New Delhi, Apr 16: Even as the poultry industry is crippled following the outbreak of the deadly Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Maharashtra and Gujarat two months ago, the Indian poultry farmers are fearing another blow to their business from the 'impending import' of cheaper 'chicken legs' into the country from the US.
A delegation of the poultry farmers yesterday met UPA chairperson Sonia Gnadhi here and urged her to protect the Indian poultry industry from the 'dumping' of cheaper 'chicken legs' from the US.
The chicken legs have no value in the US and they are part of the carcass there, they added.
At the meeting with Ms Gandhi, the Indian polutry farmers, under the banner of National Egg Co-Ordination Committee, said the US was strongly lobbying to export 'chicken legs' to India as it was a delicacy here.
The livelihood of more than 3 million farm families directly depend on the poultry industry which is already on the verge of collapse, they said.
They also sought Ms Gandhi's intervention into the matter.
However, the delegation members maintained that poultry segment has, hitherto, been the only fast growing segment in agriculture sector, registering an annual growth of 15 per cent and having a turnover of Rs 35,000 crore a year.
The delegation also sought that poultry be made part of agriculture sector as the feed component alone was counted for 80 per cent of total input cost, they added.
The country should be divided into zones for boosting the export of table eggs from India, the delegation said.
At present, India exports around 50 lakh eggs per day to West Asia, they noted.
They also demanded that eggs be made part of the government welfare programme like 'mid-day meal' for school children to promote the poultry industry.
India poultry is the most competitive one, producing the cheapest chicken and eggs in the world, the delegation claimed.