The webinar organised by the Agrovision Foundation at 11 am on May 1, 2020, was well attended by senior representatives of both the public and the private sectors. Setting the tone for the discussion, Moderator Ms. Vibha Bhatia of MM Activ SciTech Communications explained idea of the webinar on 'The impact of COVID 19 on Poultry Sector and Road Ahead'
The webinar has been organised to provide a perspective on the situation, understand current issues of Poultry Sector and the way forward.
Ms. Bhatia gave a brief introduction of all the eminent participants invited for the webinar
• Dr O P Chaudhary Jt Secretary, Dept of Animal Husbandry and Dairying,
• Dr Dhananjay Parkale, Addl Commissioner, Dept of Animal Husbandry, GoM
• Dr Rudranath Chatterjee, Director ICAR- Directorate Poultry Research
• Dr Ramesh Chander Khatri, President, Poultry Federation of India
• Dr Suresh Chitturi, Chairman International Egg Commission; VP, All India Poultry Breeders' Association; Vice Chairman, & MD, Shrinivasa Farms
• Dr Prasanna Pedgaonkar, GM (Poultry Dvn) VH Group
• Dr A K Rajput, Executive Director, All India Poultry Breeders' Association
• Dr S V Bhave, Chairman, The Compound Feed Manufacturers Association (CLFMA)
• Dr A S Ranade, Dean, Vet College Mumbai
• Mr. Harkishan Deka, National Small Poultry Development Trust
Ms Vibha Bhatia introduced Dr C D Mayee, Chairman, Agrovision Advisory Council and Mr Ravi Boratkar, President, Agrovision Foundation; Publisher, Agro Spectrum and NuFFooDs Spectrum.
Dr C D Mayee in his brief opening speech, welcomed the experts and the attendees. Dr Mayee said that The Govt. is aware of the situation and helping the sector. There is sharp declaim in poultry sale due to Corona rumours. India is 4th largest poultry production country. To resettle and to grow the poultry sector, production of maize and soybean is necessary and the same should be made available in reasonable rate to poultry farmers. Poultry is Rs. xxxxxxx cr sector which has been affected by the rumours, Dr Mayee requested expert participants to share concrete suggestions.
The impact of Covid-19 on Poultry Sector was discussed in the webinar. The experts' advices and points were noted
1. Rumours about Covid 19 in February and early March hit the sector very hard and was similar to 2006 bird flu situation. Fortunately, Govt took steps and could bring the consumption to normal level
2. Suggestion to Govt to reschedule the loans. Industry and Govt should come together for fast recovery
3. Sector loss was Rs 22500 Cr. 10 lakh poultry farmers lost their businesses
4. Poultry export is a good option for speedy recovery. Frozen Chicken counter sale should be promoted
5. Govt should help with 2 years moratorium and 5 years repayment. Additional loan requirement @Rs100 per bird should be given to the farmers. Maize and Soybean should be made available at subsidised rates.
6. GST need to be removed fully or at least reduced to 50% in various states has been drastically down, now picking up
7. Consumers prices are not down, it affects on sale
8. Farmers not taking banks financial assistance, they prefer to go to money lenders
9. From Govt, assurance to promote export, small holders will be supported, moratorium on loan will also be considered. A suggestion 1 year grace period moratorium needed
10. Corona impacted worldwide, even US market is also down. In Poland the chicken price is given to the farmer directly by the meal suppliers. Middle man is eliminated in the process.
11. There are various Schemes by the Government which are mostly for Small holders. Small holders can easily get the loan from Kisan Credit Card with a very marginal rate of interest. Along with Agriculture the Animal Husbandry components are included in Kisan Credit Card.
12. Regarding the GST, Government is considering it.
13. Schemes announced by Central Govt are implemented through the state Govts. Changes in policies also announced e.g No EMI for 3 months. No NPS for 90 days. We need to wai for some more changes in the future
14. Processed poultry should be promoted
15. Change in law is required
16. Working capital and capital for chicks required. Poultry being a fast growing sector will be revived in next 6-7 months
17. Govt should give compensation to small farmers @Rs100/per bird
18. 5 years repayment of loan should be extended with 2 years grace period
19. Remove GST for processed poultry
20. Poultry Research, Industry and feed Industry and health Industry have good linkage with each other
21. Many varieties for backyard poultry have been introduce,. Location specific variety found beneficial for farmers
22. Industry and farmers are benefitted with the facilities like vaccine schedule to fight against disease Analysing samples to find disease. PPP collaborative and contract research started by ICAR
23. CAR Poultry Research Instt. now can Industry came out with various campaigns against the Corona rumours that helped to normalise the sale in a month
24. Suggestion to Govt to include Eggs in Mid day Meal to support poultry at least for 1 year
25. Ascertain state wise demand of broilers
26. Financial support of working capital
27. Helping poultry is helping agriculture, Poultry feed required 60% Maize and 70% Soybean
28. 1 Cr farmers of maize an soybean depend on poultry industry
29. A solution to resolve pricing problem needs to be find out. Plan production according to demand. Eliminate middle man
30. Reduce GST on frozen chicken from 12% to 5%
31. During current situation, Govt instructions need to go till ground level for smooth coordination and hassle free implementation
32. Corona impact is 20% but over production problem is 80%. Decide exact requirement of product quantity
33. People scare to purchase live birds. Govt support required to set up safe slaughter houses at various places
34. Understanding required to grow together
35. NABARD with RBI had taken relief measures. March – May Loan and Interest instalment payment extended
36. Recommendation sent to GoI to convert existing loans to medium term loans
37. Extending fresh working capital loans
38. Though late but bumper harvest expected, Maize and Soya ample availability
39. State wise survey required to understand farmers needs accordingly state policy to form. Maize import duty should be reduced in case inland supply is less than demand
40. In the production cost, feed cost is 70%
41. Experts team should be formed for min 3 years for proper inputs to form a policy
Dr Suresh Chitturi in his closing remarks Thanked for excellent suggestion and comments from the experts and requested Govt to take immediate steps on the same. The webinar can help policy makers to understand how to handle the sector. Dr Chitturi, specifically mentioned about the Govt of Andhra's initiative to add egg in midday meal plan for 3 days in week and later for 5 days in a week as the Govt found it to be cheapest but very beneficial investment in public health.
Dr Chitturi in his concluding speech also backed Dr Prasanna Pedgaonkar's statement that 'poultry adds jobs'. He appealed poultry owners and farmers that there is huge potential in the poultry industry and it will give opportunities to each one. He appealed consumers to use poultry to transform rural India.