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Bird flu effect: Saudi slaps temporary ban on Indian poultry products
Saudi joins other West Asian countries such as Kuwait in banning the imports of poultry from India, which reported about seven instances of bird flu outbreak during 2016 with the latest being in Khordha district of Odisha. Saudi was the second largest buyer of Indian poultry products in 2015-16. As per DGCIS, India’s poultry exports to Saudi Arabia stood at ₹95.64 crore, accounting for over 12 per cent of the country’s total poultry shipments of ₹766.71 crore in 2015-16.
Saudi’s decision to ban Indian poultry imports was disclosed by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) through its website on Monday.
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia vide its Note Verbale no. 209/404 dated 25.11.2016 has informed that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia have decided to impose a temporary ban on the import of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from India due to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
The outbreak of avian flu was reported from Punjab, Haryana, Tripura, Karnataka, Kerala and Odisha during 2016.
The government should come out with pro-active policies for the sector to help realise its potenial.
Saudi’s ban on Indian imports has added to the woes of the poultry farmers, who are already reeling under the impact of frequent outbreaks of bird flu in the country and the ongoing cash crunch, typical seasonal surge witnessed during Christmas and New Year was not there this time due to the curtailment in consumer spend on account of prevailing cash shortages.
As a result of tempered demand for poultry products, the prices were near normal during the season.
India’s poultry exports, which have been on an upswing in the recent years, are seen facing a slowdown in the current financial year.
According to Apeda, India’s total poultry exports during April-October 2016 were down 36 per cent at ₹297.53 crore as against ₹465.32 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Poultry exports grew from ₹566.80 crore in 2013-14 to ₹766.71 crore in 2015-16 on increase in purchases by countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia.
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