APEFA to monitor emu rearing in State
APEFA to monitor emu rearing in State. Rearing emus as an occupation has picked up in almost all the districts of the State, and more and more people are being drawn to the bird rearing in view of the multiple benefits attributed to it.
Rearing emus as an occupation has picked up in almost all the districts of the State, and more and more people are being drawn to the bird rearing in view of the multiple benefits attributed to it. Of late, the State has emerged as a major supplier of emu eggs to other States in the north. There are five emu bird farms operating in Guntur district.
It has become an organised business in the State with bird farmers forming a State wide association for ensuring uniform pricing of the bird and its eggs.The farmers have united under the banner of Andhra Pradesh Emu Farmers Association (APEFA) and have come to a consensus on the price for selling emu chicks across the State.
The APEFA has now decided that one month old emu chicks would be sold for a minimum price of Rs 4,000 Thereafter, as the chicks grow, Rs 500 would be added to the initial price until the age of 9 months; and from the tenth month Rs 750 would be added.
This means that if someone wants to buy a 15-month-old bird, it would cost the person Rs12,500 for one bird. This consensus is truly remarkable as many farmers were being cheated by middlemen. These middlemen would often buy the chicks from unaware farmers for a lower price, resulting in losses for the farmer.
The bird, which resembles an ostrich, has several medicinal values. Its meat is delicious and has great demand both abroad and as well as in India. The medicinal value of the birds is immense. The bird has a fat bag which when melted produces four kg oil, which is beneficial for arthritis, joint pains and psoriasis.
Its meat is good for heart patients and is said to be a panacea for all heart ailments. The skin of the bird is used for making leather bags. The feathers of the bird are used for making brushes to clean electronic machines like computers. The birds’ nails are used ornamentally in chains and lockets on the lines of the tiger nails.
Emus lay eggs between October and March and the average number of eggs laid by a bird is about 15. During this period, Andhra Pradesh will see about 15 lakh eggs laid and more than half of these would go to farmers in other States to begin more emu farms.
Today, emu farming has gained impetus in India in states such as Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Orissa and Rajasthan. It is estimated that Tamil Nadu would require a minimum of three-lakh chicks; Jharkhand and Orissa require about 1 lakh chicks each; and within Andhra Pradesh there is a requirement of about 2 to 3 lakh.
By Ravi P Benjamin