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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Tamil Nadu tops in egg production after the separation of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal is famous for its eggs, and this year, after a gap of eight years, poultry farmers are on an expansion spree, investing as much as 600 crore.

The farmers — especially those in Namakkal and adjoining places such as Erode, Rasipuram and Salem — are likely to add nearly one crore (day old) birds this year. Each bird will cost 550-600.

Around 20 new units are likely to be set up but expansion is mainly by existing players. There are around 1,200 egg farmers in the State, said AKP Chinraj, President, Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers’ Association.

The separation of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has helped Tamil Nadu top the egg production charts and the State will consolidate this position due to the expansion. The last expansion happened in 2010-11, but on a smaller scale, he said

In 2013-14, the feed cost was quite high but the average egg cost was low, resulting in heavy losses to farmers. For instance, between 2013 and 2015, a bag of feed should have yielded 465 eggs per month to break even. However, there was a shortfall of 50-60 eggs.

Farmers lost 4-5 per bird per month, he said. However, in 2016-17, the yield per bag was 50-60 eggs more. Today, a farmer makes an additional profit of 7 per bird per month. This means a farmer with one lakh birds makes a profit of around 7 lakh per month, said Chinraj, who has around 4 lakh birds.

With good profits, farmers are now going in for expansion, which is mostly expanding existing operations. For instance, if a farmer has one lakh birds, he may expand it with another 25,000, he said.

To break even, a minimum of 50,000 birds is required and there are poultries with around 8 lakh birds, he said

Every day, Tamil Nadu produces 3 crore eggs. This is followed by Andhra Pradesh (2.75 crore), Telangana (2 crore) and Punjab (1 crore), he said.

With Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand offering eggs in noon-meal schemes, the per capita consumption of egg has risen to 62-63 from less than 50 three years ago, he said. On exports, Chinraj said Namakkal is the biggest exporter of eggs, especially to the Gulf region.

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