The Karnataka Poultry Farmers & Breeders Association (KPFBA) has sought fiscal relief measures from the government of India as poultry farmers across the country were facing severe financial problems, firstly created by the pandemic and secondly due to steep rise in prices of chicken feed. Due to these factors the retail price of chicken had shot up to nearly Rs. 300 per kg, resulting in poor off-take of chicken which is rich in proteins and an immunity booster.
The President of KPFBA, Dr. Sushanth Rai has urged the government to restructure the existing term loans of poultry farmers. The outstanding term loans should be rescheduled, giving at least one year time for liquidation of loans, else these loans would end up as non-performing assets (NPA), not good for the farmer or the financial institution.
“Hundreds of farmers have incurred huge financial losses and they are in dire straits. We request you to grant interest subvention of at least 4% for a minimum period of three years. Besides interest subvention, the government should direct financial institutions to grant additional working capital loans to help farmers deal with increased cost of production,” Dr. Sushanth Rai said.
Non-fiscal relief measures
Dr. Rai reiterated the KPFBA demand for import of GM soya seeds to overcome the shortage and help stabilise market conditions. The government should take measures to make available soya and maize to the poultry sector at reasonable prices, to tide over the present crisis and also penalise those traders who are hoarding feed. The KPFBA has sought removal of soyabean commodity from the NCDX which has led to speculation in soya contracts during the last six months.
The KPFBA President pointed out that the poultry sector contributed over 5% to the overall Agri sector’s GDP. However, this had been affected due to the pandemic and also due to certain misinformation campaign by certain vested interests. As poultry has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation as an immunity booster, the government should consider seriously on how to promote consumption of poultry products.