Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Sanjeev Balyan said on Wednesday that the government could intervene to ensure reasonable prices for poultry farmers who are paid lower prices by private companies.
Balyan asked his ministry officials to convene a meeting of all stakeholders to address the issue of achieving low prices and ensuring better market integration.
“We must intervene if small-scale poultry farmers are exploited. The issue of market integration of poultry farmers with enterprises needs to be addressed,” Balyan said while addressing the Unnat Pashudhan Sashakt Kisan Conclave in New Delhi, jointly organized by the industry body CII and the Department of Livestock and from the dairy.
Repression against private companies
Citing a 2005 study by Ludhiana-based Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, the minister said the total cost incurred by a farmer was ₹11.15/kg, while the return was only ₹11.15/kg. ₹6.41, resulting in a loss of ₹4.75/kg. He wondered if the private companies wanted to operate like the East India Company (of the British era).
Due to poor market integration and falling prices, Balyan pointed out that there has not been a single successful poultry farm in the past 10 years.
A Poultry Federation of India (PFI) executive said the cost of production had risen further to ₹28.53 per bird, while farmers received ₹14-16 per bird under contract farming. “Private companies should come up with a formula to calculate the cost of production, otherwise poultry farmers will continue to suffer,” he said.
Areas of intervention
The conclave focused on three key areas: increasing productivity and improving animal health, adding value and linking to markets, and innovation and technology.
Suggesting to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to establish a cooperative in other states as well, which is the mandate, Balyan said that he was not able to establish a successful cooperative like Amul, even though it had succeeded in some places. He also said that although Amul sources milk from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, it does not provide the services that are provided to dairy farmers in Gujarat.
Balyan, who also has a degree in veterinary science, asked scientists to find a solution to ensure that poultry feed and dairy products are available at a lower price. “If soybean prices have exploded, isn’t there an alternative raw material (for the manufacture of animal feed)? What solution do scientists have for this,” the minister asked.
There has been a severe animal feed crisis in Uttar Pradesh as wheat straw prices are reported to have hit an all-time high of ₹1,400-1,500 per cwt in the central region of the United States, which was previously available at ₹600-700.
June 01, 2022