PALLADAM: Poultry industry of Tamil Nadu is concerned over the spiralling price of maize, an important ingredient for cattle feed and apprehends its shortage next year.
Both the layer and broiler segments of the industry in the state require a lakh tonne of maize a month.
Since maize is a rain-fed crop in the State, the industry depends on neighbouring Karnataka for 80 per cent of its maize requirement.
The landing price of maize from Karnataka has touched Rs. 750 a quintal now. It was only Rs. 600 in the corresponding period last year. "We are depending on Karnataka arrival for seven to eight months. This will impact on the broiler trade, which operates on a thin margin,'' says R. Lakshmanan, president of the Palladam-based Broiler Coordination Committee (BCC).
In the poultry feed, maize accounts for 60 per cent. Two kilograms of feed are required to produce one kg meat, Mr Lakshmanan said.
Besides the growth of the poultry industry, export of maize from Karnataka was the reason behind the price escalation. Mr. Lakshmanan said one lakh tonne of maize was lined up for exports.
"We fear of the 12 lakh tonnes of total maize production from Karnataka, two lakh will be exported. If that happens, the industry is bound to face consequences,'' he adds.
BCC has asked the Government to ban exports. It has requested it to take steps to increase the cultivation area of the crop. that provides an attractive price for farmers.