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Poultry Industry To Seek Creation Of Specific Farming Zones

by 5m Editor
30 July 2007, at 9:17am

INDIA - The agricultural ministry will examine Monday a proposal to create special poultry farming zones so that the industry as a whole does not suffer when the birds are hit by diseases in a small isolated area.

The proposal from the Poultry Federation of India will be discussed in detail during a meeting between agricultural ministry officials and industry representatives.

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"We are going to meet the agricultural ministry Monday with two main agendas. Firstly, we want to urge the government to divide the entire country into specific poultry farming zones."

Shabbir Ahmed Khan, secretary of the Poultry Federation of India.

'We are going to meet the agricultural ministry Monday with two main agendas. Firstly, we want to urge the government to divide the entire country into specific poultry farming zones,' Shabbir Ahmed Khan, secretary of the Poultry Federation of India, told IANS.

Secondly, he said, the federation would ask the government to help Bangladesh, Myanmar and China to control bird flu since the northeastern states border these countries.

'We would request the government to create state-wise zones similar to what is followed in buffalo meat exports. By doing this if the strain is found in one state, then the rest of the country could at least be declared free,' Khan said.

Officials of the commerce ministry and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority are expected to participate in the Monday meeting.

The move comes in the wake of the culling of tens of thousands of poultry in Manipur after an outbreak of bird flu.

Myanmar and Sri Lanka have imposed a temporary ban on imports of poultry products from India.

Around 60,000 poultry, including chickens, ducks and pigeons, have been culled since Thursday.

'Small farmers are the worst affected during these outbreaks, forcing them to wrap up their businesses,' Khan said, adding that rumours create panic among consumers harming the industry.

According to Khan, chicken consumption in India is about 1.5 kg per capita.

The outbreak of the virulent form of the avian influenza, H5N1, in a chicken farm in Imphal was confirmed Wednesday. However, officials have said the disease was localised and has been contained.

Last year the presence of H5N1 strain was confirmed twice in western India. But not a single human case of bird flu has been confirmed till now.

5m Editor