Kerala all set to be self-sufficient in poultry meat production

More than 300,000 poultry farms in the state also employ nearly 800,000 people.

ALAPPUZHA: While the country is debating cattle trade and slaughter restrictions, the state is fast getting self-sufficient in poultry meat production. Kerala animal husbandry department (AHD) data shows the daily production has increased from 264.31 to 420 tonnes, which accounts for more than 80 percent of domestic needs. R. Raveendran of All Kerala Poultry Federation said the number of integrators to the poultry farm has substantially increased in the last couple of years.

“The production of poultry in Tamil Nadu has come down due to various reasons including recent drought. However, we witnessed a surge in domestic production. Many banks offer self-employment finance options to begin poultry farms," he said. The price hike following a rise in feed cost has come down from Rs 150 to 145 per kg. More than 300,000 poultry farms in the state also employ nearly 800,000 people.

Many reasons make poultry farming profitable. They include low investment, minimal operation areas and tax relaxation to low-level ventures. In September, animal husbandry minister K. Raju while launching 'egg village’ project jointly by Kudumbasree and Kanjikuzhy panchayat, had outlined steps to make the state self-sufficient in poultry production. “The organised marketing practices is the key to the growth of domestic production," said T.P. Sethumadhavan, director-entrepreneurship, Kerala Veterinary and Animal University.

He expects restrictions on cattle trade to encourage domestic production. “The organised supply chain helps integrator to get chicks, feed, veterinary aid and marketing tie-ups to rear birds. Thankfully chickens have no religious taboos. The elimination 14.5 percent tax on chicken under the GST regime should further boost production," he said. But Kerala is still dependent on other states for its requirement of 1.5 million eggs per day. It produces 1,705 million eggs a year against the demand for 3,650 million.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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