Govt to announce packages for bird flu-hit farmers, industry: Pawar

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New Delhi, Feb 6 : Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said that the Central Government is likely to announce packages for the farmers in the bird-flu hit West Bengal and for poultry industry in the next 8-10 days.

"There are two proposals we are considering. There would be two packages, one for West Bengal and other for the rest of India," Pawar said on the sidelines of a function here.

He pointed out that situation in West Bengal is different from that of Maharashtra in 2006 because of backyard poultry.

"The number of birds in a family is very limited. Families are also very poor. That's why we have to see what type of package one has to provide," Pawar said.

He assured that whatever is required for West Bengal, the state government and Centre would work together.

"West Bengal Chief Minister has sent a proposal to me that he would like to provide some financial support to the affected families, those who are keeping backyard poultry. I am considering that also," he said.

Pawar said there had been substantial impact on prices of poultry products in the country as a whole, which has affected the poultry industry throughout the country, and therefore it needs a different approach.

Commenting on the ban imposed by the West Bengal Government on movement of poultry from the state, he said: "It's the first time that such a decision has been taken. I will try to understand what is the thinking behind the decision before reacting."

Pawar said that the culling operations in the Sate are nearly over, and added that as a precautionary measure, the government has decided to undertake culling operations in the five km radius of bordering state of West Bengal like Bihar and Jharkand.

ANI

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