Sham Bhagat, president, Pune unit of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), said this move would be harmful for the Indian poultry industry.
The Indian poultry industry has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to contemplate any reduction in the import duty on chicken legs from the present 100% to 30 % as it would adversely hit millions of poultry farmers as well as maize and soyabean farmers in the country.
The contribution of poultry products to the Indian GDP is estimated to be over Rs 1,00,000 crore per annum and India is the second largest producer of eggs in the world with production of 88 billion eggs per year and third largest in broilers and is the only country having a consistent growth in the agriculture and allied sector at 7-8% per annum for the last three decades, according to a note issued by the Telangana Breeders Association.
Sham Bhagat, president, Pune unit of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), said this move would be harmful for the Indian poultry industry. This is an agri-allied business which gives 365 days of employment in rural areas and also consumes maize and soyabean produced by farmers, he said, adding that the government is breaking the backbone of the farmers.
G Ranjith Reddy, President, Telangana Poultry Breeders Association (TPBA), in a statement said “This reduction in customs duty will not only destroy Indian poultry industry but also soyabean and maize growers as well because poultry is the main consumer for maize and soya meal.”
He pointed out that this sector generates direct employment to over 2 million small and marginal farmers in the rural villages and indirectly to over 5 million rural households. After a successful win by the US in a protracted WTO case, India allowed American chicken products to be imported but at a 100% duty. However, now as part of the Indo-US trade negotiations currently underway, the government is believed to be considering a proposal to slash duty to a more reasonable 30%.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is motivating the farmers to move towards non-crop activities like poultry and other livestock products for better income to reduce pressure on land and irrigation and in effort to double the farmers income, he said.
“According to media sources, under pressure from the US, the government of India is being forced to reduce the duties on import of chicken legs from the prevailing rate of 100% to 30% along with Bourbon Whiskey and Harley Davidson motorbikes. This reduction in customs duty will not only destroy Indian poultry industry but also the soyabean and maize growers as well because poultry is the main consumer for maize and soya meal.”
“Thus, the corn and soya meal prices will crash and we cannot compete in international market for these crops due to lower price as a result of huge farm subsidies given in the US/ Brazil for corn and soyabean (CBOT prices for corn is $170/175 i.e. Rs 12,000 per tonne against Rs 18,600 MSP in India and De Oiled SOYA Cake of $325 i.e. Rs 24,000 against Rs 32,000 in India).