Poultry sector regaining lost market after lifting of ban

Heaving a sigh of relief after the prolonged bird flu scare in the State, the All Assam Poultry Farmers' Association (AAPFA) has divulged that the poultry industry in the State has managed to regain the lost market up to at least 60 per cent ever since the ban on the import of poultry products was lifted, excluding the West Bengal origin products. The association further informed that as the sale is going higher with every passing day, the prices of the poultry products, especially livestock would go up, thanks to the limited stocks of birds and other poultry products in the market. The State Government, it may be mentioned, had lifted the ban on the import of the poultry products a couple of days back. Culling of birds in bordering districts of Kokrajhar and Dhubri followed the ban, which was imposed after the outbreak of the avian influenza in the neighbouring West Bengal. Rajib Sarma, secretary of AAPFA, predicting a stiff rise in the prices of the poultry products in the next 10 to 15 days, said, Though chickens are now being sold at Rs 50 in the wholesale market, it is expected to go to around Rs 65 at least. "At present, as no livestock is being imported, the industry has failed to meet the demand, especially in the city,' Sarma pointed out. He, however, asserted that the local production would certainly get a boost in the next one month as the import of bird feed to the State has been allowed. "Our primary concern was regarding the acute shortage of feed, the ban on which was virtually throwing the entire poultry industry to the jaws of death. But the early decision on the part of the State Government to lift the ban has averted a major blow to the poultry industry,' Sarmah reiterated. It needs mention here that the region depends on States like West Bengal for at least 7,000 kilograms of chickens per day. Meanwhile, the association has also urged the State Government to release the money under the development project so that the industry can be revitalised quicker.