INDIA - With prices of eggs dropping further and production cost increasing in the Indian state, egg farmers in Tamil Nadu have demanded subsidy on poultry feeds.
Currently, farmers are losing $0.07 (Rs 5) to $0.01 (Rs 1) per egg every day, due to the heat wave and shortage of manpower in the state, and egg sales have dropped drastically.
Per egg rate in the state have touched to a new low of $0.03 (Rs 2.25) as compared to $0.07 (Rs 5) a few months ago and it has been lowest since the last two years.
Speaking on the egg producers in the state, a farmer said that prices of eggs are going down every day, and it will take many months to see some improvement, but till then state government has to support them and provide subsidies.
The high cost of production is the reason for this, farmers want feed at subsidised prices to tide over the current situation.
Farmers said that the subsidy will help them produce eggs for the next few months, otherwise, they will have to shut the farms and opt for some other jobs.
R. Nallathambi, president of Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers Association said, corn, soya and dry fish are used in chicken feed. Only 50 per cent of the corn is available in the State and the rest has to come from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The feed has been given at subsidised prices only twice, since 2000, Mr Nallathambi revealed.
Mohan Reddy of National Egg Coordination Committee in Chennai said that apart from this there are other reasons that are affecting egg rates in the state.
Adding further, Mr Reddy said that scare of bird flu, reduction in consumption and other states having their own production centres are contributing to this.
Though egg prices had gone up very marginally last week, farmers are still losing $0.01 per egg, Mr Reddy stressed.
Egg sales to other states like Punjab and Haryana have stopped, as they are procuring eggs locally.
Even export to Arabian countries has also stopped since they get eggs at lower prices from France and Switzerland. In Indian however, the high cost of raw materials makes sustainability difficult, Mr Reddy added.