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Poultry exports hit after flu outbreak in Odhisa, Meghalaya
KOCHI/CHANDIGARH: Poultry companies are exercising caution with the outbreak of bird flu in parts of Odisha and Meghalaya, though they think it could be temporary and may not spread to other regions. But egg exporters aren't lucky thanks to an export ban in place for the next six months.
Bird cull which began in the two states is expected to carry on for a few days. The two states have put a quarantine procedure in place.
Coimbatore-based Suguna Poultry, which has a market share of 15% in the Rs 600-crore poultry industry of Odisha, is watching the situation. Sales have not been impacted yet. "Our business is concentrated in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, where the flu has not spread so far," said B Soundararajan, managing director of Suguna Poultry Farms.
Its supply to Meghalaya from its unit in Assam too hasn't been affected. Suguna is India's largest broiler chicken producer with about 70 lakh birds and claims to be the world's 10th biggest.
Andhra Pradesh, a major supplier of poultry products to Odisha, has seen a slowdown in sales. "We sell about 3 lakh hatching eggs and chicks to Odisha. This has been hit," said Ram Reddy, president of Andhra Pradesh Poultry Breeders Association.
Venkateshwara Hatcheries, which has a good presence in the Northeastern states, has stopped supplies as a precautionary measure. "We sell around 40,000 eggs a day to parts of the Northeast, of which Meghalaya accounts for around 15%. At the outbreak of the bird flu, we have stopped our supplies for the time being," said T Venkateshwara Rao, a director with the company.
The regions bordering Bangladesh have been susceptible to avian flu. "In the past seven months, poultry exports from India have been banned due to the outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal and the Northeast. We were just receiving export orders from Middle East countries when the Indian government confirmed bird flu. Exports will not be allowed now," said Poultry Federation of India president Satish Pal.
India export poultry products to the Middle East and Saarc countries from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.