Protest marks poultry expo opening

November 28, 2019

A plea, protest and assurances marked the opening of the three-day Poultry India 2019 exhibition in the city on Wednesday.

On behalf of poultry farmers, the plea was made by Indian Poultry Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (IPEMA) president Chakradhar Rao, who said hike in feed prices and lower realisation price was resulting in losses for farmers.

Thus far this year, the loss suffered by farmers was around ₹7,500 crore or almost a rupee per egg, he told the inaugural function, at which Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav was the chief guest.

Farmers needed additional financial assistance, he said, pointing out that many of them were unable to replace flocks and a few had even closed operations. Though some State governments, including Telangana, had initiated measures such as including eggs in mid-day meals at government schools, and serving an egg a day to pregnant women, malnutrition remained a challenge to the country.

It is necessary that in all private or public schools across the country, children should have an egg a day, he said.

Power tariff

Mr. Rao appealed to Telangana government to introduce a minimum support price (MSP) for eggs and supply electricity at a preferential tariff instead of the ₹2 per unit subsidy that was proposed. Exemption from panchayat or municipal tax, and grant of an interest subsidy enough to keep the rate at 6-7% were the other handholding measures sought for the farmers.

He wanted the Central government to ensure against dumping of chicken leg residues or leftovers, under the guise of processed chicken, by continuing with an 100% import duty.

In his address, Mr.Yadav said MSP was an important aspect and a sub-committee of the State government set up to formulate a policy on poultry would discuss this and other issues impacting the farmers.

Flutter at function

The inaugural function witnessed protest by a group of farmers, under Save the Poultry Farmers banner, who raised slogans and displayed placards that had messages calling to save layer farmers from breeders, hatcheries, feed and medicine companies.

Expressing support to the protesting farmers, Member of Parliament A. K. P.Chinraj, who represents the Namakkal constituency and is a leader of Tamil Nadu’s poultry industry, said an increase in the raw material prices was impacting the farmers.

Better demand and supply management as well fixing of the price of the eggs could help them. Complaining of shortfalls in the coordination activities of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), the Lok Sabha member said the Committee should hold meeting with farmers and traders. He also called for elections to the body.

Nearly 375 companies are participating in the exhibition, which is 13th in the series and being organised by IPEMA to showcase, to poultry farmers, the latest methods and technology that could contribute to reducing production costs.