Mandalay poultry farmers blame high chick prices for losses

Poultry farms in Mandalay Region are suffering losses because of high chick prices and can’t make enough money to offset production costs, according to U Kyaw Htin, chair of the Mandalay Livestock Federation.

The price of chicks should be fixed at about K600, but it was nearly K800 in late August, so it could have a long-term affect on poultry farms, which are struggling with losses, he said.

“At present, meat chicken breeders are losing money. Meat chicken breeding farms need to import chicks and chicken feed. If the chicken price is below production costs, the prices of meat chicks and chicken feed need to be lower, but the chick price is higher than it should be. If the price had stayed at K500-600 like before, breeders would be happy and they could produce chickens at an attractive price for consumers,” he said.

The federation will try to gradually control price fluctuations of chick prices starting in Mandalay and nearby towns, and extending it later to nearby regions and states, he said.

“Previously there were about 10 foreign investors as well as large private companies. As the losses have continued for chicken breeders for many months, chick prices should not be raised. Another factor is the market. The live poultry market is not prominent in major cities but is in small towns. Some firms that can’t sell often offer low prices, making it difficult for other breeders to trade,” said U Kyaw Htin.

About 3 million chickens are bred in Mandalay, Pyawbwe and Myingyan townships. The production cost is about K2800 per viss (about 1.6 kilograms) but a live chicken sells for K2300 per viss.

U Nay Thurein, chair of the Myanmar Poultry Breeders Association, said, “Due to heavy rain, chickens cannot be transported to Hpakant (in Kachin State). Due to the conflict in northern Shan State, trading has ceased. Chicken meat cannot reach its usual markets.”

He said that when there is an oversupply of chicken in some areas, the price falls. If chicken farmers have the right information, they can make much better decisions.

“The government should provide information on the number of breeding farms and chicken incubators and the number of chicks produced every month,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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