INDIA - With a mismatch in egg consumption in the state, Maharashtra state has decided to promote poultry farming in tribal regions.
The per capita availability of eggs stands at 40 against the recommended levels of 180 per person per annum in the state today, reports the Indian Express.
An official in the Maharashtra ministry of agriculture and animal husbandry said the state has not been able to match the supply of the eggs which is procured from other states.
To fill this gap the government has taken decision to promote poultry farming in tribal and backward regions of north Maharashtra and Marathwada, the official adds.
This would increase production of eggs and also provide a credible alternative to small farmers specially in tribal regions and backwards regions of the state.
According to an estimate, egg production in Maharashtra during 2012-13 fiscal year was 4566 million, which does not meet the demand.
The poultry farming can provide an alternative to the farmers in the region reeling under repeated drought spells. The short supply of eggs also provides scope through higher budgetary allocations.
In order to increase poultry farming in the state, the state government has decided to provide estimated credit projections of $80 million (Rs 500 crore) for the year 2015-16 for poultry sector works.
Maharashtra is amongst the leading states for commercial layer farming and broiler farming, but the decline in the egg production in year 2012-13 was due to substantial increase in the feed cost, fluctuations in prices of meat and eggs and breakout of diseases.
Disorganised markets and lack of infrastructure are some of the constraints that have adversely hit poultry farming in state.
Apart from promoting poultry in rural areas, the state government is also looking to bring eggs into the schools mid-day meals programme, which would also increase egg consumption in the state.
The state government is looking to rope in financial institutions for financing their poultry farming initiatives that will help in spending million in the tribal and rural areas. This will also include setting up cold chains and strong marketing chains to market their products, not only in the state but also across the country.
Even the central government is looking to promote local poultry breeds along with a bio-secure environment.
A programme from the central agriculture ministry department is running in many states, of which Telengana and Andhra Pradesh are leading in promoting local breeds.
The government aims to create an opportunity for small farmers specially in the weaken sections of the society.
There is also provision under the scheme to involve the non-government organisations (NGOs) specially in the tribal areas. The low input cost and use of technology can lead to upliftment of tribals through poultry farming.
Ranking third in egg production in the country, Maharashtra is also stressing on availing the funds from centre for financing cold chain for poultry products, transport cost and small outlets for marketing across urban, semi-urban and large villages across state.ThePoultrySite News Desk