Poultry industry needs genetically modified maize:  Chitturi

Pashu Sandesh, Bhopal 13 August 2020

“To compete with global market Indian Poultry industry needs genetically modified (GM) maize," said Suresh Rayudu Chitturi chairman international egg commission. He was speaking in a webinar organized by Den Dayal Upadhyaya veterinary university(DUVASU) Mathura on “Atmnirbhar Indian Poultry in new normal”. Tarun Shridhar ex-secretary ministry of fisheries and animal husbandry GOI and Gulrez Alam director IB group and Prof Garg ex vice-chancellor of DUVASU also expressed their views in the webinar.  

Chitturi said Poultry is a sector will lot of job opportunities. Every egg eaten per capita creates fifty thousand new jobs. The future of the poultry industry is very bright as chicken consumption is growing worldwide. By 2040 the share of poultry in the meat market will be 60 to 70 per cent.

Chitturi expressed his concern on India still being dependent on imports of certain feed supplements and equipment needed in the poultry sector. 

He pointed out the following gaps in making India becoming atamnirbhar in the poultry sector.   

The high cost of production-The cost of production of chicken and eggs in India is very high in comparison to other countries. The reason is the higher cost of feed ingredients like maize, soya DOC and other supplements. In Brazil, the average cost of maize is Rs 10,798 per ton which is 70 per cent less than in India. Similarly, the price of soya DOC in Brazil is Rs 25,600 per ton while it is Rs 38800 per ton in India. Likewise, we are still importing supplements like amino acids and vitamins. This all increases our cost of production.

Financial reforms - Finance in India more complicated and expensive in compression to other countries. In the USA the loan for poultry is available at an interest rate of 3 to 6 per cent for a period of 15 years with 3 years moratorium period. While in India it is available at an interest rate of 10 to 12 per cent for a period of 6 years with 1 year moratorium period.

Genetically modified(GM) maize-Govt should allow the import of GM maize and also work in the direction for the cultivation of GM maize in our country. GM maize is the need of the hour, otherwise, we cannot compete with the global market. Countries like the USA are growing genetically modified crops since 1996. An open, unbiased, scientific debate should be initiated on the issue of GM crops in our country.

Policy reform- Govt. should make conductive policies to attract medicine, vaccine, supplement and equipment manufacturing companies to India. 

Gulrez Alam director of IB group called upon the students of veterinary colleges to come forward and combat fake propaganda about poultry in social media. Vet students should start a campaign on social media to highlight the health benefits of chicken and eggs. When the poultry sector grows it will provide job opportunities to upcoming vets.

Giving his expert comments Tarun Shridhar ex-secretary ministry of fisheries and animal husbandry GOI disclosed that during his tenure he strongly propagated the GM maize but due to pressure from so-called NGOs the govt hesitate to come up with a solid strand. NGOs opposing GM crops are having needless ideology and their claims are not based on due diligence.      

Opening remarks were made by Prof Dakshinkar, vice-chancellor Kamdhenu University Chattisgarh, Vote of thanks was given by Dr Amitav Bhattacharya and webinar was coordinated by Dr Pankaj Shukla.