Bhubaneswar: With the production and supply of eggs in Odisha severely hit due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the egg farmers’ body has urged the state government to provide financial assistance to sustain their livelihood.
The All Odisha Layer Farmers Association (AOLFA) has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Stating that Odisha is now self-sufficient as the egg production in the state has doubled in the last four years, the Association said the daily production of egg has gone up from 45 lakhs in 2015 to 65 lakhs in 2020 with the annual revenue generation of about Rs 1000 crore. Apart from this, the egg industry has provided direct and indirect employment to over 20,000 people.
The Maize production in the Odisha has gone up by 40 per cent in the last five years as the egg farms consume about 90 per cent maize as the poultry feed, it further said.
“However, the egg farms in the state are on the verge of collapse due to the massive fall in consumption egg duo to rumours linking it to coronavirus on social media and in the print media, closure of midday meal (MDM) and special nutrition programme (SNP) and the retail counters due to the nationwide lockdown,” the Association pointed out.
To bail out the distressed egg farmers, the Association has urged the Chief Minister to provide 5 per cent interest subvention to all existing poultry loans, a one-year moratorium for repayment of current term loans, conversion of the existing working capital loans to term loans with repayment of five years, additional working capital loans, financial assistance package for poultry sector which includes layer units and broiler units and exemption of GST on poultry feed.
To increase the demand for egg in the state and ensure adequate price, the Association requested the Chief Minister to approve the additional distribution of eggs through government schemes like midday meal and special nutrition programme (SNP) and continuation of egg distribution through programmes during school holidays.