Bhubaneswar: The world’s largest cooperative organisation of poultry farmers, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), in India is facing revolt from Odisha.
The poultry farmers in Odisha have launched a movement against the NECC protesting against the anti-farmers attitude of the apex body of poultry cultivators.
The poultry farmers in the State organised under the banner Odisha Layer Farmrs’ Associatiion (OLFA) to carry forward the movement against the NECC. By now, 143 out of 146 layer farms have become member of the OLFA.
To start with, the OLFA have decided to boycot the NECC chairperson Anuradha Desai owned VH Group, popularly known as Venky’s, founded by her legendary father B.V.Rao.
” The farmers have decided not to procure chicks from the VH Group, the firm which has a monopoly of supplying layer birds in Odisha for the last 30 years”, the chairman of OLFA, Manasa Ranjan Mangaraj, told India Whispers. ” I have decided to source 10,000 chicks in the first lot from Haryana headquartered hatchery farm Skylark, a rival of VH Group”, he added.
Odisha poultry farmers buy on an average 50-60 lakh chicks from Venky’s hatcheries every year.
NECC fixes the prices of egg in the country. But, in the last four five months the prices fixed by the Committee is not acceptable to the farmers in Odisha because of the high input cost.
During the last six months, the poultry industry in Odisha has become sick. The production cost has risen to Rs 4.17 per egg because of the rise in the maize price, a major component of feed stock. But, the NECC was not revising the egg prices despite of the demands from the farmers. It keeps the prices in the range of Rs 2.95 and Rs 3.10.
“The NECC’s decision regarding prices has ruined many farmers in Odisha”, said Mangaraj pointing out that 17 farms have been seized by banks for default in repaying loan and 7 were sold in distress.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has decided to convene a meeting of the NECC and the OLFA to sort out the issues.
The OLFA had a meeting with the Odisha agriculture, fisheries and animal husbandry minister, Arun Sahoo, on Monday. The Association demanded for opening of a Odisha chapter of NECC so that the farmers of the State need not have to look for prices decided by the Vijayawada chapter. It also demanded that the bank loans be re- scheduled and subsidy in electricity tariff. The meeting was attended by the State animal husbandry secretary R Raghu Prasad and Apicol managing director Suvendu Sekher De.