Moves afoot in state to boost egg production
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has taken significant strides in augmenting the production of eggs with an aim to make the state self-reliant and gradually stop importing the product from the southern states.
The Incentive Policy that was launched in the end of 2017 to encourage poultry farmers have already raised the daily production by five lakh. The state now produces 209 lakh eggs daily against the required 260 lakh daily by the people of the state. The deficit presently stands at 51 crore.
The Animal Resources Development (ARD) department came up with the Incentive Policy, 2017, for the poultry farmers with the department ready to provide subsidy to the extent of Rs 80 lakh for those working towards augmenting egg production. "39 poultry farms have come up in the state under the Incentive Policy and these farms are producing five lakh eggs daily. 14 of these farms have come up at Bankura — the highest under the scheme," said state ARD minister Swapan Debnath.
Apart from Bankura, seven farms have come up in Hooghly, six in West Midnapore, three in Jalpaiguri, two in Birbhum, and one each in Nadia and South Dinjapur. "We are eyeing the end of 2020 to make up the deficit of eggs and stop import from the southern states," Debnath said.
The department is also providing attractive incentives in the power bill of the poultry breeders. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has time and again prodded the ARD department to devise means for increasing the production of eggs, particularly duck eggs, in Bengal. The department has set up a duck farm at Labhpur in Birbhum, renovated a chicken farm at Boromoholla in Suri I Block in Birbhum for increasing egg production.
The state ARD department had given 1 crore chicks and ducklings to the Self-Help Groups across the state in 2018-19 and has set a target of distributing another 1 crore in 2019-20 fiscal too.
"We are hopeful that within three years we will be able to make up this deficit by increasing the production. Production is expected to increase by nearly 40 lakh in the next six months," said Madan Mohan Maity, general secretary of the West Bengal Poultry Federation.