farming in Pakistan
Poultry farming in Pakistan has
developed as an important sub-sector of livestock
By Dr. S. M. Alam and M. A. Khan
Nuclear Institute of Agriculture
Tando Jam, Pakistan
Aug 07 - 13, 2000
The poultry farming has now become one of the most dynamic associated
parts of agriculture throughout the world. Poultry culture in South Asian countries is
expanding rapidly and the rate of growth of commercial layer and broiler (meat producing)
farms is phenomenal to meet the ever increasing demand for proteins through poultry meet
and eggs. In Pakistan, poultry industry had made considerable contribution to food
production and plays a vital role in the economy of the country. Raising of poultry in
Pakistan has virtually proven a profitable enterprise as it is the best source of cheap,
palatable and nutritious food protein. The poultry production commenced in Pakistan in
1963. Hen birds were mostly maintained in the backyard of the houses in villages on a
small scale, with very little investment by the villagers in terms of money and material.
The return on those birds was too little, and there was hardly any attraction for
investments to operate the same on large scales. Poultry as on a commercial scale in the
private sector started due to pioneering effect made by PIA in 1965, when the first modern
hatchery unit in Karachi was established. Later on, the investments have taken keen
interest in this sector, as was result of which substantial development has taken place
towards expansion of this industry. The commercial poultry farming emerged through the
combined efforts and foresight of the government and the private enterprises. Now
commercial poultry production is concentrated around the large urban centers in the
provinces of Sindh and Punjab and initially at Karachi, Lahore with the passage of time,
it is now fairly well spread all over the country. In the provinces of Sindh, there are
farms in Mirpurkhas, Sukhar, Nawabshah as well as in small cities. Similarly, in the
province of the Punjab, poultry farms have been well established in the areas of
Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Lahore, Bhawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, Mianwali. Poultry
produced in Pakistan is being developed through two management systems i.e commercial
farming and rural poultry farming. The commercial poultry farming sector is a classic
example of private ector enterprise with a phenomenal growth of 20 to 25 % per annum. The
achievement of this rapid growth was made to the incentives granted by the government from
time to time, like liberal financing and credit, income tax exemption, duty free import of
grand parent and parent flocks, machinery and poultry farm equipments, such as hatcheries,
cages, brooders, feed ingredients such as soybean, meal, maize, and sorghum for use in
poultry feeds, in addition to liberal and easy facility to obtain loans from commercial
banks and financial institutions. Now the large scale investment and proper incentives
have resulted in the establishment of infrastructure comprising of 252 hatcheries with
capacity to produce 346 million day- old chicks per annum, 141 feed mills with the
capacity to produce 2540 thousand tons of compounds feed per annum and 13154 poultry farms
with the capacity to produce 98 million broilers. The present total poultry population is
estimated to be 319 million, out of which 137 million is rural (44%), 160 million broilers
(50%), 17 million layers (5%) and 5 million breeding (2%) stock annually. These figures
speak of the potential that has been established in the country to increase production of
eggs and poultry meat thereby reducing further the gap of availability of animal protein
foods. Modern poultry farming has a special importance for countries such as Pakistan.
Because it is being an easy and relatively cheap method of raising dietary standard of the
people. The shortages of animal protein in Pakistan is estimated at 0.93 million tonnes on
the basis of human population of 140 million. The average consumption of animal protein is
a meager 17g as against the recommended daily requirement of 28g. This shortage of protein
can well be managed with increase in the production of poultry meat at a reasonable cost.
Some of the important breeds of the world such as buff rock, leghorn,
light Sussex, Rhodes Island red are also hatched successfully in the country at desired
traits. A laying bird produces an average of 250 eggs per year and the average live weight
of the broiler is recommended as 1200 grams ( or 1.2 kg), at 8 weeks of age. Pakistan
produces 6.5 thousand million eggs and 340 thousand tonnes poultry meat. The consumption
of poultry feed increased with their ages. It reached its peak (135g/bird/ day) at 25
weeks age. Then it declined slightly reaching 124g / bird/ day at 33 weeks of age. There
are also some local breeds, which are highly productive and are more adaptive to the local
conditions. These important poultry breeds of fowls are cross bred with each other to
produce. The product is concentrated around the large urban centers in the provinces of
Sindh, Punjab and NWFP. The majority of such farmers are generally in and around the
cities like Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Faisalabad. The capacity of the layers farm
varies from 2000 to 20000 birds and that of the broilers farms from 103 to
403 birds per annum. The higher cost of poultry feed is
mainly due to the increase in the price of the various ingredients particularly fishmeal
in their poultry feed. In these days prices of poultry are very high due to the cost of
ingredients needed for the manufacturer of the feed meal.
Approaches to increase production.
In order to increase the production of poultry the following approaches
are considered necessary for implementation. Commercial poultry sectors be continued to
boost up substantial marine in the productivity.
i) Rural poultry sector be enhanced.
ii) Rearing of traits be introduced on large scale
commercial production ducks, partridges and pigeons rearing be introduced. Encourage
establishment of poultry farms in private sectors engaged in the production of birds for
rural development to improve food availability. Coarse grain production must be increased
under target oriented programme like major crops. Price support must be granted. Oil
cakes/ meat production can be increased through increasing oilseed crops. To check out
easy formula to evolve cheap poultry ratio formulas ratio formula using agriculture and
To improve poultry health and extension services vaccination against
contagious disease must be carried to several 60% of rural poultry production as against
existing 25% to establish locally disease reference laboratory.
To establish small poultry units of varying sizes in the villages to
increase production of village level. Private sectors be encouraged to establish disease
diagnostic laboratory and vaccine production unit to improve poultry marketing. To
establish poultry processing plants and cold stores to provide ready market for broilers.
To establish poultry marketing center at different places in cities and towns. Price
support and broilers may be grounded. This can be implemented through processing plants.
To work out cost of production of eggs and to announce whole sale rates of eggs on
quarterly basis. To maintain check on the price of day old chicks and poultry feeds to
take measure to maintain stability of price and quality. Poultry production during the
last 35 years has played a commendable role in shortening the gap of availability of
animal protein foods. In order to shorter the gap further within shortest possible time,
it has became necessary that poultry, mutton, beef etc are also introduced on small and
large scale both in public and private sectors. The possible feasible sources are rear of
quails, ducks, pheasant, partridges, pigeons etc. All these sources are quite producing
with short duration. It is observed that with the introduction of these techniques, the
gap of animal protein food will be minimised within a short period.
Poultry feed and prices:
Poultry feed gained importance with the
emergence of poultry farming on a wide scale in the country. At present, poultry feed is
produced by commercial feed mills as well as by home mixture. There are several feed mills
located in the different parts of main cities of Pakistan. The different ingredients
required for making poultry feed are broken or coarse grains (wheat, rice, maize, millet,
sorghum barley, dried sea food, dried blood of animals, broken pulses and different
vitamins). The poultry feed by its quality and price is the major factor in determining
the cost of poultry products i.e. eggs and broilers and profitability of the poultry farm.
The prices of feed have been constantly increasing. Due to recent global changes in the
price structure of the cereal grains and other feed stuffs, the poultry industry at
present is handicapped on account of high feed cost which have gone over to more than 60%
of the total cost of production.
Advantages: The poultry meat and egg production over many
decades have shown positive growth in the overall performances of the livestock sector and
it has now reached a stage where its impact is obvious on the national economy of the
country. The supply of eggs and poultry methods based on two distinct methods of
production small scale village production and modern commercial methods in and around big
cities. Poultry keeping business is one of the most promising source of additional income.
Besides, this poultry farming has a number of advantages. It produces much needed protein,
food, it serves as a source of income and employment to many and it has good returns.
Poultry keeping is becoming more and more capital intensive, and it is very profitable.
The income from poultry business begins to emerge within 8 to 9 weeks for broiler or 20 to
22 weeks for layers. A broiler is a young male or female bird under the age of 10 weeks.
These are generally fast growing breeds reared and marketed for meat. Depending on feed
and management broiler mature in 8 weeks weighing nearing 2-2.5 kg and the broiler consume
about 4 kg of feed in the period of 6 to 8 weeks is the usual age for marketing. Most
breeders rear broilers to be ready for sale during festivals when demand of profit is
high. A layer of mature age generally lays 250 -300 eggs. These eggs provide high quality
protein to the house hold. In addition to eggs and meat poultry provide manure that is of
great value on the farm. It has been observed that nearly 40 hens or deep litter yields
about 1000 kg of manure per year. The income from layers (hens) begins to appear within 8
to 10 weeks, for broilers or 18 to 20 weeks for layers. According to the economic survey
(94-95), 2.35 kg / capita per year eggs were available in Pakistan during this period.
Disadvantages: It is a well known fact that poultry farming is a
profitable business but it has also some disadvantages some disease such as Newcastale
disease, Marek's disease, infectious bronchitis, gum-boro disease, fowl pox,
myco-plasmosis, coccidiosis, lymphoid, adino virus hydro-pericardium etc. are very common
in the poultry chicken. These diseases affect very quickly and have a tremendous effects
on the growth of the birds. The excess uses of meat also has ill-effects on the health of
their users, because the feed they eat contains lots of unhygenic ingredients. Therefor
the chickens should be vaccinated regularly and properly.
Conclusion: It has been observed during the last thirty five
years that poultry farming in Pakistan has developed as an important sub-sector of
livestock This expansion continues to fill the genuine gaps of the animal protein and
should be fully encouraged in order to promote the welfare and prosperity of the people by
providing them with a nutritious balanced diet.