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Rising maize prices give jitters to India's poultry farmers

17 January 2019, at 12:00am

INDIA - Maize prices are on the boil on reports of lower crop in the kharif 2018 season

The infestation of the dreaded pest Fall Army Worm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda), coupled with weak monsoon rains witnessed in key producing States such as Karnataka and Telangana have shrunk the maize output this year.

Maize prices, which hovered around USD$15.45-16.86 per 100 kg at the beginning of October are now ruling between $23.88-25.29 levels across several markets in Karnataka. In fact, the modal maize prices in some markets had crossed $26.69.

The Centre had fixed an MSP of $23.88 per 100 kg for maize for the kharif (autumn) 2018-19 season.

The rising trend in maize prices has brought relief to the farmers, but has made the consuming industries such as the poultry sector and starch makers jittery, triggering demand for duty-free imports of corn.

The Agriculture Ministry, which had pegged the kharif maize production at 21.47 million tonnes (mt) in its first advance estimates, higher than the previous year’s 20.24 mt, is yet to quantify the crop losses arising out of the FAW infestation and drought conditions.

Click here to read the full article by The Hindu Business Line