The News Scroll 03 April 2020  Last Updated at 8:09 pm | Source: PTI

COVID19 outbreak: Poultry sector faces Rs 22.5k crore loss

COVID19 outbreak: Poultry sector faces Rs 22.5k crore loss
(Eds: recasts initro, minor edits) Hyderabad, Apr 3 (PTI) The Indian poultry industry is staring at a loss of Rs 22,500 crore since February following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, and the industry has knocked at the doors of the Centre with a plea for a "rescue package." What made matters worse were rumours that consumption of eggs and chicken will lead to an infection of coronavirus, the All India Poultry Breeders Association (AIPBA) said. AIPBA has sought restructuring of loans and interest subvention, among others, from the Narendra Modi-led government to help the industry tide over the crisis. The association''s Vice President, Suresh Chitturi said the industry suffered heavily beginning February, owing to false information linking coronavirus to consumption of chicken and eggs and subsequently due to problems in movement of poultry during the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. "Rumours began doing the rounds in the first week of February, which affected us very badly. Some people spread false information that chicken and eggs should not be consumed. The adverse impact continued for about six weeks," Chitturi told PTI here. Though the poultry industry recovered a bit following a clarification issued by them that eating chicken was safe, issues relating to inter-state movement of eggs and chickens at various parts of the country hurt the sector, he claimed. According to the Association, the industry employs more than 10 lakh poultry farmers and contributes Rs 1.3 lakh crore to the country''s GDP directly. The sector provides direct benefit to more than one crore maize and soya agriculture farmers. Poultry farming offers direct and indirect employment to over five crore persons engaged in poultry production, trading, feed manufacturing, agriculture crops, logistics, exports and others. The AIPBA submitted a memorandum to Modi on March 30 seeking "urgent financial assistance and rescue package" from the Centre. "The current 2.5 months loss of poultry industry (broiler farmers and layer farmers, Integration companies and breeding companies) beginning February 1 to April 15 April 2020 until lockdown opens is Rs 22,500 CR," the association said. Chitturi said the Association has requested restructuring of loans allowing conversion of existing working capital loans cash credit (CC) limits to term loans with a two year moratorium. He said it has also requested the government for interest subvention and issuing fresh working capital. All small farmers with less than 20,000 capacity farms should be provided a compensation of Rs 100 per bird based on their chicks'' purchase bill paid through banking transactions, the AIPBA said in the memorandum. It appealed to the Centre to provide wheat and rice of ''Feed Grade'' from old stock of government at a subsidized rate of Rs 10 per kg. It further sought exemption of GST on soya seed and soya meal which has added to the input cost on livestock feed to the farmers. On the current market scenario, the memorandum said poultry birds were being sold at a price of Rs 10 to Rs 30 per kg at the Farm Gate level due to fake news regarding COVID19. Noting that the production cost of poultry in India was Rs 80 per kg, the Association stated that the prices of eggs have plunged to two rupees per egg at Farm Gate. The cost of production of egg on an average was Rs four it said. PTI SJR ROH SA APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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