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Poultry rearing has always been an integral component of livestock production system in India. The concept of composite farming production system with crop, livestock, fish and poultry production has been practiced for centuries in India. However, poultry production in India has taken a quantum leap in the last four decades, emerging from an entirely unorganized and unscientific farming practice to commercial production system with state-of-the-art technological interventions.
India, with poultry population of 489 million and estimated more than 47 billion eggs production per year, ranks among the top three countries in egg production in the world. The broiler production is growing at the rate of nearly 8-10% every year and India produces about 2.0 million metric tonnes of chicken meat annually at present. The annual per capita availability of eggs and chicken meat has also increased from a mere 10 eggs and 146 grams in 1970's to more than 41 eggs and 1.6 Kgs respectively presently. India's share of the world trade in poultry and poultry products is very small. However, the country has come a long way during the last decade increasing its value of exports from nearly Rs. 11.00 crore in 1993-94 to around Rs. 316 crore during 2005-06.
Poultry sector, besides providing direct or indirect employment to nearly 3 million people is a potent tool for subsidiary income generation for many landless and marginal farmers and also provides nutritional security especially to the rural poor. Further, landless labourers derive more than 50 per cent of their income from livestock especially from poultry.
The Central Poultry Development Organisations have been playing a pivotal role in the implementation of the policies of the Government with respect to poultry. The mandate of the Central poultry Development Organizations has been reoriented to focus on improved indigenous birds, which lay on an average 180-200 eggs per annum and have a vastly improved Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) in terms of feed consumption and weight gain. The Central Poultry Development Organizations have been entrusted with the responsibility of producing good quality germplasm in the form of day old chicks and hatching eggs of varieties like Nirbheek, Hitkari, Vanaraja, Shyama Cari, Chabro etc.
Besides, these organizations are imparting training to approximately 1200-1500 farmers every year both at the organizations and at farmers' door steps. These Organizations are also playing a crucial role in analyzing feed samples. Diversification of other avian species like Ducks/Turkeys/Guinea fowl/Japanese Quail etc., is also being taken up to popularise the same. Presently these Organizations are also supporting and handholding the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, 'Assistance to State Poultry Farms'.
The Central Poultry Performance Testing Centre (CPPTC), located at Gurgaon is entrusted with the responsibility of testing the performance of layer and broiler varieties. This Centre conducts one layer test for the period from 0-72 weeks of age wherein the production parameters of the laying birds received from different participants comprising of private and public sector agencies are tested. At the end of the test, data are analyzed and the reports indicating the relative performance of the entrants are published. Accordingly two broiler tests are conducted every year from 0-8 weeks age and the results are published giving full information about growth rate, feed efficiency and margin of profit from each entrant. The report is published for the utilization of the poultry industry in general, and the breeder participants in particular. This Center gives valuable information relating to different genetic stock available in the country.
A centrally sponsored scheme 'Assistance to State Poultry Farms' implemented during the Tenth Plan is being continued in 11th Plan where one time assistance is provided to suitably strengthen the farms in terms of hatching, brooding and rearing of the birds with provision for feed mill and their quality monitoring and in-house disease diagnostic facilities. Since inception, over Rs. 107 crore has been sanctioned for strengthening of 205 farms across the country.
During 11th Five Year Plan, three new programmes have been envisaged to be implemented, wherein component of 'Rural Backyard Poultry Development' will enable the backyard farmers to take up the activity in a more organized and scientific manner and the other two components 'Poultry Estates' and 'Poultry Venture Capital Fund' are aimed towards private entrepreneurs.
Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 31-03-2009