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Centre to release 5.3 lakh tonnes of rice, maize to poultry

Published on 21 April, 2006, Last updated at 03:48 GMT

Apr 21, 2006: Pune, India - Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has agreed to release 5.3 lakh tonnes of maize and broken rice to the poultry farmers following a meeting with National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) delegation, state poultry associations and industry members in New Delhi today.

The decision was taken so as to help build support systems for farmers so that they bring the production levels back to normal.

Pawar recommended immediate implementation of the `zoning programme' to facilitate movement of poultry products nationally and internationally specially from the export-targeted areas, according to a release here.

With a view to boost consumer confidence and increase acceptability of eggs and chicken once again, the Union Minister assured that product promotion campaigns would be launched in a massive way.

The Union Agriculture Minister also agreed to look into the custom duty structure for amino acids and vitamins (which contribute about 60 percent of the total feed cost) with a view to aid the poultry feed manufacturers.

Anuradha Desai, chairperson, NECC said the industry has received overwhelming support and response from the Union Agriculture ministry.

"We expect the industry to revive through the financial support system as well as other methods of supporting the farmers which the government has promised to undertake," she said.

The total loss to the industry due to the birdflu scare was estimated at over Rs 9000 crores. Not only were the poultry farmers affected by it but also 15 million agriculture farmers who supply maize, soyabean and other raw materials for poultry feed, she said.


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