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Zoning Delay Angers TN Producers

by 5m Editor
18 March 2009, at 8:54am

INDIA - Poultry product exporters are angry at the delay in introducing zoning (compartmentalisation), and are urging the Tamil Nadu government to take action.

Exporters of poultry products have expressed concern over the Tamil Nadu government's inordinate delay in initiating the zoning process, according to The Hindu Business Line.

"While the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries is willing to zone the country, the Government of Tamil Nadu is yet to initiate the zoning process," said a source in the industry, stressing the need for a permanent solution to the bird flu-related problems.

An industry spokesperson said exporters of poultry products were losing out to competing countries such as Brazil, USA, China, France, Thailand and Germany. All these countries are zoned in accordance with OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) guidelines.

A. Shiva Kumar, Managing Director of VKS Exports Private Ltd, said, "The State Government should first approve the zoning concept and send the recommendation to the Department of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, for acceptance. The Centre has agreed to it in principle, but the zone has to be monitored by the State Government."

Claiming a market share of 70 per cent in the export of table eggs, Mr Kumar said "Our daily export of eggs is about five million."

The company's export volumes grew consistently until 2006, when the first bird flu epidemic was reported in the country.

"Since then, we are constantly faced by the threat of bird flu and this is affecting our growth prospects and development," he told Business Line. Stating that the company had represented the issue to both the Centre and the State government, he said, "The Centre is taking all necessary steps to prevent the spread of bird flu by stamping out and restricting movement around the area of outbreak. The last outbreak reported on February 3 in West Bengal has affected our growth and export prospects yet again." The monthly export is 200 million rupees (INR). When zoning is done and if the zone is free of bird flu virus, exports would more than double to INR 500 million."

The industry is estimating the export turnover to touch INR 2 billion by 2015, once zoning is done according to OIE rules. Business Line reports that VKS Exports has been requesting the State Government to make Tamil Nadu a separate zone and have it notified by the OIE for international trade purposes.