Vetphage Extends a Helping Hand to Support Poultry Farmers During Lockdown

  • Vetphage offered bacteriophages feed additives – BAFASAL+G to farmers free of cost
  • 300 liters of the product worth 27 lakh rupees were distributed. June 2020: To help poultry farmers tide over the market crunch caused due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Vetphage Pharmaceuticals, in collaboration with its parent company Proteon Pharmaceuticals, distributed their top of the line poultry feed additive BAFASAL+G free of charge to farmers.

Poultry farms in India were already facing pressure on their profit margins due to the steady increase in feed prices. The government’s decision last year to increase the minimum support prices for soybean and maize, two of the products most commonly used as poultry feed, led to an increase in the cost of production of a poultry. At a time when they were struggling to pass this on to the consumers despite a demand, the coronavirus pandemic turned everything helter-skelter. When the news of the pandemic started spreading, misinformation spreaded along with it, and a lot of people were inundated with erroneous forwards that claimed that the virus can be transmitted through the consumption of poultry meat. This caused the demand for poultry meat to drop, and the prices dropped along with it, from over 75 rupees per kg to 5 rupees per kg, in just over a month

Despite efforts by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Poultry Federations of India and Breeders Associations across the country to quell the rumours, the panic had settled in and the public started avoiding meat & egg consumption, which led to a sharp fall in demand, and a huge setback for farmers who depended on farming poultry for their livelihood. “Since poultry is a low margin commodity, it takes over 10 production cycles to recover the losses, which are currently upwards of Rs. 20000 crores. This does not bode well for the economy either as the industry contributes 6-7 percent to our national GDP. Considering the dire situation, Vetphage Pharmaceuticals decided to give the industry a push by supplying high quality poultry feed additive (BAFASAL+G) to the farmers free of cost.”Said Dr. Ramdas Kamble.

BAFASAL+G is an innovative feed additive consisting of a cocktail of 6 lytic bacteriophages, with 2 phages targeting S. Gallinarum specifically, without any negative impact on the gut microbiome of chicken. By directly impacting Salmonella bacteria, BAFASAL+G helps create space for good bacteria to proliferate, therebyimproving gut health, bird performance and preventing high mortality in broiler, layer & breeder flocks. BAFASAL+Galso helps to reduce the usage of antibiotics and improves profitability.

Vetphage has successfully distributed over 300 liters of the product, valued at over 27 lakh rupees, to 57 poultry farmers across the country. The product has shown proven results when it comes to improvingthe efficacy of flocks, increasing the body weight of broilers, and increasing production performance during the moulting and post moulting phase in layers.

A lot of farmers have already shut farmsdue to the current crisis and the viability issues. If the current trend continues, poultry farmers will end up facing more losses. Not only will it disrupt their livelihood, it will also affect livestock production, and have an adverse impact on the market, which will in turn affect more farmers and stake holders. Meanwhile, the institutes that finance players in the industry are looking forward to more concrete policy support and guidelines from the central government so that they can issue fresh working capital to businesses who are looking to revive the slump in their production. With their initiative, Vetphage Pharmaceuticals joins the government and other industry players in their efforts to boost production and sales volume of struggling poultry farmers, and they intend to continue supporting them in the future.