Poultry Farmers in ‘distress’

Tasavur Mushtaq

SRINAGARChicken 2

Tariq Ahmad, 27, is cursing the day when he opted to be an entrepreneur and establish poultry farm in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Three years after starting his dream project, Tariq today regret in a ‘big way’ as why he opted the sector, which he claims, is in the ‘blacklist’ of the government.

Tariq has a reason to say so. While talking to Kashmir Life, he said that in last three years, he incurred a loss of more than Rs 6 lakhs.

Not only Tariq, there are many more qualified youth who are in the field of poultry but now want to switch their business activities. According to reports, there are around twenty thousand families associated with the trade.

The problems faced by farmers are diverse; major being the fluctuating rate. Farmers claim that with the present rate list in vogue, they incur loss of Rs 30 per bird/kg. Giving details, they said that one-day-old chick comes at around Rs 30. And then there are costs of feed, medicine, saw dust, consultancy, man power and use of infrastructure.

According to the estimate, 1kg bird at farm is valued at the cost of around Rs 90 and sold to dealers at Rs 60. The market rate according to officials is Rs 75-80. This puts question mark on the sustainability of the sector.

Sami Ullah, another young post-graduate farmer, asks as why only poultry sector is being scapegoat in the name of benefits given to consumer when actually consumers also bear the brunt and major share is taken by the middlemen.

Sami has a farm of capacity 7500 birds and he claims to have incurred loss of more than Rs 10 lakhs in last three years. Having finance to the tune of Rs 22 lakhs, he is finding it hard to pay the installments.

Comparing the market rate of Feed when he started his farm in Budgam, Sami says, at that time the feed was Rs 1200 per 50kg, which has today swelled at Rs 2100, “but the rate per kilogram of chicken is still not to the tune to accommodate the increase.”

Besides per truck of feed, the farmers have to pay Rs 5800 as toll tax. The farmers say that in other cases like cow feed, fish feed etc, there is no involvement of tax.

The major deterrent in smooth functioning of these farmers is believed to be the systemic failures which at various levels are inhibiting the growth.

What farmers allege is that the basic reason of their plight is the mechanism of fixing rate in the market. According to them, rates are being fixed as per the markets outside the state without taking into consideration the input costs incurred in valley. They say that due to demography and weather conditions, farming is much more difficult and costly than rest of India

Rejecting the claims that in last few months production has exceeded 3.5 crore birds, farmers said that most of the farms in valley were shut in winters and having such a production is out of question. They further said that if growth is to the extent that there is no requirement to import birds, why still import continues.

Experts, however, say that in valley per year consumption is around 5 crore birds and locally, there is production of 3.80 crore birds in one complete year and not in few months.

chicken 1When contacted Director Animal Husbandry, Kashmir, Dr Shams-ud-Din Mukhdoomi told Kashmir Life that the figure is of one calendar year and not few months.

“We produce 3.80 crore birds in one year and not in few months,” Mukhddomi told KL over phone.

Mukhdoomi acknowledges that there are various problems faced by farmers and interventions should be made for the benefit of the farmer. He further said that government has constituted high powered committee to look into the matter.

The farmers, however, term the committee formation as mere eye wash. “The file is pending from February 2013 and what is high powered committee doing,” asks Tariq.

Terming the growth as step forward to achieve self sufficiency, Mukhdoomi said that in next few years the target of being self sufficient could be achieved.

Experts suggest that given the situation, self sufficiency has a long way to go as everything required comes from outside the valley.

“See from a day old chick to medicine and feed, we have to import everything from outside and to me, this is not self sufficiency,” said Dr Syed Altaf, assistant manager government poultry farm Athwajan.

Dr Altaf further says that that the major share of profit is being taken by other than farmers. Giving details of his study he said: “on an average, farmers earn Rs 4.85 per bird; dealer Rs 7.21 per bird; and retailer Rs 23.50 per bird.”

Talking about the rate in vogue, Dr Altaf said that there is need to see the input costs of farmers and then decide the rate; so that, they can earn their livelihood and be encouraged to help this sector to grow.

Besides rate, the farmers say that government has still not included poultry in industrial sector; neither it figures under insurance.

“In 2012, we lost thousands of birds to Rani Khet disease, and we are yet to be compensated for the same,” said Naveel Yousuf, a young farmer.

The farmers while talking about rate on the basis of demand and supply said, that there is Navrata being celebrated in other parts of country and during these days, the whole produce is directed to valley, bringing down the prices. Besides, they say that import of layer bird is other contributing factor.

“It is Navrata in other parts where from birds are imported. They don’t consume meat these days. Besides, layer which is dog food, is being sold in valley bringing down the prices,” Naveel told Kashmir Life.chic

The other side of story is that: dealers which farmers and experts believe are taking ‘major share’ are not registered. “The dealers make fortune out of our blood. They have nothing at stake,” said Sami.

Despite repeated attempts, Director CAPD Baashir Ahmad did not pick call from this office.

One of the pioneering institutes in state, Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) has been on forefront to encourage youth to opt for entrepreneurship in different sectors. In last few years, EDI has encouraged and trained 400 unemployed youth to opt for the poultry sector. The evolving situation is seen as ‘distressful’ for farmers to continue.

“EDI by virtue of awareness, training, and seed capital encourages youth to opt for various trades including poultry. But due to policy inertia of government, the environment is not enabling,” said an EDI official on condition of anonymity.

Tariq and other farmers have lost hope to have another batch as the losses are ‘huge’ and hopes of survival not so good.

“As I failed to pay my installment this month, my guarantor was debited Rs 26000 by bank,” he said.

Not only the entrepreneurs, the youth employed in these farms fear for their survival. Adil Ahmad, who works with a farm in Hazratbal while talking to Kashmir Life said that the stability seems to be at stake.

Sami says that he employs four educated youth with him for the purpose, but he sees it difficult to retain them.

“I have to pay them salary, where from I will get that,” he said.

While talking about the personal interest shown by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in helping them out a year ago, Tariq said that despite his (Omar) assurances, “nothing happened on ground”.

7 COMMENTS

  1. farmers are really in a trouble…
    i belive that its is the responsibility of EDI which is Omar Abdullah’s baby to solve this serious livlihood issue.. it is off course the in comptent surveys and findings that the EDi officials have done before sponsoring the Poultry sector in Kashmir valley. they have just seen that there is a lot of market for poultry products but they havnt actually surveyed and studied the practical amount it takes to rear a bird in Kashmir valley particularly during the 6 months of sever winters where the cost of rearing a bird even goes upto Rs 100 per kg that too if the birds are fortunately not hit by any disease.
    Poor and incomptent research done by EDI officials has actually led to this serious problem which has caused extreme depression and distress on these young and educated boys.
    Its the responsibility of EDI to help them in every means possible so that there future is secured .
    EDI might just have helped many young people to set up thrre ventures but here they have failed miserably. I hope the problem of this sector is solved immediately ..
    First they had PSA to destroy our future now they have used Poultry to dovthe same.
    Shame on EdI and the CAPD who think for the profit of people outside valley and not there own young people. i personaly belive that whosoever is headind CAPD some Bashir Ahmed is not worth the chair because of his irresponsible thinking and filthy behaviour toward our young entrepreneurs.

  2. It is a request to cm to secure the future of youth who are in poultry field through edi…..they are being shown only green grounds not the disadvantages…..they are tought how to manage the diseases..the members of E.D.I only tell the profits.if they would tell the youth of Kashmir about the disadvantages the situation may not b this…they take heavy loans and are unable to pay back that loan due to low rate of chicken in demand..The rate lows down on the last moment when the hatch is ready…i think this EDI and govt is some were related I think…..and y they are importing chickens for outside the state if the sate is full of poultary farms y they are importing it..A boy has faith in it when he goes in this mud he comes to know how disgusting it is…..n the manager of E.D.I tells that if u don’t delete this post he will case on us…yeah m here standig show me what can uh do…..

  3. I think the criticism about EDI is misplaced because it lacks control on market. It can facilitate young boys and girls to become self employed but it can lacks a mandate to make them earn. they will train them, facilitate them have a base but the aspirants have the duty to do the rest themselves.

  4. EDI is a big organization they have commited a huge mistake by sponsoring a BAD Sector.any big organzation has to learn from its mistakes.they have to accept that there training programs were not compelte because they showes only the one part of coin.they never mentoined about the fluctuating rates of poltry in kashmir and may other important aspects.
    boys were told chick is produced for 70 rupees and is sold at 80 and hey you have a profit of 10 rupees per chick in evey hatch.
    green grounds!!
    a good effecient organization accepts the reponsiblity of any wrong or faulty decisons and makes sure the problems are solved immediately so that there goals are achieved which in case of EDI is to make the young guys and girls self employed and independent.
    EDI is a big organization which is helping the youth to set up there ventures. They have to make things right EDI can solve this problem to secure and shape the future which right now is in complete dark of these young people.Five guys cant chnge the market which they infact even tried to.

  5. Hey buddies. U ppl are misled by sumone. Every enterprise dependant on demand and supply is like this. U gotto remember the rates just a month ago, when these soared above Rs.120 per kilo. None of the persons objected that tym. The fluctuating rates are a problem, nevertheless. However none of the organisations is going to help you in this regard. It is the entrepreneurs themselves who have been imparted training in entrepreneurship can tackle this issue if they have the skills to take their commodity directly to the consumer without involving middlemen. U gotto remember this fact that middlemen have always spoiled the broth and take the cream away from the producer’s sweat and the ultimately the whole axefa lls on the consumer.

    • i dont know who your are or whether you even have any knowledge about how a bird is reared.
      or maybe smone has misled you. i am not misled i am one of the unfortunate farmer.
      these boys are struggling to make a living out of this sector.
      they have tried almost everything to atleast reach a break even pont in this sector but all in vain.
      they have incurred huge losses ranging from 6 to 10 lacs besides the non stop incresing interst on there term.loans.
      evrn if the wholesale rate goes to 150 per kg still they will not be able to make up there cumilative losses.
      the plight of these boys is so bad that few of them have decided to sell there houses (parents houses) to give the money to dealers.
      if EDI produced entrepreneurs have failed in this sector because of so many factors which were not discussed during the traing sessions . then its the complete responsibility of EDI to rehablitate them by any means possible..
      only 2 or 3 hatches are profitable during a year.. sometimes non!!
      so making up for losses has become impossible for them..
      if someone goes out to work day in and out he deserves to get some thing back at the end of the day instead of losing anything small or big watever he has.

    • i dont know who your are or whether you even have any knowledge about how a bird is reared.
      or maybe smone has misled you. i am not misled i am one of the unfortunate farmer.
      these boys are struggling to make a living out of this sector.
      they have tried almost everything to atleast reach a break even pont in this sector but all in vain.
      they have incurred huge losses ranging from 6 to 10 lacs besides the non stop incresing interst on there term.loans.
      evrn if the wholesale rate goes to 150 per kg still they will not be able to make up there cumilative losses.
      the plight of these boys is so bad that few of them have decided to sell there houses (parents houses) to give the money to dealers.
      if EDI produced entrepreneurs have failed in this sector because of so many factors which were not discussed during the traing sessions . then its the complete responsibility of EDI to rehablitate them by any means possible..
      only 2 or 3 hatches are profitable during a year.. sometimes non!!
      so making up for losses has become impossible for them..
      if someone goes out to work day in and out he deserves to get some thing back at the end of the day instead of losing anything small or big watever he has.
      only who suffer know the pain..!!
      its upto EDI to take all this as critisism in a negative sense or positive sense . Only dynamic organizations with creative leaders have done good by taking critisim as a positive tool.

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