National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), the apex body of Indian poultry farmers consisting of more than 25,000 members, mostly small and marginal farmers, has appealed to the Government of India to allot at least 2 million tons of damaged wheat, paddy and/or broken rice which are unfit for human consumption, for use in poultry feed as a partial substitute for maize whose price has sky rocketed causing hardship for Indian poultry farmers.
NECC in a statement said that during the past one year, there has been a significant increase in the price of maize, eggs and broilers due to various reasons which are beyond the control of farmers. These include increased volume of exports and diversion of significant volumes of maize for production of bio-fuel in Bihar which is a major maize-producing State.
The price of maize in the domestic market has increased from Rs18,000 per ton to approximately Rs25,000 per ton currently and is expected to increase further to Rs30,000 per ton, NECC said.
“Due to such increase in maize price, the average cost of broiler and egg production has gone up from Rs4 per egg last year, to Rs4.75-5.00 currently. However, the average farm gate price is hovering around Rs3.00 per egg, thus resulting in a net loss of Rs1.50 to Rs2.00 per egg for the farmers,” NECC said.
Unable to withstand such continuous losses, thousands of small and marginal Indian poultry farmers, and even breeders have already shut down or suspended or scaled down their operations, it said.
“Most of the Indian poultry farmers and breeders are on the verge of insolvency,” it added.
“Under these circumstances partial substitution of maize with other cheaper commodities is the only viable option to help the Indian poultry farmers to retain their means of livelihood, as well as to ensure that eggs and broilers would continue to be available to the poorer sections of the consumers at an affordable price,” it further said.
Source – THE HINDU