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Potential of Commercial Poultry Farming in J&K
Dr. Banarsi Lal and Dr. Pawan Sharma11/15/2019 11:20:00 PM
Poultry farming is not new in J&K and it has been practiced for the farmers since the time immemeorial. Most of the backyard poultry production in the state comprises the indigenous birds. The indigenous poultry birds produce only 60-80 eggs per year and meat production is also very less. Commercial poultry production can be easily boosted in the state with the introduction of improved varieties of poultry which can lay 160-200 eggs per year and also produce more meat. In J&K poultry farming is emerging an important enterprise and is assisting to create income and employment for the rural youths of the state. There is immense potential of poultry farming in the state. There are numerous examples of successful poultry entrepreneurs in the state. Government is offering the various incentives to motivate the aspiring poultry farmers of the state. Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of the state are imparting training programmes on advance poultry farming to the farmers and are creating interest on poultry farming in the state. KVK, Reasi has introduced black meat poultry variety namely Kadaknath in the district which is very low in cholesterol (0.73%-1.05%), rich in proteins (25%), vitamins and helpful for the asthmatic and nephritis patients. The meat and eggs of this poultry variety are costly and can help to raise the socio-economic status of the farmers.KVK has also introduced high egg laying birds such as Vanraja, Chabro and Chabrown in Udhampur and Reasi districts. The Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs) laid by KVK, Reasi on Kadaknath, Vanraja and Chabrown have significant impact on the income of the farmers. Now many farmers of the area have become the poultry entrepreneurs. KVK, Reasi imparts regularly the short training courses to the interested farmers of the region.
Poultry farming has immense potential in J&K. Despite the strenuous efforts poultry farming is not picking up pace in J&K state. In J&K there is 69 per cent shortfall in the poultry meat and 97 per cent shortfall in the poultry egg production. The gap between demand and supply of poultry meat and eggs is filled by purchasing the poultry birds and poultry eggs from the other states of the country thus draining the state exchequer. According to the recent report, in J&K state every year around Rs.2000 crores of meat is imported from the outside the state. A little progress has been made on the broiler production in the state but a poor progress has been made in commercial egg laying industry in the state. Some outstanding egg laying poultry strains such as Vanraja, Chabro and Chabrown have been introduced in the state which have raised hope for mitigating the eggs need in the state. The cost of quality proteins is increasing rapidly and due to poor purchasing power of the farmers their families' members suffer malnutrition especially of animal protein. The poultry sector can ensure the proper nourishment of the farmers' families besides income and employment. Poultry birds can increase the income of the farmers as poultry farming requires low inputs, have short gestation period and give better and quick returns.
In the domestic market, the consumption of poultry meat has been low due to many reasons. The main reason is the low purchasing power of people. Only 25 per cent of the population living in urban areas consumes about 75-80 per cent of eggs and poultry meat. The per capita consumption of egg is 100 and poultry meat is 1.2 Kg per person per annum in urban areas. But in rural areas, it is only 15 eggs and 0.15 Kg poultry meat. Egg industry showed an excellent growth in the country due to (a) Egg layer industry large units with millions of birds in one house are coming up (b) 70 per cent of the egg laying birds are in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra & Karnataka. (c) fresh eggs are available at more reasonable costs.
Broiler industry grew in the country because (a) the commercial broiler chicks' ready in 60 days with tender meat. (b) Movement of parent stock, hatching eggs, day-old chicks initiated the broiler growing everywhere. (c)The broiler growing period has gradually come down to less than 40 days from 60 days due to advance technologies in the poultry industry. (d)Broiler rearing is giving excellent results. 2 kg broilers are produced on 36 days with 1.5 kg feed per kg chicken with less than 3 per cent mortality are being achieved on low- cost open houses reared by the small and marginal farmers. Around 60 per cent rural population in India has backyard poultry production. Poultry has been there in the backyards of most of the houses since ages, forming a part of nutrition and family income. Government has started encouraging the backyard poultry for the rural development. Improved varieties of low technology input birds are bred for this purpose, which are genetically more efficient in production in comparison to the local poultry. The birds grow faster than native birds reaching 1.5 kg weight in 45 days but can withstand variable feed qualities and also supplement themselves by scavenging. The low technology input birds are mostly of dual purpose. Mother units are being encouraged to take care of the brooding & vaccination in the first four weeks before they are distributed among the farmers to ensure the disease security. Cluster farming in rural areas is possible with these chicken for enhancing the meat production on the lines of broiler farming in which of group of 8 to 10 farmers or educated youth can form a cluster and grow the birds in groups of 500 to 1,000 birds in low cost houses as "organic chicken" by making their own low-cost organic feeds without chemicals and antibiotics. The objective of backyard poultry is to encourage poultry farming activity and to provide employment opportunities in backward areas.
There are numerous opportunities in poultry industry in India due to (a) Government policies relating to investments in poultry and related industries, taxation, import duties, excise duties are favourable. (b) Increase in income and employment generation for the rural poor and marginal farmers. (c) Consumer awareness and acceptability of eggs and chicken as good source. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the nodal organization for agricultural research in the country that is playing vital role in this sector. It undertakes research in its own institutes Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar and Project Directorate on Poultry Hyderabad and also in state agricultural universities through All India Coordinated Research Projects.
There are certain challenges in the poultry industry such as: (a) Poor infrastructure for export is hindering the export of poultry products. (b)Competition from international players on opening up duty-free imports, lifting of trade barriers. (c)Increasing propaganda and demonstrations by organizations on promoting vegetarianism and animal rights. (d)Occurrence of Salmonella and other diseases in poultry meat. (e)Many countries are dumping their poultry products i.e. exporting eggs at prices lower than production cost. (f) Many countries are protecting their poultry industry from foreign competition by protective measures like restricting imports, keeping egg prices at lower level etc. (g)Some countries provide subsidies, export incentives to exporters and keep their price low. As the poultry industry is among the fastest growing in the world, it needs greater integration, better cost-effectiveness and improvement in the distribution. More retail outlets, mass gathering and creating awareness to home to home about the nutrient values of chicken and eggs is needed. Poultry industry needs good branding system in order to increase the consumption of chicken. The poultry companies have to encourage direct procurement of maize from the farmers by using contract farming. Also, the collection of reliable, updated statistics is necessary for immediate and long term planning and thereby helping in preventing shortages in poultry farming. There is need to develop efficient, independent, authority for disease monitoring, biological quality control and biosecurity measures in the poultry industry.
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