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India egg exports drop, poultry zoning needed

India's egg exports have dropped 70% year-on-year to 6 bln following 4 bird flu outbreaks since 2006.

The Poultry Federation of India is now calling for the introduction of zoning (compartmentalisation) to protect the country's poultry industry in unaffected areas in case of future avian influenza outbreaks.

"Our sector has incurred huge loss because egg exports had come to a halt following outbreak of bird flu in eastern and northeastern India," senior manager Venkateshwara Hatcheries, Brij Mohan said, adding that although most importing countries from the region have since started buying Indian eggs, the quantity is down to almost a quarter of the earlier trade.

Single zone

Treasurer, Poultry Federation of India, Rick Thaper, said the Indian poultry sector has incurred loss mainly because the country is under a single poultry zone. "Zoning is a must to keep poultry sector booming," he said.

Unlike China, India's poultry sector is not divided into zones, therefore if any part of India is hit by bird flu, the entire country's exports are affected.

The Business Standard reports that India is the fourth largest egg producer in the world producing 48 billion eggs annually.
 

Natalie Berkhout

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