In 2021, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) investigated anti-competitive practices in the poultry industry due to a significant rise in prices. The CCP found that hatcheries and feed mills were involved in collusive practices and recommended punitive action against them. Later, the Ministry of Industries & Production allowed the Controller General of Prices to fix prices of essential commodities, including broiler chicken and farm eggs.

However, these interventions by the government have led to unintended consequences, disrupting the poultry market and causing both producers and consumers to suffer losses. The cyclical nature of day-old chick (DOC) prices and the trending in the feed market have been affected, leading to more volatile price movements and pushing both the peaks and troughs upwards.

As a result, the poultry industry has experienced stagnation in credit offtake, with many hatcheries, commercial farms, and feed mills closing or facing serious write-offs on receivables. This has led to a decline in investment and growth in the industry, ultimately causing a permanent increase in prices.

Over the past 20 years, investment in the poultry value chain had made affordable protein more accessible to Pakistanis, with chicken and egg prices decreasing significantly in real terms. However, the government’s intervention in the market has reversed this trend, taking away the availability of cheap protein for the population.

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By hassani

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