Minister expresses concern over the low price for farmers
Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Sanjeev Balyanrecently indicated that government might intervene to ensure reasonable prices for poultry farmers who are paid lower prices by private companies.
Balyan asked his ministry officials to call a meeting of all stakeholders to address the issue of a low-pricerealization and to ensure better market integration.“We have to intervene if small poultry farmers are exploited. The issue of market integration of poultry farmers with companies needs to be addressed,” Balyan said addressing UnnatPashudhanSashakt Kisan Conclave in New Delhi, organised jointly by industry body CII and Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Crackdown on private companies
Citing a 2005 study of Ludhiana-based Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, the minister said that the total cost incurred by a farmer was ₹11.15/kg, while the return was only ₹6.41, incurring a loss of ₹4.75/kg. He wondered if the private companies want to operate like East India Company (of British era).
As a result of poor market integration and lower price realisation, Balyan pointed out that there has not been a single successful poultry farm in the last 10 years.
A Poultry Federation of India (PFI) executive said that the cost of production has further increased to ₹28.53 per bird whereas farmers are getting ₹14-16 per bird under contract farming. “The private companies should come out with a formula to calculate the cost of production, else poultry farmers will continue to suffer,” he said.
The conclave focussed on three key areas — increasing productivity and improving animal health, value addition and market linkages, and innovation and technology.
Suggesting the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to set up cooperative in other States as well, which is the mandate, Balyan said it was not able to set up a successful cooperative like Amul even though it had succeeded in some places. He also said that though Amul procures milk from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, it is not providing services that are given to Gujarat dairy farmers.
Balyan, who is also a veterinary science graduate, asked scientists to find a solution to ensure poultry and dairy feed are available at a lower price. “If soybean rates have shot up, cannot there be an alternative raw material (for making animal feed)? What solution do the scientists have for this,” the minister asked.
There has been a severe feed crisis in Uttar Pradesh as wheat straw prices have reportedly shot up to a record level of ₹1,400-1,500 per quintal in the central region of the state which was earlier available at ₹600-700.
Source: Business Line