Brazilian Imports Likely to Hurt Indian Poultry Industry

INDIA - The Indian government’s decision to import unprocessed poultry from Brazil may hurt domestic poultry companies such as Godrej Tyson Foods and Venkateshwara Hatcheries.
calendar icon 18 August 2008
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The National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC), a trade body for the industry, has opposed the move saying import of subsidised poultry meat from Brazil will deny a level playing field to the country’s poultry farmers.

Earlier this month, the Brazilian government announced that it had won orders to export 3,00,000 tonnes of unprocessed poultry, about 10 per cent of its total exports, to India. The deal may make India the biggest buyer of Brazilian chicken, surpassing Russia, which purchased 194,000 tonnes of the meat from the Latin American nation last year, reports Business Standard.

“The imports will deny the country’s poultry farmers a level playing field, and will have an extremely adverse impact on the economic viability of the poultry farmers,” said Anuradha Desai, chairperson of NECC. She added that this will only augment the crisis of the industry, which has seen unprecedented increase in the cost of ingredients.

The government had decided on importing poultry to overcome a potential deficit after the culling of more than one million birds during the outbreak of bird flu, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said. It is not merely a question of importing 3,00,000 tonnes.

It's more a question of multinational companies’ attempt to get a foot-hold in the rapidly expanding domestic market by offering the products initially at a cheaper price, and eventually gaining a monopoly, she said.

The 400 billion rupee (INR) domestic poultry industry provides direct and indirect employment to 3.2 million persons in the country.

“The industry can provide employment to over nine million and contribute INR900 billion to gross national product, if the recommended levels by the National Institution of Nutrition is met,” said Ms Desai.

India is the second largest egg producer and produces the fourth largest number of broilers in the world.

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