Poultry farmers allege extortion calls from fringe bodies
M C R Shetty, president, Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (KPFBA), told reporters on Thursday that the threats had increased after four poultry farms were ordered to be closed down in Davangere, as they were found polluting the environment.
“Despite our farms maintaining hygiene standards, miscreants are not only making extortion calls, but have also gone to the extent of damaging poultry farm property and stealing birds from the farms,” he said.
The threats increased after some of the poultry farm owners refused to fund Ganesha programmes, Shetty said. The workers in these farms have been working under constant fear. He said police complaints have been registered about these incidents.
Shetty said poultry farming is an agricultural activity, but out of ignorance, many panchayats have insisted on availing licences to start poultry farms. These panchayats have also been collecting building taxes from poultry farm owners and farmers. Shetty demanded that the government should start a ‘poultry mission’ to incorporate technology in poultry farms to increase production. KPFBA has submitted a representation in this regard to the government.
Poultry farmers across Karnataka are planning to stage a rally in Bangalore’s Palace Grounds on October 26. More than 20,000 farmers are expected to participate. Poultry farming provides direct and indirect employment to more than 50 lakh people in Karnataka. The State produces 42 crore kg of poultry meat and 700 crore eggs every year, contributing 13 per cent to the country’s output, Shetty said.