Don’t import chicken legs from USA: KCR

By: Y V Phani Raj

Telangana State has recognised poultry as a key sector and the State which is among the country’s largest poultry producers aims to retain its position even in future. This was stated by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao after inaugurating the Poultry India-2014 conclave in the city on Wednesday. He said the State government had recently increased its budget for the poultry sector from Rs 90 crore to Rs 220 crore, and facilitated power subsidies and affordable maize.

The government was also keen to resolve the VAT issues soon. “We would extend all the facilities to ensure that the State retains its top position in the country in the poultry sector. The State is best place for investments in this sector,” KCR said. He said, “Under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the State has increased supplies from 3 crore eggs to 5.25 crore eggs. The State is actively considering the proposal to increase the supply of eggs from two per week per student in government hostels to three per week.” The Chief Minister appreciated the industry for overcoming the challenging times during the Bird Flu epidemic.

He said, the State has produced pioneers such as Banda Vasudev Rao (B V Rao), who was the architect of Indian Poultry industry’s growth and modernisation that created world-class facilities in the country. In 1990, he received one of the highest honours conferred by the President of India, the “Padmashree” award. The government will extend support to the industry and investors who are keen to invest in the State. KCR also emphasised that there were forces which were lobbying towards importing chicken legs from the US. “India should not let this happen, and in turn, it should see opportunities to increase export of chicken wings to the US, which are in demand.”

He urged the Centre not to allow such imports, which were detrimental to the interests of domestic poultry industry. KCR said, “Telangana has extended ‘agriculture’ status to poultry sector. The government of India can also emulate the same approach which will help the poultry farmers and industry nationally.” Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said the farmers were producing 920 crore eggs annually, standing second in the country in terms of egg production. “Telangana has increased the budget allocation for agriculture and allied sectors to 8 per cent from 3 per cent in United AP.

The State is also keen to increase the vegetable production as only 20 per cent is produced from within the State. In the united AP, there was only 129 acres of green-house created with an investment of Rs 24 crore. Telangana has set a target of 1,000 acres of green house with an investment of Rs 250 crore. Irrigation too has received due attention in the budget.” Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said poultry was the fastest growing segment within the agriculture sector.

Indian exports from poultry were at Rs 566 crore in 2013-14. “The government is taking initiatives such as ‘National Live Stock Mission’ in 2014-15 to strengthen Poultry sector enabling the States to develop regional strategies with needed flexibility. The States can help poultry farmers towards automation and biosecurity to enable production. And several subsidies are also provides to farmers,” he said.

Source: Metro India

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