Bengal takes up, highest ever, Rs 380cr-worth project for ARD sector; to create over 4.5L jobs

Kolkata: In a major step towards making Bengal self-sufficient in egg production, the Mamata Banerjee government has taken up a project worth Rs 380 crore after taking up three strategies to augment egg and meat production that would lead to nearly 4.5 lakh employment opportunities.

This is going to be the highest ever one-time investment in the history of the state's animal resources development sector and it comes following Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's direction to address the issue of shortfall in egg production in the state.

Out of Rs 380 crore, the state government has chalked out a detailed plan of action to utilise nearly Rs 315 crore to set up three Environment Controlled Commercial Layer Farms, poultry manure and waste processing units to produce bio-fertiliser and a feed plant at Kalyani to cater the need of the poultry sector.

The remaining, around Rs 72 crore, would be utilised for setting up a major meat processing industry to increase the per day production of Haringhata Meat from 12 MT to 49 MT. NABARD has recently given sanction of Rs 380 crore under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

The three Environment Controlled Commercial Layer Farms are coming up at Haringhata, Malda and Mekhliganj that would ensure yearly 47 crore egg production by adopting modern poultry farming mechanisms in an environment controlled manner.

There would be 3 lakh birds in each farm. At present two such major farms are operational at Kalyani.

The West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation has been given the responsibility of the projects.

The 47 crore eggs to be produced in the three state-run farms would be distributed for midday meal, anganwadi centres and pregnant women.

At present 1120 crore eggs is the annual requirement of eggs in the state and there is a shortage of 70 crore as around 1150 crore is produced in Bengal.

"Basically three strategies of the state government is not only to make Bengal self-sufficient, but excess than the requirement would be produced in the state by the end of December 2023. The excess would be imported to North East states," said a senior state government officer.

At the same time the state incentive scheme has been brought in for production capacity augmentation of major poultry farmers and to add more farmers with more than 10,000 birds. Steps have also been taken to increase the distribution of chicks and ducklings to farmers to 1 crore from existing 50 lakh to individual farmers and self help groups.

As per the estimation, there would be new employment generation of 4 lakh in private sector, 10,000 direct and indirect in government sector and 15 lakh self employment by the end of 2023-24 fiscal.

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