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Namakkal poultry units upbeat on export market

Gayathri G  |  Chennai/ Coimbatore 

The region, about 375 kilometres south-west of Chennai, remains upbeat about the export market despite the reports of avian flu hitting the poultry business in some of the states in the country.
P Selvaraj, zonal chairman of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), said that the climate remained hot here throughout the year, which was not favourable for the virus to spread. The absence of water bodies in this region, which serve as proper breeding ground for the migratory birds or the carriers of the virus, was also an added advantage, he said.
"There is a slowdown in the domestic consumption (the broiler consumption in Tamil Nadu was lower by 30-40 per cent on Sunday) and the price of chicken has come down from Rs 80 to Rs 65 a kilo. But the export market is not at all affected," an industry source from the Namakkal belt told Business Standard.
Namakkal, an important poultry zone, has more than 700 farms. The state government collected 20,000 blood samples from the livestock and migratory birds last month which tested negative for the bird flu virus.
At present, India exports poultry products to the tune of Rs 400 crore per year. Namakkal accounted for around 60 per cent of this, said industry sources.The ban on Thailand's poultry alone is reported to have opened a market for Indian poultry worth $ 500 million (Rs 2,250 crore) in Japan and Korea.
Moreover, the poultry farmers in this region remain unruffled claiming that the birds reared here have good immune system and thus are not prone to any virus attack.
"We have been following preventive measures like spraying anti-viral solutions on a regular basis and administering vaccines. We are also adopting stringent quarantine measures and monitoring the birds on a regular basis. Hence, there are no chances of the flu spreading here," said Selvaraj.
The Namakkal poultry industry hopes to gain more markets in the US, Japan and Korea. After Japan, the US is now keen on sourcing chicken and other poultry products from India, felt industry hands.

First Published: Tue, February 21 2006. 00:00 IST