Amid 3x rise in ‘egg’sports to Qatar, Namakkal may get bird flu free tag

The tag of bird flu-free egg production zone will help boost egg exports from the district.
In Qatar, the eggs are sold at `7 each
In Qatar, the eggs are sold at `7 each

NAMAKKAL: The state government is studying a request by poultry owners to declare Namakkal, the hub of egg production in Tamil Nadu, as a bird flu-free egg production zone, district Collector Shreya P Singh has said. The government is conducting a study to make a recommendation to the Union government in this regard, she added.

The tag of bird flu free egg production zone will help boost egg exports from the district. Poultry farm owners reiterated the demand as there has been a three-fold rise in export of eggs from Namakkal to Qatar, which is hosting the football World Cup.

K Mohan, president of Namakkal zone egg producers association, said, “Guidelines are strictly followed in farms in Namakkal. Hence, hens here are not frequently infected. But wherever poultry is affected in India, we are affected, and the export of eggs reduces.

That is why we are requesting the Union government to declare Namakkal as a bird flu free egg production zone. The state should recommend this to the Centre with relevant documentation. Namakkal farms have all the qualifications including sanitation laid down by the Union government. We have also submitted a request to the district administration in this regard. If this is done, eggs can be exported to various countries without any restrictions.”

PV Senthil, general secretary of Namakkal cattle and farm owners trade association, and a poultry farm owner, said, “Qatar is a major destination for egg exports from Namakkal. With the World Cup under way, several thousands of fans from across the world have converged on Qatar. Because of this, the demand for food products, especially eggs, has increased there. Anticipating the huge footfall of fans, in the last month, the country has been importing three times the quantity of eggs it used to buy from Namakkal.”

Sources said Namakkal has 1,100 poultry farms, which produce five to six crore eggs daily. Around two crore eggs are exported to UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Maldives every month through the VOC port in Thoothukudi. “Currently, the number of eggs exported to these countries has increased to four crore. Qatar used to import 50 lakh eggs every month. This has risen to 1.5 crore,” Senthil said.

“The cost of production of an egg is up to Rs 5. Transportation costs have increased. Thus it costs Rs 2 more per egg to send it to Qatar. We charge Rs 7 per egg in Qatar.” Senthil explained.The war between Ukraine and Russia has come as a blessing in disguise for poultry farm owners in TN.

“Because of it, the price of poultry feed shot up in the international market. Countries like Turkey, which are major producers of eggs, raised prices. A box of 360 eggs in Turkey usually costs $18-20. Last month, it rose to $36. The price of Namakkal eggs is less. So countries like UAE, Qatar, Oman are buying more eggs from us,” said K Kumar, an exporter.

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