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Poultry Industry in the Grip of a Crisis

by 5m Editor
13 January 2012, at 7:57am

HYDERABAD, INDIA - It appears the poultry industry in Hyderabad is heading for a major slump with thousands of marginal and big farmers incurring huge losses.

The Times of India reports that following the rising rates of feed, particularly soyabean and maize, along with production costs in the last three months, experts are not ruling out negative growth for the poultry industry in the coming months.

The production cost for broiler chicken has gone up from Rs 30 to Rs 50 per kg but the market rate has decreased from Rs 100 to Rs 70 a kg. "Skinless chicken is available at Rs 102 a kg, the dressed chicken at Rs 86 and live bird for Rs 50," A Gopal Reddy, executive director of a private hatchery, pointed out. The production cost was Rs 42 per kg a few months ago and the market rate of Rs 100 per kg was economically viable for the breeders.

Industry observers said this kind of crisis hit the poultry sector two years ago. "Looking at the current scenario there seems to be no hope for next six months," an expert reasoned.

One tonne of soyabean now costs Rs 16,000 as against Rs 12,000 in October/November last year. Similarly, a tonne of maize costs Rs 12,000 as against Rs 9,000 a year ago. The poultry farm owners also have another worry with the rates of 50 types of imported varieties of feed like amino acids and vitamins to breed chicken going up.

Apart from 20 per cent increase in input cost, the industry is also plagued by frequent power cuts. "In fact, power cuts are wreaking havoc. While generators are an additional burden, many chicken die in the sheds because of power supply changes as they are sensitive to power fluctuations," rued S Narendar Reddy, a chicken breeder from Ranga Reddy district.

Industry sources say as a result of increase in production costs, 14,000 poultry breeders and 95 hatcheries across the state are in doldrums. Andhra Pradesh produces about three crore broiler chicken every month but with the industry facing a rough patch, the production could decline. Telangana is the worst-hit with 60 per cent of the breeders belonging to the region.

Industry observers said the situation is grim in Medak (with 1,387 breeders), Ranga Reddy (826), Nalgonda (1,140), Mahbubnagar (1,140) along with Chittoor (1,191), West Godavari (658) and Krishna (772) districts which account for the majority poultry breeders in the state.As a solution to tide over the crisis, breeders want the government to ban forward trading in maize and soyabean immediately. "In addition, we want the government to ensure continuous power supply to the sheds," D Ram Reddy, state poultry breeders association president, said.