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NECC asks farmers not to reduce egg prices on bird flu fear

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  • NECC asks farmers not to reduce egg prices on bird flu fear

    NECC asks farmers not to reduce egg prices on bird flu fear
    NEW DELHI: Fearing huge losses to the poultry industry due to outbreak of bird flu in Manipur, National Egg Coordination Committee has asked the
    farmers in northern region not to be influenced by traders's demand of reduction in prices.

    "We are scared that traders in the north zone are trying to pull down the price by saying that export will be stopped," Delhi zone NECC Chairman Harish Juneja said in a letter to poultry farmers.

    The government had on July 25 confirmed detection of bird flu cases in Manipur and said 1.5 lakh birds will be culled to check its spread.

    "Since, the government takes immediate steps to control the effect of bird flu as soon as any such case is reported in any area, I strongly feel that prices or exports in non- affected areas should not be brought down," Juneja said.

    Some traders are trying to cash in on the situation by forcing a reduction in farm-gate prices of egg so that they could keep them in cold storage and sell at higher rates during winter, a farmer said.

    There was a need to educate the public that "there is no harm in consuming the poultry products in non-affected areas", he said, adding that it would save the industry from taking a hit again this year.

    Last year, when bird flu was detected in Maharashtra the entire poultry industry suffered an estimated Rs 10,500 crore loss, Juneja said.

    He said profit margin in poultry has become very less due to increasing cost of raw materials including feed. "Price hike in main feed like maize due to demand in other industries and high cost of medicines used for the birds have led to a higher cost of production," he said.

    Last week, the NECC Chairperson and Venkateshwara Hatcheries Managing Director Anuradha Desai had demanded zoning of poultry areas to lessen the impact of bird flu on exports.

    She said the government should immediately create zones for the poultry industry so that farmers of other zones don't get affected in terms of exports if bird flu is reported from a particular area.

    "If Malaysia and China can do it, why not India," Desai asked, adding that zoning would help exporters to continue their business if their area is not affected by bird flu.

    Currently, many countries ban import from regions where outbreaks of bird flu have been reported. After the zoning exercise, exports would be stopped only from the region affected by bird flu, she said.