'No Impact on Egg Consumption'

INDIA - The bird flu outbreak in West Bengal is limited to just two districts, Birbhum and South Dinaipur, and has had no impact on the consumption of chicken and eggs across the country, according to Anuradha Desai, chairperson of the National Egg Coordination Committee and chairperson of Venkateshwara Hatcheries Ltd, country's largest poultry processing company.
calendar icon 21 January 2008
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Desai, who also heads the India chapter of the World Poultry Congress, said that even in Kolkata, where the consumption of eggs and chicken fell by 60 to 70 per cent of the average daily consumption last Thursday, sales had already perked-up on Friday to the levels of 30 per cent below the usual.

"I expect sales to be back to normal in Kolkata in a day or two. The fear factor among consumers as well poultry farmers is not as serious this time, compared to the last two outbreaks of avian flu in the country (in Manipur and in Maharashtra) when there was a severe drop in sales," said Desai.

The Indian poultry industry, which employs over three million people, is estimated at around Rs 39,000 crore per annum. Desai said that she spoke to the West Bengal animal resources development minister Anisur Rehman, who told her that 100 per cent of the birds affected are supplied by a government hatchery or are country birds.

Over 98 per cent of the day-old chicks produced in the country are from organised private sector and less than two per cent chick production is by government hatcheries.

Source: TheTimesOfIndia

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