and quality guaranteed.

* Efficient management system aiming at sound housing, feeding/watering and handling practices.

* A fool-proof flock-health protection plan. A major share should come from those who have an integrated production system and thus are controlling the market.

* last but by no means least, market infrastructure both for eggs and meat.

For long term development process the need for poultry processing facilities hardly require any emphasis, yet retail outlets for broiler meet-well-equipped with hot and cold water supply and contractual farming system needs to be introduced. But how? Again answer would be by bringing inefficiency and going back to the major determinant in efficiency the feed. By securing profitability on 60-70 per cent of total investment, one can hardly lose. Today the poultry feed formulation in Pakistan is based on the availability of raw material disregard to its quality. Following are the major ingredients; hardly of these have been standardised for use in feed:

1. Coarse grains: Viz. maize, wheat, sorghum, broken rise, millet etc.

2. Animal Protein: Fish meal, meat meal, blood meal etc.

3. Vegetable meals (proteins): cottonseed meal, soyabean meal, canola/rape seed meal, ground nut meal corn glutten meal, sunflower meal, guar meal, safflower meal, sesame meal etc.

4. Other industrial by-products: Rice polishing, wheat bran, molasses, etc.

5. Minerals & Vitamins: Bone meal. Dicalcuim phosphate, limestone, common salt and vitamin mineral premixes, etc.

Synthetic amino acids are to be used to make-up deficiencies. The proportionate share of these feed ingredients is 58, 10, 18, 8, 5 & 1 per cent respectively.

Due to price factor, and poor storage and thus of aflatoxicosis, the quality of coarse grain for poultry feed i.e. maize, is not being used to the desired

level while the 2nd choice, wheat being staple food for people of Pakistan should be spread, in principle, for human consumption. Its use in poultry feed in the past has implicated wheat availability and prices in Pakistan. Fish meal, the only quality animal protein source for poultry feed, is neither available as per demand nor its quality is optimum. The statistics given (in Table-II) shall depict the scenario.

The only alternative and substitute for making up protein availability in poultry feed, thus remains vegetable proteins. By rationalizing the use of maize/corn and vegetable protein meals we not only can improve upon the quality of poultry feed so vital or production efficiency but can also reduce the prices of poultry feed and of eggs and meat. We should never forget that the reduced prices of eggs and meat shall help expand poultry market which in turn shall underpin the industry on sustainably basis, securing interest of small farmers who shall then provide industry its own two feet to stand on. What to do then? It is moral responsibility of all stake-holders to work for collective good of the system. Whereas, necessary policy support is forthcoming from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock to secure sustained supply of good quality maize and oil seed, its the responsibility of the poultry sector to improve the storage quality and processing for maize, of oliseed extractors to develop and promo te hi-tech oil seed meal processing and poultry industry again to make best use of oil seed meals, particularly that of cottonseed, canola/rape-seed along with soyabean. A good quality com used up to 58 per cent and soybean meal upto 29 per cent for example, offers a practical formula for chicken starter rations as it supplies 68 per cent of the total protein requirements. The protein digestibility of soybean (92 per cent coupled with corn (94 per cent, bio-availability of amino acids and high metabolizable energy contents make it best ingredient for poultry feed. But does our poultry feed sector is quality conscientious? The answer is big no. Had it been so, they should have availed the opportunities in the past when Government of Pakistan made available to them maize under PL-480 and later soybean. And had they availed this opportunity, the prices of poultry meat and eggs had come down and base for expanding poultry market would had been in place.

And now the question why and where they failed? They failed to avail and exploit to their advantage the locally available vegetable proteins on one hand and efficient use of maize, on other hand. The latest research, to quote just one example alone, suggests up to 15 per cent-use of cotton seed meal alone provided the deficiency of limiting amino acid - lysine, is made up through synthetic sources. One can and should question the higher fibre (11-13 per cent) and gossypol contents of cotton seed meal. But as said earlier integrated development means working closely together and this shall guide for closer cooperation between poultry and oilseed extraction sectors. By working together they can optimize production system, for instance today glandless cotton varieties are available which are free from gossypol and thus suit better for poultry use. Even in present scenario cottonseed meal can be used to the extent of 6 per cent in local conditions without any side effects. Similarly, canola meal can also be used up to 12 per cent. Thus optimizing use of locally available vegetable meals will help reduce the prices as cost on freight, storage, etc., shall be curtailed. Similarly, by enriching poultry diets with maize and soybean we can help improve the feed quality, satisfying protein/amino acids, energy plus their bioavailability requirements. It shall simultaneously support oil-seed extraction industry which in turn simultaneously support oil-seed extraction industry which in turn will improve edible oil availability in Pakistan and net savings in foreign exchange. This point can better be understood by just one example i.e. typical yield from whole cottonseed is 50% meal, 22 per cent hulls and 10 per cent oil. This holds almost true for other oilseeds as well. The present oilseed production in Pakistan is as under (Table-III), which the poultry sector can benefit from:

The availability of less expensive local protein meals provide an avenue for reducing the cost of poultry production. It would be in fitness of things if both industries can jointly work to:

* get the raw material standardized

* Evolve a system to monitor and control source of raw material and their processing method.

* Improve the storage conditions, particularly with regard to toxifections and oxidation.

* Feed analysis, particularly amino acid, energy profile.

Whereas, import of soybean meal, or for that matter other meals, from India may be an easy option at this point in time to improve the quality of poultry feed, this is not a sustainable proposition. At first place, India may now have an absolute advantage in soybean take in the subcontinent but ultimately she may not have relative advantage in this area. Secondly, India has invested in research on oliseed development and some fifty varieties alone of Soybean have been introduced which were able to underpin both edible or/and poultry sector development. Today, in edible oil sector they are self-sufficient and they name this development as yellow revolution. If our edible oil and poultry sector are able to invest in R&D of oilseeds in Pakistan naturally this will put them in enabling environment whereby they will harvest sustainable benefits. Research in this sector should be looked at as investment rather than cost.

The aforementioned strategy shall potentially contribute towards overall production efficiency in both sector. Finally for sustainable poultry development we have to promote rural poultry development. The contribution of rural poultry as estimated in 1997-98 is as under (Table-IV).

This suggests that rural poultry is competing fairly with commercial poultry production at least in egg production. We can further enhance its contribution in meat and eggs by helping increase in scale of production. Since rural poultry production is mainly carried out by women, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Governmental organisation (GOs) partnership in close cooperation with private sector could help undertake Women In Development (WID) and Gender In Development (GAD) programmes particularly those dealing with livelihood sector integrating health and nutrition aspects of household. Whereas rural poultry production can contribute substantially securing an egg a day for the disadvantaged communities like women, children, elderly and sick its development shall go a long way not only towards food security but also towards overall rural and economic development and shall provide an ever expanding base, as an alternative development, for poultry. The Arid Agriculture University can also join in this GO-N GO-Private Sector partnership through its outreach programme.
Unit Million Nos. 1997-98
Production of Million Nos.
Day Checks 320 366
Layers 13.5 13.5
Broilers 264 300
Breeding Stock 4.5 4
Poultry Meat (Tonnes) 287 324
Egge (Tonnes) 2750 2852
 (Jan-Feb 1998)
 (%age) (%age)
Crude Protein 38.85 61.51%
Crude Fat 5.93 10.78%
Crude Fibre 0.80 2.01%
Ash 16.99 37.48%
Salt 1.22 3.88%
Sand/Silica 4.48 4.63%
Urea 0.71 0.95%
Protein 36.8 54.81%
Moisture 10.41 13.92%
Aflatoxins (ppb) 24.3 --
 Oilseed Production
 (000 Tones)
 Cotton- Soy- Sun- Rapeseed &
Year seed bean flower Mustard
1985-86 2433.9 2.585 18.063 350.000
1986-87 2639.8 3.775 17.587 302.800
1987-88 2936.8 1.526 36.256 269.000
1988-89 2852.6 1.169 42.531 333.600
1989-90 2912.1 0.849 34.415 307.100
1990-91 3275.3 0.946 24.579 303.500
1991-92 4362.1 1.327 34.649 284.600
1992-93 3080.1 2.249 83.312 268.500
1993-94 2735.5 2.605 61.100 240.000
1994-95 2960.0 26.000 61.000 263.000 [*]
1995-96 3538.0 1.800 116.00 284.000 [*]
1996-97 3402.0 5.000 217.00 311.000 [*]
1997-98 3300.0 3.33 -- --
((*.)Includes 42000 MT & 129000 MT of Canola seeds respectively)
 (Million Nos.)
 1996-97 1997-98
Day old chicks 125 130
Cock and cockrils 50 52
Layers 50 52
Meat (Mln. tons) 100 104
Eggs 3315 3432
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Author:Altaf, Dr. Zafar
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Aug 1, 1999
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