February 6, 2009 12:34:08 am
National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC),the apex body of poultry farmers of India,has appealed the union government to include Soya meal and maize, the most crucial ingredients of poultry feed,in the list of essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act to check hoarding and speculation by the traders and to bring the price of these commodities to an affordable level for the poultry farmers.
NECC said that the price of Soya meal,which had softened a couple of months ago to Rs 10,000/12,000 per ton,is now ruling at Rs 21,000/23,000 an increase of almost 100 per cent – mainly on account of speculation and anticipated increase in exports. Similarly,the price of maize also increased from Rs 600-650 last year to more than Rs 1000 per quintal.
This unprecedented and unjustifiable increase has happened mainly because of forward trading in maize,speculation and hoarding by traders and multi-national companies and exports. The increase in price due to forward trading has also not benefited the maize and soya bean farmers,as a majority of the maize,soya farmers are small and marginal farmers,who have no holding capacity,and,the grain was sold by them at much lower prices at harvest time,and the price was subsequently jacked up by the traders and speculators taking advantage of forward trading.
Poultry farming plays a vital role in rural employment generation and providing nutrition security,especially among the poorer sections of the population. At the current level of production,poultry sector contributes Rs 45,000 crores to the GNP and provides direct and indirect employment to over 3.2 million persons
In addition to this,over 2 crore maize farmers and 5 lakh soya bean farmers are also directly dependant on poultry sector. If the poultry industry is weakened,not only the 3.2 million people dependant on poultry might lose their livelihood,but even the maize and soya farmers will be severely hurt as the demand for their produce goes down drastically.
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