Left dry, poultry sector calls for loan overhaul and interest relief

Continued losses in the poultry sector will have multiplier effects on the agricultural economy as a large part of soybeans and corn is used as animal feed.

Left outside the government’s Rs 20-lakh-crore package, the poultry industry requested immediate help in terms of loan restructuring and a 100% interest subsidy for two years so that the current credit of about Rs 20,000 crore per sector is not running. Postcode. Sales of poultry meat have fallen to a tiny fraction of normal as a result of Covid-19.

“Poultry is a low-margin commodity. It will take about 10 to 12 production cycles to recover the losses. Extending an interest-free working capital for two years on all borrowings is the need of the moment to save the industry as it suffers massive losses, ”said Vijay Sardana, Advisor, Poultry Federation of India (PFI).

After the lockdown was announced in March, most people stopped eating non-vegetarian foods, and sales also fell following the closure of outlets as well as hotels and restaurants. Continued losses in the poultry sector will have multiplier effects on the agricultural economy as a large part of soybeans and corn is used as animal feed.

Various food grains produced by small farmers, which are not suitable for human consumption, are consumed by the poultry sector as animal feed, Sardana said. “If poultry farmers do not buy meal, no edible oil industry will be able to function steadily because they will not be able to recoup their costs and will not be viable simply by producing cooking oils. “

The industry had previously written to the government demanding a one-year moratorium on all term loans and full interest relief for one year. According to PFI President Ramesh Chander Khatri, poultry farmers have reduced their production by 80% due to the drop in demand and the closure of the supply chain. Unless they get immediate relief, default is not ruled out and 60-70% of the stock can become non-performing assets (NPAs), he said.

Prices for rabi maize grown in Bihar, the main producer, currently hover between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,150 per quintal compared to Rs 1,500 to 1,700 a year ago, Khatri said.

However, there has been little impact on egg prices, mainly because its supply chain has not been affected. In Barwala, Haryana, North India’s main trading center, egg prices hover between Rs 290 and Rs.312 per 100 pieces this month with an average of around Rs 294, compared to Rs 278 in April. Prices were also around the same levels as a year ago.

Retailers began reporting a decline in chicken sales from last week in January, as demand abruptly declined after “rumors of the spread of the coronavirus” surfaced on social media. “Although consumption is safe in India, the rumor of the spread of the coronavirus from chicken has sharply reduced demand by over 50% in just one month, and as a result, farm gate prices have also fallen by 70%. “, he added. Godrej AgrovetBS Yadav’s managing director said on February 27.

Chicken sales had fallen to 35 million poultry per week in February from 75 million poultry per week nationwide in January, while farm gate prices fell to Rs 35 / kg from Rs 100 / kg during of this period. Although the industry expects consumption to increase after the rumor has been rumored, the rise in positive corona cases and the subsequent lockdown from March 25 thwarted any hope of a recovery.

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