History of avian industry in Pakistan
Conference prepared by PhD. Altaf Gohar (Meyaree International, Pakistan), for the XXXI Biovet International Symposium in Tarragona, 2018
This article includes the conference prepared by PhD. Altaf Gohar, representative of Meyaree International, Pakistan), for the XXXI Biovet International Symposium, in Tarragona, 2018. Under the title, "History of the poultry industry in Pakistan" the stateof commercial poultry production in Pakistan from the 1960s to the present, is shown. The vet of the team of Biovet S.A, PhD. Maria Soriano, has made the adaptation of the lecture.
Commercial poultry production in Pakistan was established in the 60s and has been growing over the decades, with some ups and downs as we will see in this article.
Before 1960, local breeds were used to produce eggs and meat. It was a traditional production to cover household needs, obtaining on average 0.769 kg of meat in 4-month-old birds and about 30 eggs per year in laying hens (Sahota and Bhatti, 2003).
60s AND 70s
In these decades, the government initiated a policy to promote the sector. An improved breed called Lyallpur Silver Black (LSB) was developed by crossing a native breed with imported breeds. It was a fairly rustic breed, which could survive the adverse environmental conditions of rural areas and was capable of producing up to 150 eggs per year (Siddiqui et al., 1979). In addition, the government supported the poultry companies by making their production exempt from national taxes, which facilitated the importation of material and genetically improved animals.
Thanks to this boost, in the 70s, the poultry sector grew rapidly, and the creation of commercial hatcheries, feed factories, incubators and research centres, among others, was favoured. Growth of this industry was around 20-30% per year those years, and by 15-20% in the 1980s, thanks to an increase in the domestic consumption of poultry meat of more than 4% per year, related to the sustained increase in population in the country.
However, during this period the poultry industry suffered in terms of limited marketing opportunities due to the prohibition to export its products, because of problems associated with the outbreak of diseases.
80s AND 90s
During the eighties and nineties, the different problems present in the poultry production mentioned before were exacerbated, measures to solve them were implemented that are still being carried out nowadays, as described below.
Disadvantages caused by the outbreaks of diseases and climatic stress were solved by relocating a large part of the farms from Sindh province to the colder areas of the north of the country, although the problems of environmental control and biosecurity were maintained due to the fact that a large part of the facilities were open ventilation systems. One of the government plans is dedicated to encouraging free technical advice and the construction of controlled facilities.
Another problem was that many of the farmers or farm managers did not have a previous technical training and the manpower was not qualified, which eased the rise of vaccine failures, the lack of an early diagnosis and bad practices for the treatment of diseases. Private sector and the government worked together to alleviate these problems, improving diagnostic techniques with new technologies (serological tests such as ELISA, PCR techniques…), and a training and consultancy plan was launched for farmers in relation to medication and vaccination of the animals.
One of the main setbacks was and still is the limited supply of raw materials, the relatively high prices of low quality food, and the arrival of these products contaminated with mycotoxins, so cheaper alternatives, like by-products, and analysis of the composition of raw materials at the time of entry into the country, were needed.
The 90s are remembered for the disasters that occurred in the poultry industry, especially due to disease outbreaks. The appearance of hydropericardium syndrome, Gumboro disease and outbreaks of Avian Influenza caused a high mortality in breeder and broiler flocks. All this situation led to the introduction of prophylactic measures, such as biosecurity or the importation of new vaccines and medicines. Although the industry experienced heavy economic losses during this phase, it continued to grow at a considerable rate.
The poultry industry began to stabilize in the late nineties, obtaining better profit margins. New investors from abroad adapted production with modern technologies, such as environmental controlled facilities. The creation in 2002 of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore was another step in expanding support for this rapidly growing industry in Pakistan to solve disease problems and provide trained personnel.
Until 2004, the poultry industry enjoyed from an excellent growth, however, the resurgence of avian influenza and the ban on the import of poultry products by the countries of the Middle East worsened the situation.
2010 – NOWADAYS
Despite its ups and downs, the Pakistani industry has continued to grow due to the strong base of this industry. In addition, nowadays the cheapest sources of animal protein available in Pakistan are eggs and meat from the poultry sector (PPA, 2013), so this sector plays an important role in the population's access to the animal origin protein, shortening the gap between supply and demand.
Regarding the national consumption of meat, data show that the proportion of the consumed beef and lamb meat decreases constantly and the poultry sector has the potential to fill this gap, currently occupying 50% of the consumed.
In Pakistan, current per capita meat consumption is only 7 kg and 65-70 eggs per year, while in developed countries about 40 kg of meat and more than 300 eggs per person per year are consumed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average daily requirement for animal protein is 27 gr per person, while, in Pakistan, consumption is only 17 gr (Memon, 2012).
Currently, the poultry industry accounts for 2% of the country's GDP, being one of the most dynamic and best organized sectors, source of employment for more than one and a half million people, with an annual growth rate of 10-12% and an economic volume of 850 billion rupees (~10,000 mill. € / 12,500 mill. US $). There are more than 35,000 farms in rural areas ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers per farm, with an annual production of 2,550 M kg of poultry meat and more than 19,000 million table eggs.
For all the above-mentioned, we can say that even though nowadays Pakistan does not have a completely modernized production, the forecast for the future of this country is very encouraging, because poultry production will continue improving its characteristics to be able to supply the demand of a population in constant growth.
– J. HUSSAIN; I. RABBANI; S. ASLAM and H.A. AHMAD. An overview of poultry industry in Pakistan (2015). Worlds Poult Sci J. 2015 Dec; 71(4): 689–700.
– MEMON N.A. (2012) Poultry: Country’s second-largest industry. Poultry, Nov–Dec 2012.
– PPA – Pakistan Poultry Association (2013). Present Status of Poultry Sector. 2013b Jun 23; 3:03pm
– SAHOTA AW & BHATTI BM. (2003). Growth performance of different varieties of Desi generation-1 chickens maintained under deep litter system. Pakistan Journal of Veterinary Research. 1(1):46–49.
– SIDDIQUI M.Z.; QAZI M.A.; and SIDDIQUE A. (1979) Poultry Industry in Pakistan–University of Agriculture (Faisalabad).