Poultry industry: Business booms with growing demand, new tech
Growing business of fast food chains and other popular food outlets, more and more people from the middle class dining out and new investors jumping in to seize the opportunity have all reduced the risks associated with the poultry industry, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in Punjab.
With the introduction of latest technologies, investors have come in a big way to inject money into poultry ventures. They are adopting control-shed technology to cater to market needs and earn handsome revenues.
“All this is the result of impressive growth in food outlets that has increased the consumption of chicken items,” said Dr Khalid Ali, a poultry expert.
He said more than 60% of the poultry industry was doing business in Punjab and birds were bred in control-sheds at most of the farms to ensure disease-free production.
In this technology, temperature is controlled automatically in an enclosed space where birds are kept to protect them from changes in weather and reach every bird through a mechanised process.
In the past two years, investors in Faisalabad have constructed hundreds of control-shed poultry farms to cash in on the opportunity, and are getting a good response.
Many new poultry farms have been joining the industry every year to satiate the demand of the growing market. With this, prices of eggs and white meat are also rising.
In the past few years, prices of poultry products have more than doubled, boosting the industry’s prospects. “Prices started rising some years ago when big investors entered the fray and control-shed technology came to the country,” Ali said.
According to market watchers, a couple of years ago, average price of chicken meat was Rs125 per kg and eggs were sold for an average of Rs36-48 per dozen. Now, meat price has gone up to Rs250-270 per kg and eggs cost in the range of Rs96 to Rs130 per dozen, suggesting how much the profits have gone up.
According to Majeed Ahmad, owner of Majeed Poultry Farms, Faisalabad, a control-shed is built with an investment of Rs10-15 million. With this big investment, investors are making average seasonal profit in the range of Rs1 to Rs3 million.
He believed that in the next three to five years, control-shed farms will be meeting the entire country’s poultry needs.
Traditional poultry farms did not require millions of rupees and their profit ratio was also low, Ahmad said, adding control-shed poultry farms not only boosted profit, but also improved the quality of products.
Open poultry farms face a high risk of loss from different types of diseases which can kill all birds at the farms, but the control-shed technology has almost ended the risk of birds catching any disease.
When compared with other types of meat, chicken meat prices may not look very expensive. Mutton price has increased from Rs290 per kg to Rs600 per kg over the last two years and beef price has gone up from Rs150 per kg to Rs300 per kg, according to Ahmad.
“Control-sheds need 24 hours of electricity supply for uninterrupted operation. Owing to outages, we need generators which run on diesel, increasing the cost of production,” he said.