More than enough money is flowing from Kerala to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh every day. This is to buy food items like rice, vegetables, eggs, poultry, groceries and milk. Cash flow does not decrease but increases. Not much money comes here from these states. It was only during the Sabarimala season that some money was received. That, too, seems to have come to a standstill.
If we plan ahead, we can produce 90% of the food we need here. But such a joint effort has yet to materialize at the government level. Of these, promoting poultry farming can save Kerala a huge amount of money. The Malayalee eats 40,000 tons of chicken per month. Of this, the domestic production is 30,000 tonnes. About 10,000 tonnes come to Kerala from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The highest number of poultry comes from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu.
Around one and a half crore chicks are reared in Kerala every month. The price of a day old chicken is 35 rupees. It costs around Rs 100 to produce one kg of chicken. The expense is for buying more feed. And then for power consumption. Raw materials for fodder also come from other states. If the government declares poultry farming as a crop, it will become profitable and more people, especially in rural areas, will move into the area. If it is approved as a crop, it will get government subsidy to buy fodder. Electricity is also available at low cost. This will pave the way for the growth of the region. Kerala is the state that sells the most meat and eggs. If the government makes such a move, poultry can be reared in many places under the leadership of a group like Kudumbasree. Plans should also be made to provide protection to the producer in proportion to the increase in the price of chicken and feed.
Steps should be taken to impose floor prices on poultry and eggs. The Poultry Incentive Package can be implemented at the government level to promote poultry farming, help more entrepreneurs and expand employment opportunities. Various chemicals are used in large quantities in vegetables from other states and even in poultry. Therefore, if this sector is considered as agriculture in the state, the health care of Keralites can also be ensured. It is expected that prompt action will be taken by the Animal Husbandry Department.