Kerala Seeks Help in Egg and Meat Production

KERALA, INDIA - Kerala needs an action plan combining homestead and commercial production to achieve self-sufficiency in eggs and poultry meat, Kerala State Poultry Development Corporation Managing Director, V. Sunilkumar, said yesterday.
calendar icon 11 March 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

In a paper presented at a national seminar on ‘Recent advances in diagnosis and control of animal diseases' on Wednesday, he said though there was immense scope to promote egg production through backyard farming involving rural women, there was a need to explore possibilities of commercial production in areas with suitable agro-climatic conditions like Palakkad, Kannur and Thrissur.

Dr Sunilkumar proposed commercial production through Kudumbasree units with a Rs.2 lakh subsidy per unit. According to The Hindu, he suggested promotion of backyard production in Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Alappuzha.

“Kerala was self sufficient in egg production in the 1970s. We were exporting eggs to other regions including New Delhi. Kottarakara and Chengannur railway stations were famous as egg exporting stations. At that time, Kerala was a role model for the country in low-cost egg production through backyard rearing,” he said.

“Over the years, poultry production withered away due to decline in paddy farming, fast urbanisation and attitudinal changes. From 2000 to 2006, the sector showed a steep negative trend. From 265 lakh in 1996, the poultry population has come down to 110 lakh in 2003. Egg production dipped from 119.56 crore to 203.4 crore during the same period,” he said.

The paper said the annual internal production of eggs in the State was 150.02 crore against a demand of 450 crore. The balance eggs are sourced from neighbouring States, especially Tamil Nadu.

Dr Sunilkumar observed that the broiler industry in the State was ruined by corporate houses dumping culled layer birds and broilers at cheaper rates. Finding it difficult to compete, many farmers gradually surrendered their infrastructure to the corporates who exploited both the consumers and farmers.

KSPDC, he said, was now trying to boost internal production through farmers. Considering that the consortium of outside players is reaping huge profit at the expense of our farmers and consumers, it is high time the government intervened in the broiler industry now worth Rs.1,200 crore, he said. KSPDC had succeeded in raising the internal production of eggs to the tune of 30.41 crore over the last three years while an additional 7816 tonne of poultry meat was produced.

He proposed strengthening the infrastructure in the broiler- breeding farm and poultry feed farms in Kerala.

He stressed the need to extend financial assistance to existing and new farmers. Promotion of processed poultry meat, starting of new poultry meat processing plants and sales outlets and a mobile freezer vans were other proposals presented in the paper.

He said KSPDC had started a poultry feed plant at Kottiyam and moves were on to establish another at Kudappanakunnu.

The corporation is due to open the first fair price druggists and chemists shop soon and efforts are on to launch a technical service centre for farmers.

Value-added poultry products like marinated chicken and sausage would be launched soon, he said.

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