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With per capita availability of eggs in India being lower than the global average, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today called for raising the domestic output three times from the current level of 83 billion eggs to achieve nutritional security. Addressing on the occasion of World Egg Day, Singh said the government is promoting poultry activities under various schemes and giving financial assistance to families below poverty line (BPL). "In egg production, we are at sixth position in the world. The country currently produces 83 billion eggs," Singh said while addressing a conference here on 'Nutritional & Income Security through Eggs." India's production stood at 78.48 billion eggs in 2014-15. "The per capita availability of eggs is around 63 per year while it should be about 180 eggs per person according to National Nutrition Institute. We will have to treble eggs production to reach that level," Singh said. The minister said that the government and the industry have an important role to play in increasing production. "Production will rise if those involved in poultry rearing get right price," he said, adding that poultry farmers need to be encouraged via better pricing and policy initiatives. In order to achieve nutritional security, Singh stressed on increasing awareness about nutritional benefits of eggs and said it should be offered in schools, colleges, old age homes and orphanages. He said that the central government is promoting poultry farming through National Livestock Mission.
Poultry farming is being encouraged under the component of entrepreneurship development and employment generation. Earlier this morning, Singh inspected - Pusa 16, the new improved variety of arhar at the Indian Council of Agriculture Research and Indian Agriculture Research Institute. "This variety of arhar takes a period of 120 days to get ready for harvesting compared to its other varieties which takes about 165-180 days. This variety gets ready at once and is suitable for machine harvesting," an official statement said. "After harvesting of this variety, crops like mustard, potatoes, wheat, etc can be sowed easily in the fields. Its production is 20 quintals per hectare and has 23.5% protein content in it," it added.
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