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Lifting of ban on chicken to benefit J&K consumers

Published on 27 April, 2006, Last updated at 12:10 GMT

Apr 27, 2006: Panaji, India - Ms Anuradha J Desai, chairperson, National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC), has appealed to the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, to lift the ban on entry of cull birds into the State.

Following reports of bird flu, several state governments had imposed a ban on entry of live birds into their respective States. However, in keeping with the advise of the ministry of agriculture, government of India, all other states have lifted this ban. Jammu & Kashmir is the only state in India, which continues the ban.

Ms Desai said that due to the ban, movement of cull birds from Punjab and Haryana into Jammu & Kashmir has stopped entirely. As a result, layer birds, which have outlived their productivity, are accumulating in farms. Farmers are faced with a situation where they are forced to feed the birds despite no significant production of eggs and at the same time are unable to replace the flocks, as older flocks have not moved out. This is affecting the farmersí economy most adversely and soon these cull birds may starve to death, as farmers are no longer in a position to feed them. At the same time this has also resulted in an acute shortage of chicken in Jammu & Kashmir - and the chicken price has sky rocketed to Rs 300 per kg.

While on one hand the poultry farmers of Punjab and Haryana are facing heavy losses, on the other, consumers in Jammu & Kashmir have to pay an unduly high price for chicken.

Ms Desai said that there has never been any report of bird flu in Punjab and Haryana, and there is absolutely no reason to ban the entry - particularly of layer cull birds.

The appeal to lift the ban immediately has been made in the interest of consumers in Jammu & Kashmir as well as poultry farmers of Punjab and Haryana.

The total loss to the industry is estimated at over Rs 9000 crore and not only are the poultry farmers affected but over 15 million agriculture farmers who supply maize, soybean and other raw materials for poultry feed also were adversely affected because of the severe decline in procurement prices.

With above help to the poultry farming sector the delegation led by the chairperson believe that farmers should be able to revive their business up to some extent.


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