Prices of broiler chickens, eggs likely to shoot up in winter as floods mar domestic poultry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

PESHAWAR (APP): The prices of broiler chickens and eggs are likely to shoot up during winter season in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where many domestic and commercial poultry farms were washed by the record-breaking floods that inflicted colossal economic losses to the farmers.
Besides humans and material losses to the government and private sectors, the flash floods of August 27 that started from Kalam, Oshu and Mataltan valleys of Upper Swat had swept away many poultry farms in Swat, Dir, Mohmand, Bajaur, Nowshera, Charsadda, Mansehra, Batagram, Tank and DI Khan districts. As result, huge stock of broiler chickens and eggs were washed away that would adversely affect consumers’ budget during winter and wedding seasons.
“The floods had brought havoc to domestic and commercial poultry sectors in KP especially in Nowshera and Charsadda where many poultry farms located near River Kabul were washed away by the flash floods in a jiffy,” said Maast Khan, a progressive poultry farmer of flood hit Mohib Banda village in Nowshera while talking to APP.
“Personally, I had lost 2,000 poultry chicken and 10,000 eggs stocks in recent floods,” he said with sobbing eyes. “When I woke up on August 28, I rushed towards my poultry farm to save my chickens but failed as the entire village was inundated by an eight to 10 feet water of the river Kabul,” he added.
“The floods tarnished my dream of performing “Umra” in winter with my parents as my whole investment was drowned in River Kabul,” Maast Khan said while tears rolling down over his face.
He said the commercial poultry farming was hit hard by floods in Nowshera, Mardan and Charsadda where supply of broiler chickens and eggs to retailers shops were adversely affected from Hazara division due destruction of roads and bridges.
He said the prices of poultry products would increase in winter due to substantial loss of chicken stock by the floods and urged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to provide interest free loans to all the affected farmers so that they could restart their business with dignity.
Besides Save the Calfs and Calfs Fattening Programs, the floods have also affected Backyard Polutry scheme under which one rooster and five chickens were being distributed among hundreds of thousands poor families in the country including KP.
Dr Aftab Ahmad, Director Backyard Poultry Project KP told APP that the recent floods have affected poultry sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where substantial broilers poultry and eggs stocks were lost.
He said prices of eggs and chicken products were likely to shootout in winter due to loss of substantial stocks due to floods in the country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said chicken meat prices could rise because of a drop in production and it would hurt middle class the most.
Dr Aftab said that free poultry distributed under the backyard poultry program among poorers were also affected due the natural calamity.
The damage of roads has made negative effects on production of poultry farms due to disruption of feed supply especially in Malakand and Hazara divisions. Majority of poultry farms were existed in Hasara division especially in Mansehra and Batagram districts from where chickens products were being supplied to others districts of KP.
However, due to washing away of Ayub Bridge at Hawalian, the supply of eggs and chicken birds were affected to Peshawar and Mardan divisions.
Akhtar Ali, a poultry and eggs sellers shopkeeper said the prices of broilers eggs were shootout in market during post floods period. He said one broiler egg was available at Rs25 today against Rs20 before floods while Rs50 per chicken increase was witnessed in local market.
Waqar Khan, a poultry farmer of flood hit Dheri Ishaq Nowshera said that he had received prior information about floods threat from the district administration, however, he did not take it seriously on August 27 last and resultantly lost the entire 2,000 chicken stock.
“I had lost everything as these chickens were the main source of income for my family.”
“When I woke up and rushed towards my poultry farm, I found that all chickens was washed away in flash water of River Kabul following with over three lac cusec water in that fateful day,” he said, adding this was saddest moment of my life as I could not found any clue of my poultry as eight to 10 feet water had submerged the areas spreading in miles.
Waqar hoped that the Prime Minister’s relief cash program would immensely help recover farmers losses to a great extent and would be able to reestablish their business with financial support of relatives and government
Dr Alamzaib Khan, Director General, Livestock and Poultry Department, government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said the damages to livestock and poultry sectors caused by the floods were immense. “We have started a comprehensive survey to assess financial losses caused by floods to the livestock and poultry sectors and as per initial reports losses of over Rs2 billion were so far incurred to these sectors.
He said the scale of losses to these sectors would be higher than estimations as many valleys in Kalam, Bahrain, Madyan, Kohistan, Kumrat, Dir Upper and Dir Lower were still out of reach of officials of his department due to destruction of roads and bridges.
Dr Alamzaib said floods in River Sindh and Koh-e-Suleman starting from South and North Waziristan and adjoining valleys have also brought havoc to livestock and poultry sectors in southern districts of KP.
Besides commercial poultry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said that pastoral and nomads have bore the brunt of livestock and poultry in upper areas of Dasu, Kolas Palai, Dubair and others valleys in Kohistan districts and compilation of their damages was a big challenge.
The Director General said the department would promptly act on the government’s policy regarding flood damages to livestock and poultry sectors and would provide compensation to all affected farmers subject to approval of the government.
Dr Alamzeb said prices of meat and milk were being closely monitored in the open market in the wake of devastative floods and strict action would be taken against shopkeepers involved in artificial price hikes and hoarding.