23rd Apr,2006 - CHENNAI, INDIA: It facilitates movement of products to local & global markets from the earmarked zones.
The poultry industry, which has suffered a Rs 9,000 crore loss after reports of bird flu, and the 15 million farmers who supply feed materials are looking ahead with renewed hope after agriculture minister Sharad Pawar assured them of a new assistance package.
The poultry industry in Tamil Nadu is very enthusiastic about the minister’s support for the much-awaited ‘zoning’ programme to facilitate movement of poultry products nationally and internationally from the earmarked zones. The Tamil Nadu government and industry had been asking for the creation of such zones.
Industry sources from Coimbatore said if there was an epidemic or any other problem in a particular zone, it could be isolated and other zones could continue with business. This would prevent the repetition of the recent catastrophe wherein the entire poultry industry had to suffer for a minor incident of disease in Maharashtra.
The minister has also agreed to release 5.3 lakh tonne of maize and broken rice to the poultry farmers following a meeting with the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) delegation led by its chairperson Anuradha Desai in New Delhi on Thursday.
The issue of custom duty on amino acids and vitamins also might be reviewed to bring in economy to poultry feed manufacturers. Vitamins and amino acids contribute 60% of the total feed cost. The NECC discussions with the minister aimed at framing support systems for poultry farmers and helping them bring production back to normal levels.
Over 3,000 chicken farms in Namakkal, Salem, Coimbatore, Erode and Karur districts in Tamil Nadu now expect that they will be able to recover from the unwarranted damage to the industry. Prices have already started going up. Hatcheries after a week’s closure have also resumed operations and the chicks are growing, an industry spokesperson said.
Mrs Desai said in a press release that the industry has received overwhelming support and response from the agriculture ministry. “We expect the industry to revive through the financial support system as well as other methods of supporting the farmers like provision of food grains and availability of poultry feed,” she added.
The loss to the poultry industry affected over 15 million farmers who supply maize, soyabean and other raw materials for poultry feed. They too can look forward to better days.