Poultry farming is one of the most fertile areas to ease out the pressure of population on crop cultivation. Among the livestock based vocations, poultry farming occupies a pivotal position due to its enormous potential to bring about rapid economic growth with low input investment.
Poultry farming is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture sector in India with an average growth rate of 6 percent in egg production and 12 percent in broiler production per annum.As a result, India is now the world’s third largest egg producer after China and USA with 50000 million eggs worth Rs. 6300 crores. India stands fourth position (after China, USA and Brazil) in broiler meat production with 2.25 million tonnes which contributes Rs. 9000 crores to the national economy. There is a great potential to create gainful employment with every increase in egg/meat consumption. Currently, poultry industry has strength of 215 million layers and 1600 million broilers. Poultry sector accounts for about 1 percent of the India’s GDP and 10 percent of the livestock GDP. Though, the present poultry farming is facing several problems in its proper growth.
- Knowledge: Lack of technical knowledge of poultry business: For carried out successful poultry farming, sound knowledge on several aspects of farming is necessary, but it is seen that due to insufficient knowledge of poultry production, poultry farmers are not gaining their expected return from the business.Therefore, training should be provided to poultry farmers.
- Input: (a) High cost of day old chick(b) High cost of poultry inputs/ equipments (c) Lack of finance for commercial poultry management (d) Lack of financial support (e) High prices of land(f) Shortage of labourers (g) High rate of labourers(h) High rate of vaccine and medicines, (i) Difficulty in obtaining bank loan(j) High rate of interest on loan (k) Insufficient services of poultry expert and (l) High charges of poultry expertsare the important problems to start a business.
- Breed: - Suitable breeds provide better production. Due to (a) lack of suitable germplasm (b) poor prolificacy of the birds (c)lack of high producing breeds (d) disease resistant breeds, poultry farmers are not getting expected results.
- Feed: - Good quality feed is needed for better production of poultry birds. Due to (a) high rate of poultry feed and (b) inferior quality of poultry feed, poultry farmers get lower margin of profit.
- Predators:-Picking of chicks and birds by its natural enemies like crow, kite, mongoose and snake is a common event of poultry farming.Proper care is needed to protect the birds from these predators by net fencing or iron wire fencing.
- Diseases: - (a) High incidence of disease and (b) high death rate at outbreak of diseases (bird flu and others.) harm most in poultry production. Other problems related to this are (c) mortality of the chicks is more (especially hatching mortality) (d) no vaccination programme at proper time at the village and nearby (e)Government veterinary doctor/dispensary is not nearby village.
- Social problem: -The main social problems are (a) sometimes birds damage the standing crops in search of food and (b) complaint by neighbours. Therefore, poultry birds should not be allowed to standing crops for food searching and will be reared always in controlled condition even in free range farming.
- Marketing: -The main marketing problems are– (a) low market price to poultry birds and eggs(b) low prices of cull birds and (c)insufficient facilities of export of poultry production.
Conclusion: Chickens are one of the major sources of animal protein.Therefore, poultry farming has proven to be very lucrative. As a business, they offer an opportunity for people to earn big that’s why there are many poultry farms. Presently, the poultry farming is facing several problems; therefore, it is the need of the hour to find rational solutions for above-said problems. The possible solutions are the followings:-
- Bank loan provisions for all (especially landless, marginal and small farmers) to start a poultry farm.
- Bank loan procedure should be simple and logical and it will be out of lot of paper works.
- Subsidy should be provided by the Govt. to poultry farmers.
- should ensure round the clock supply of electricity on reduced rate.
- Poultry farmers should be encouraged to start own feed mill by providing feed ingredient on reduced rate.
- Excess grain production should be drained to poultry feed production by the effort of Govt.
- Development of disease resistant and high yielding poultry breeds by research activities.
- There must have govt. provisions for free vaccination at the time of outbreak of diseases (especially bird flu).
- Importance of animal protein in human diet should be convinced to people by using mass media.
- Proper market prices for the poultry products should be announced by the government
- More emphasis on export of poultry products to take the advantage of globalization.
Department of Agricultural Extension, College of Agriculture,
Bidhan Chandra KrishiViswavidyalaya, Agricultural Farm-713101
Burdwan, West Bengal, India;