Kerala needs 1 crore kg chicken weekly, relies on other states

Kerala needs 1 crore kg chicken weekly

THRISSUR: Though achieving self-sufficiency in production is often mooted as a solution to frequent fluctuations in price and availability of broiler chicken in Kerala, poultry farmers say this could remain a mere dream for long years due to a host of factors.

According to poultry farmers, the state currently requires nearly 1 crore kg of live broiler chicken per week and nearly 60% of this is brought from farms outside the state, while only 40% is produced in the state.

As per the data available with Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU), 80 to 90% of domestic production is by contract farms set up in Kerala by large-scale farmers from other states.

The state requires about 55 lakh broiler chicken birds per week to meet its meat demand. Reports indicate that Kerala spends over Rs 6,000cr per year for buying broiler chicken while Rs 5,000cr is spent on feed raw material and broiler chicks.

Dependence on firms outside the state for broiler chicks, high cost of feed raw material and labour, paucity of land and ambiguities in poultry farm licensing rules are some of the factors cited as stumbling blocks in the growth of commercial broiler chicken farms in Kerala.

Nearly 80% of the broiler chicken market in the country as a whole is controlled by a private hatchery and they have a rich stock of pure line broiler chicken. Most of the commercial poultry farms in the country, including those in Kerala, depend on that firm or intermediary farms to source broiler chicks. Farmers in Kerala have to source most of the broiler chicken feed from firms outside the state.

Government has already launched an initiative to frame unified norms and procedures for granting permissions for Indian poultry. Government should include broiler chicken farms in the agriculture sector, and not in industry, and provide broiler chicks and feed raw material at subsidized rates to poultry farm owners.

Source – timesofindia

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