ANDHRA PRADESH

Poultry farmers exploring new egg market

Federation working on ways to improve grading system

Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Poultry farmers from the State are planning to take the initiative to tap the egg market in Europe and Gulf countries.

At the zonal conference of the Andhra Pradesh Poultry Farmers Federation (APPFF) here on Thursday, several farmers felt that they should learn from the success of Tamil Nadu in sending five to six containers of eggs to Europe and Middle East.

APPFF general secretary Ch. Janardhan Rao, central committee member Bharanikana Rama Rao and zonal chairman Varahala Raju attended the conference. ``There is a huge potential for export to the two regions.

Tamil Nadu is doing well due to better grading facility and low freight cost from Namakkal,'' APPFF president Kasireddy Narayana Reddy told reporters.

The State is maintaining the top slot in the production of eggs and layers. The average daily egg production is 4.5 crores.

The layer production is about 5.5 crores. "The growth rate which used to be five to six per cent has now gone up to 20 per cent,'' he said.

Sensitisation programme

Mr. Reddy said that to tap the export market, the federation was trying to improve the grading system depending on the colour and size of the eggs. Andhra Pradesh was exporting only two or three containers (each 4.5 lakh eggs), he pointed out.

``We are also planning to sensitise the farmers against the use of feed containing antibiotic residual,'' he said and asked the Government to include serving of eggs compulsory twice a week under the mid-day meal scheme for school children.

APPFF chief said that the egg consumption had gone up in the country over the past few years. At present, the per capita consumption is 35 to 42 against world average of 240 eggs.

Agriculture status

Responding to the demand of the farmers from Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, he said that the federation would revive its efforts to secure agriculture status to the poultry industry.

Though the Government had kept the collection of market cess of one per cent from poultry farms under abeyance for pretty long, they had been fighting for its abolition, Mr. Reddy said.

He was hopeful that Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy would consider favourably their long-standing demand for abolition of the cess and granting agriculture status to the poultry sector.

He cited the example of Maharashtra and Orissa in this regard.

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