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Goa’s poultry farming in need of leg-up

ROQUE DIAS | NT

Margao  

Goa consumes roughly 1.5 lakh broiler chickens every week, although the local supply is just one-third of the demand, indicating the need for  strong coordinated efforts to make Goa self-reliant in the poultry farming. 

The demand-supply mismatch has been attributed to the influx of tourists into the state, who push up the demand for chicken dishes in hotels, restaurants and food joints along the roadsides.

The 19th live stock census 2012 jointly conducted by the     departments of  animal  husbandry and   agriculture  says the per capita poultry  consumption  in  Goa is  estimated  to be 80 eggs and three  kilo of meat as against  the national  average of  55 eggs and 2.2 kilos of meat.

The census findings also say  that  2,92,028 poultry birds are farmed annually, which include backyard poultry, ducks,  turkeys, chickens etc. Of which,  1,04, 969 poultry birds are reared in South Goa.

A report of the two departments points out  that Goa requires around 6087 metric tonne of poultry every year, while the local poultry production is just 1050 metric tonne.

The finding indicates that around 5000 metric tonne of poultry are brought into Goa from various states to meet the rising demand.

The scenario vis-à-vis egg supply-demand mismatch is also similar. Government reports of 2016 say the supply of the eggs is only 352 lakh per year. However, the demand has been huge – 1623 lakh of eggs every year.  

‘The Navhind Times’ has gathered that the cost of production has been the main reason for the neglect towards the
poultry farming.  

A reliable source maintains that the production cost is 100 times higher in Goa as compared to neighbouring states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. 

However, director of animal husbandry and veterinary services Santosh Desai says the department has pulled out all the stops in the form of attractive schemes, subsidy on feeds and infrastructure to push up the production.

“There are schemes on poultry farming and infrastructure creation…  We have already started receiving applications for the schemes and even sanctioned a couple of applications. All these efforts are aimed at making Goa a self-sufficient in poultry production,” says Desai.

Senior officials from the departments of agriculture and animal husbandry stress on improving the poultry farming by encouraging   people to take it up.

The local supply of eggs has been minimal and has not crossed 100 lakh annually. Hence the

government must incentivise the neglected business, the officials stress.

“The animal husbandry and agriculture departments must jointly conduct awareness programmes to encourage people to take up the poultry business,” feels J C Fernandes, a poultry businessman in Salcete. 

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