When it comes to self-sufficiency in eggs, Kerala is on the right path, says State Government undertaking Kerala State Poultry Development Corporation Ltd (KEPCO).
Egg production in the state has picked up during the past five years, showing a 50.55 per cent increase, according to statistics released by KEPCO.
The total egg production has gone up from 119.56 crores in 2005-06 to 180 crores in 2010-2011, KEPCO managing director V Sunil Kumar said. He attributed the increase to the various schemes rolled out by KEPCO and complementary initiatives like the introduction of better poultry breeds.
‘’This is an encouraging trend. In the 1970s, Kerala used to export eggs to Mumbai and Chennai. Now we are importing. In fact, egg production had slumped from approximately 203 crores in 2001 to 119 crores in 2005-06.
We’ve been able to increase the production by 60.44 crore eggs,’’ he said. In fact, Kerala has overtaken the national average in egg production, KEPCO officials said.
Kerala’s growth rate is 10.85 per cent compared to the 5.76 per cent national average. Chicken population in the state also has gone up during the past five years from 75.44 lakh in 2006-07 to 90 lakh in 2010-2011, according to KEPCO.
There’s one flip side, though. Most of the increase in production is concentrated in the rural areas of the state, one reason why cities like Thiruvananthapuram faced acute egg shortage when the daily imports from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were stopped following the bird flu scare in Hessarghatta, Bangalore. Lately, KEPCO has also been concentrating in the urban areas with projects like ‘Nagarapriya,’ Sunil Kumar said.