The Poultry Research and Development Institute in Pakistan is expressing concerns over a proposal that would privatize the institute and poultry farms belonging to the provincial government in Punjab.

The association of the institute is already on strike and staging protests against the proposal. “These institutions are not only the source of livelihood for hundreds of families, but are serving the farming community,” said Dr Naveed Ahmad, assistant director of the Poultry Research Institution, Rawalpindi. The proposal, according to Ahmad, envisions the conversion of the institute into a research board.

There are currently 34 district headquarters of the institute, providing water testing, feed testing, vaccine postmortem and other test facilities free of charge to area farmers.