The increase in diesel price by Rs. 3 a litre has led to a 10 per cent increase in the feed prices for chicken, says Namakkal Zone Chairman of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) Dr. P. Selvaraj.
The industry was already hit badly by the manifold increase of chicken feed prices over the last one year and the increase had added to it, he added.
This was because 80 per cent of the feed ingredients were procured from other States. Dr. Selvaraj said that 60 per cent of maize requirement – the main ingredient – was brought from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka as only 40 per cent was produced in Tamil Nadu.
For soya meal, rice bran and kambu we were completely dependent on Karnataka, he added.
Dried fish meal was the only ingredient of chicken feed that was completely available in this State – at Tuticorin – and transported for a distance of 320 km, he lamented. All these were brought to Namakkal to feed the nearly 4.65 crore egg laying birds (layer birds) every day.
NECC had fixed wholesale price of egg at Rs. 2.37 but farmers got only Rs. 2.17 – 20 paise was set aside as transportation and handling charges for the egg traders, the Chairman said. The production cost stood at nearly Rs. 2.42 an egg and poultry farmers had been incurring a loss of nearly 25 paise per egg, he said.
On the indefinite lorry strike call by the All India Motor Transport Congress from August 18 condemning diesel price hike, the NECC Chairman said that they would take part in it for a day.
This would lead to stagnation of close to 2.85 crore eggs on that day, he said and added that they cannot take part in it for more days as clearing them would take really long.
According to him, if the trucks go off the roads, it will badly affect the transport of feed.
“We can manage with the available stock for one week during the strike after which we have to start bringing feed to prevent the birds from starving,” he noted.
He said that they were planning to represent the issue to the lorry owners if they confirmed the strike as there had been many incidents when the strike had been called off.