Poultry industry stares at severe crisis

Poultry industry stares at severe crisis
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Highlights

Farmers are demanding that the government place poultry industry under agriculture sector, and to provide facilities on par with agriculture. But the government is yet to take a decision on the same. 

Srikakulam: Poultry sector is going through a difficult phase in Srikakulam district as farmers are not really enthusiastic about running poultry farms as it is not as profitable as it used to be earlier.

Farmers are demanding that the government place poultry industry under agriculture sector, and to provide facilities on par with agriculture. But the government is yet to take a decision on the same.

Normally farmers run poultry farms in two ways: one is purchasing chicks from poultry hatcheries of corporate companies like Suguna, Vencobb Sneha and rearing them for 45 days till suitable for sale.

Secondly farmers purchase hens and cocks from corporate companies and re-sale them in retail market and chicken shops.Normally chicken rate is fixed everyday in the evening by representatives of the poultry federation or poultry producers union for each district and the rate is applicable for next day.

While fixing the rate, all expenses incurred towards maintenance of poultry farm and damages are considered. But in Srikakulam due to differences between poultry union representatives and the involvement of district-level officer of Animal Husbandry department reasonable rates are not being fixed, rue poultry owners.

They allege that an Animal Husbandry department official in question is running poultry farms near Srikakulam, and he has been fixing rates as his wish and other farmers are forced to follow them.

Normally a farmer has to get Rs 15 as profit on a hen or cock weighing a kg. But due to differences in fixing rates, farmers are unable to get back at least the amount they had invested.

Adding to the woes of farmers, the said official is allegedly supplying unhealthy hens and cocks to all hotels at lower prices, and demanding all other poultry owners to follow the rate which is causing losses to them.

Chicks have to be reared under protection for 45 days. There is too much of expenditure due to power bills, feed, vaccines, staff salaries and transportation charges. Finally, the power to fix the prices is vested with corporate companies or Animal Husbandry officials,” lamented Gunda Ramana who recently resigned from the post of poultry farmers union district president.

I was unable to do justice to farmers due to differences in the union and officials’ pressure so I had to resign,” he said.When contacted joint director for Animal Husbandry department Metta Venkateswarlu said officials have no role in fixing chicken rates and the power is vested with farmers.

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