Nearly 95 per cent of the chicken meat exports from the country is from this region. These poultry units feel that the Agricultural Products and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) should intervene and encourage the setting up of the necessary infrastructure for exports.
One of the major deficiencies is the absence of egg processing units. There are urgent need for establishing egg cleaning and packing units that can act as service providers. It is suggested that Apeda could fund such units in the private sector instead of expecting them to come-up in the co-operative sector, they say. The area also needs feed testing and disease testing laboratories to ensure quality of eggs for exports. According to Dr D Chandrasekaran, head, Animal Feed Analytical and Quality Control Laboratory, Veterinary College Research Institute, Namakkal, Now there is only one lab under the Veterinary University. There is need for more labs to test the large number of samples to facilitate exports on schedule. There is also an urgent need for the setting up of cold storages and rural godowns for supporting the export of eggs and meat.
Poultry units in Coimbatore region have started exporting processed chicken meat. Exporters say that meat export is not included in the list for freight subsidy available for eggs. It is an anomaly to be corrected. Exporters say that, since they are operating on very thin margins, because of the competition from other countries that have several direct and indirect subsidies, government support and fiscal concessions were essential to establish markets.
Another major demand is to declare Namakkal and Coimbatore districts as Export Processing Zones for egg and chicken meat, respectively. This will help the efforts of the present exporters to increase their activity and bring in a more organised growth into the industry. Banking sources said export processing zone would enable them to lend to the units at very low rates of interest. Exporters also suggest that organisations like National Egg Coordination Committee should provide more information on export markets and price movements and encourage poultry farmers to go for exports. Power tariff for poultry is being levied at different rates. In many places it is treated as industry. It is suggested that they should be treated as small-scale units.
The exporters also are seeking extension of maize cultivation to more areas to make it easily available to the poultry units for feed preparation.