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Poultry Farmers Are Likely to See Some Margin Recovery

This season, Poultry farmers are likely to see some margin recovery, who are under losses for two years due to over-production. The drought and intense summer in around 10 states have pushed up prices of eggs and broilers.

Average wholesale prices for May so far have touched Rs 375 per 100 eggs from Rs 293 for 100 eggs in April. Prices were around Rs 290 per 100 eggs, last year in May. This year around mid-May, it had peaked to Rs 440 for 100 eggs in Hyderabad.

Farmers were estimated in the past two to three years to have lost Rs 60-75 per bird annually. However, Harish Garware, executive committee member, Poultry India, notes they might recover some of the losses this season as the production across India has dipped.

The drought has hit water supply for the birds and the latter's mortality rate has risen in recent months, pushing up prices for broilers and eggs. Sanjeev Chintawar, business manager for the National Egg Coordination Committee, said maize costs Rs 17 a kg and soybean Rs 41 a kg, so it will results in rise of 20 per cent in feed cost. This rising cost over two years made smaller poultry units unsustainable; the larger ones cut production. It is estimated that 10-15 per cent of units across India have shut down.

In the Pune and Nashik area of Maharashtra, it costs Rs 3.50- Rs 3.75 to produce one egg but average realisation per egg at the farm gate is Rs 3-3.25 per egg.

Darshan Kumar Singla, president of the Haryana Poultry Farmers Association, recently set up a poultry farm of 100,000 birds at Najibabad, Bijnor district, and plans to phase out operations at his Barwala unit.

He said “UP is the biggest market for eggs produced in Haryana. We can increase our margins as we are getting a concessional loan, power and proximity to the market. Land cost in UP is far lower than in Haryana and so it is viable to wind up our operations at loss-making units there and invest in UP." Professor at the local Veterinary College and Research Institute, D Chandrasekharan said that, at Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, there is the largest poultry cluster of India. Here, in the past two years 15-20 farms have closed and the number of birds has reduced from 50 million to 45 million.