Bird flu outbreak affects poultry farmers in AP

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Kakinada, Feb 6 (UNI) The bird flu outbreak in West Bengal has badly affected the poultry industry in Andhra Pradesh.

With West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkand banning entry of eggs from Andhra Pradesh, the poultry farmers in the state are facing huge losses.

''As the Gulf countries banned the egg imports, fearing bird flu, the only alternative left was domestic market. But the local consumption is hardly 20 per cent. The cold storage facilities are limited and the situation is very grim now,'' National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) Regional President T Upender Reddy said.

He said in East Godavari alone they were losing Rs 60 to Rs 70 lakh daily as the egg price had crashed from Rs 1.90 to Re one.

The poultry farmers of East, West Godavari and Krishna districts suffered a loss of Rs three crore daily, he said.

Mr Reddy said the NECC representatives had called on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and sought his help to overcome the crisis.

Mr Pawar had responded positively to their two major demands- lowering of interest rate to poultry farmers from the existing 13 per cent to seven per cent and announcing a two-year moratorium on repayment of bank loans, he added.

UNI XR/BR VD DB2122

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