The poultry industry in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh is facing a severe crisis due to abnormally high prices of maize and soybeans which are used for poultry feed.
The industry is sounding an SOS to the government. If help does not come to it, then the poultry units will have to close down. Over 25,000 small and marginal farmers and over 2 million employees in the state are dependent on the poultry industry.
The industry is seeking government intervention to bring down the prices of ingredients that go into making of the feed.
Representatives of AP Poultry Federation met Union minister for agriculture Sharad Pawar and chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy recently and urged them to take steps to bring down the prices of soybeans, the main feed ingredient for broilers.
“The price of soybeans was Rs 18,000 (€259) a tonne till 45 days ago but shot up to Rs 32,000 (€461) suddenly, making it unaffordable for the poultry industry,'' said D Sudhakar, president of AP Poultry Federation.
Sudhakar said 11 million tonnes of soybeans and 22 million tonnes of maize were produced in the country last year though 4 million tonnes of soybeans and maize was adequate for the poultry industry.
However, a major part of the soybean crop was being exported to Iran, and traders were creating artificial scarcity in the domestic sector, Sudhakar alleged.
“According to official information, the government is exporting only 2.5 million tonnes of the 11 million tonnes production every year. Then where is the remaining crop going?'' he wondered and appealed to the government to probe the matter.
Sudhakar also urged the government to go into the difference of export and domestic prices of soybeans, saying that soybeans were being exported to Iran for Rs 25,000 a tonne and was being sold in the domestic market at Rs 32,000 a tonne.