Indian farmers affected by bird flu will have exclusive access to 800,000 tonnes of maize at special prices to help recoup their losses.
This assurance was given by Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, to the delegation led by Ms Anuradha Desai, Chairperson, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC).
Every year during May-June, before the monsoon, the price of maize increases and the government releases maize stocks into the open market to ease the prices. However, because of the losses suffered by poultry farmers at the hands of the avian influenza virus, the maize will now be released for the exclusive use of poultry farmers.
About 85-90 percent of the maize produced in the country is consumed by the poultry industry.
The maize will be available to poultry farmers at a price of Rs 450 to Rs 500 (US$9.77-10.86) per quintal, which is lower than the current market price of Rs 700 (US$15.20) a quintal.