23rd Feb, 2006: PANJIM — The demand for broilers and other chicken products in Goa is high. It goes still high during tourist season. Yet, poultry business has not flourished in Goa. Goa largely depends upon Karnataka and Maharashtra for supply of broilers and layers, like it depend for its supply of vegetable, fruit and milk.
As per census conducted by statistical wing of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AVHS) annual demand for eggs is 0115 million per year, and for broilers it is 1664 ton per year.
In organized sector Goa has approximately 1,80,000 birds of hybrid variety, and 5,60,000 of local variety.
Non-favourable weather conditions, high cost of poultry feed, which is again imported from outside the state, and increasing labour cost has discouraged growth of poultry in Goa, stated Dr P G Bakhale, Deputy Director, AHVS.
Even as department is offering subsidy through two of its schemes for building small scale poultry farms, and modern poultry farms — poultry business has not grown in Goa thus increasing the dependence on other states as tourism has grown manifold.
Over 3 lakh birds are imported to Goa daily, which is now stopped, due to ban imposed on import of birds thanks to bird flu.
Mario Valadares of Royal Food, who owns four modern poultries blames AHVS for under development of poultry in Goa.
“Department is not encouraging. I have four poultry farms but has not availed of subsidy even for unit because of non co-operation ABVS.” charged Mr Valadares.
Dr Bakhale refusing to take the blame said, sometimes documentation submitted by applicants is not proper, and therefore we have to hold back applications until everything is put in order.
“We offer all co-operation to farmers wishing to enter into poultry business. But due to other factors sometime small time farmers give up. Also maintenance of small scale poultry farm (500 broilers or 1000 layers) is not so economical because of high cost of poultry feed, and labour cost.
Small poultry farm can be run profitably if farmers involves his family thus reducing the cost of labour,” advises Dr Bakhale.
The AHVS offer subsidy of Rs 15000 or 25 per cent of the cost of investment, which ever is less for setting up small scale poultry farm. Still investment in small poultry farm can be brought down to Rs 70000 to 80000, feels Dr Bakhale.
While for modern poultry farm (minimum 2000 broilers or 5000 layers) department give subsidy of Rs 2 lakh or 25 per cent of the cost, whichever is less.
There are about 30 modern poultries, and some 50 small size units in the state some of which may not be operative, says Dr Bakhale.
So seems it is distant dream for Goa to attain self-sufficiency whether in agriculture, dairy or poultry even as government is pouring money through subsidies.