Kerala egg ban spells trouble for poultry industry

Mysore district alone supplies 12 lakh eggs every day

If the Kerala government does not lift the ban on transportation of eggs from Karnataka within a couple of days, poultry farmers here will be doomed as Mysore zone is the largest supplier of eggs to Kerala.

Following reports of bird flu at Hesarghatta in Bangalore, Kerala government, which is the largest buyer of eggs from the state, acted swiftly and imposed a ban on eggs not only from Karnataka, but also from the neighbouring state Tamil Nadu.

While Mysore supplies 12 lakh eggs every day, it is 1.10 crore eggs from Tamil Nadu.
When contacted, M P Satish Babu, Mysore Zonal chairman of National Egg Coordinating Committee, said the underlying fact is that the dip in sales of chicken and prices is not the real problem faced by the committee.

“The actual problem will arise if the ban on eggs is not lifted in a few days. It may cause extensive damage to poultry breeders and farmers as there will be a sharp decline in egg prices, which would become a great task for the NECC to tackle. It might also affect farmers who supply byproducts to make poultry feeds.

Satish Babu, who is in Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala, is holding several rounds of meeting with the Kerala animal husbandry minister, said his team was trying to explain that there is no fear of spread of bird flu and convince the ministry to lift the ban. However, the officials in Kerala seem to be adamant in their stand and are fearing that the eggs may trigger bird flu attack in their state.

The Kerala government has banned eggs from Namakkal, Tamil Nadu as they fear the eggs from Karnataka may enter Kerala through TN.

Explaining further, he said about 12 lakh eggs are sent every day from Mysore alone to Kerala. There are more than 62 poultry farms in Mysore district alone and the eggs supplied to the city is negligible as a majority of them are transported to Kerala.

Kerala needs approximately about 1.25 crore eggs every day and Tamil Nadu is another state which supplies a majority of their needs amounting to more than 1.10 crore eggs every day.

According to a survey, while people in the rest of the country consume 53 eggs per person every month on an average, a Keralite is said to consume 135 eggs. Their need for eggs is more as a majority of them are non-vegetarians. The poultry egg production in Kerala is very negligible as they are capable of supplying only 60,000 eggs per day.

The farmers, who are involved in manufacturing poultry feeds using byproducts from sunflower, groundnuts, rice bran, limestone and soya hindi are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that the Kerala government will respond positively.

However, the officials there have assured to extend their cooperation and have convened further meetings on Saturday too.

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