Idea is to bail out poultry farmers reeling under crisis
A Rythu Bazaar concept where poultry farmers will be able to sell their produce directly to the consumer is on the anvil. This proposal is one of the steps mooted to bail out poultry farmers reeling under the current crisis.
“The idea is to increase the consumption of poultry products, which is bound to happen when the consumer buys at farm gate price directly. We are also encouraging farmers to open their own outlets with an emphasis on cleanliness and pleasant ambience where customers will not think twice about shopping,” says a representative from the poultry industry.
Hyderabad is considered the egg and poultry basket of the country with a whopping 7.5 crore egg production daily. Over 1.5 million people such as suppliers, traders and others, indirectly depend on the industry.
“Apart from being a production hub, it is also a consumption hub with 3.5 crore eggs set aside for the domestic market and the rest sent to Mumbai, parts of Maharashtra and eastern Uttar Pradesh,” says Sanjeev Chintavar, business manager, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), India.
Hoarding of maize and subsequent increase in its price along with soya has made the cost of the feed go sky-high, complain poultry farmers. The most affected are the small and marginal farmers in the poultry industry.
“It is a global phenomenon. Corn is being diverted for biofuel and as a result, cereal and feed prices have shot up by 100 per cent,” says a top official from a city-based agro farm.
The research taken up at ICRISAT on producing poultry feed formulations using sorghum in the place of maize is not viable either, observes Mr. Chintavar. “Sorghum costs the same as maize and it does not make sense to change the feed.”
Scarcity of groundwater has farmers banking on water tankers.
In an industry that heavily depends on electricity, poultry farmers are forced to use generators due to power shortage.
“Input costs have gone up drastically. This year the farm gate price of eggs has been Rs. 2.71 when compared to Rs. 2.35 last year. The 37-40 per cent hike in farm gate price is not viable when compared to the abnormal rise in production cost,” says Mr. Chintavar.
While the demand for eggs is high during winter, the worrisome bit is the drop in the farm gate price to Rs. 2.21 in February.
And it is here that the industry is banking on the Rythu Bazaar and farmers’ shops to tide over the crisis.