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Tirupati: Poultry farmers' distress pulls down egg production
- The production of eggs has come down to 16-17 cr a day from 23 cr earlier
- The largest producer Andhra Pradesh is witnessing a drop of about 70 lakh eggs a day
Tirupati: The egg production has fallen drastically since the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the country in March this year pushing the poultry sector into a crisis. In fact, the Covid threat has created panic among the consumers initially with the rumours that eggs and poultry products too cause the Covid infections spread. While the normal egg production in the country was 23 crore per day, with the Covid fears it came down to about 16-17 crores now.
It was only after the World Health Organisation (WHO) and doctors started recommending eggs for increased protein intake needed to fight virus and supply of eggs for Covid patients in hospitals, the consumption started rising. This supply- demand imbalance has pushed the prices of eggs upwards to Rs 4.90 at the farm more than Rs 6 per in the retail market. Still, it is learnt that the farmers who incurred heavy losses in the initial months could get only a marginal profit and unless the price went up further, they could not reach the break even stage.
V Ramesh Babu, Chittoor zonal chairman of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) told The Hans India that the egg production had come down in the country and in the state as well. Poultry farmers faced problems of high feed and production costs and low sale prices and to fill these losses many of them started reducing the birds.
When the overall consumption had gone up with awareness on the benefits of consuming eggs, there is a severe shortage in supply of eggs with a 30 per cent fall in the production.
In Andhra Pradesh alone, which is the largest producer of eggs in the country, the production came down to 4.30 crore eggs from 5 crore daily.
This shortage of eggs will continue further as the poultry farmers are not showing interest in rearing layers because of their losses.
"In view of this, the government has to think seriously and encourage this sector which provides poor man's food. They should find out ways to reduce the production cost which may induce more farmers to start rearing layers again. The government can provide quality maize and other feed to us at the price they buy it from growers. Announcing a moratorium on the loans taken by those in the poultry industry will help significantly," said the zonal chairman.