MANGALDAI, Oct 2 - �Our State incurs a huge revenue loss per day due to its failure to produce livestock products like eggs, chicken and milk against its growing demand. According to a report of the Assam Livestock Corporation Ltd, the State imports 33 lakh eggs from other States per day, thereby losing revenue of nearly Rs 1 crore. Similarly, a large number of broiler chicken and milk are imported due to the insufficient production,� observed Dr Muzaharul Islam, Scientist, Animal Science, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Darrang.
Dr Islam was one of the resource persons who spoke at the State-level meet on the topic �Potential Agro Business Opportunities and its Scientific Approach� organised by a local private organisation Shaan Agri Orchard here recently. The speaker also underlined the tremendous business potential of the feed industry parallel to livestock farming. �There is a huge scope for feed industry as most of the commercial feed manufacturers are from outside the State where the cost of feed accounts for 60 per cent of the overall cost of a farm,� he said. He also appealed to the poultry farmers to increase production to meet the surging demand.
Another resource person Dr Pankaj Kr Deka, Assistant Professor, Veterinary College Khanapara and a Virologist in his deliberation supported by power-point presentation discussed in a threadbare manner scientific poultry farming, its market potential and future challenges. �Science is nothing but the systematic study of a thing. A farmer who starts his venture for commercial gain must study systematically the behaviour of livestock of his farm and record it and if one can do this he is more than a doctor for his livestock.� Dr Deka advised the young farmers to strictly follow three things for their commercial benefits, including weight gain of the chicken in minimum time, adequate feed conversion ratio and ensuring less than five per cent mortality average.
He also advised the participant farmers to choose local chicken business for meat but not for eggs. Regarding the commercial farming of Japanese quail, which is getting popular in the State in recent times, Dr Deka opted for cluster-centric approach of different local units under a parent sibling production unit. �There must be a parent chicken production unit which can supply siblings to other farm units at a minimum cost of Rs 7/8 per bird and then only the local quail farmers can make profits,� Dr Deka added. The scientist also observed that layer farming will be one of the most sustainable livestock business in the next 30 years.
Participating in the meet, senior horticulturist and a prominent agro entrepreneur Hiranya Kr Nath asked the farmers to rely mostly on the local varieties and explained how he had earned around Rs 1 crore in 10 years with an initial investment of Rs 10,000 in his nursery business only because of his knowledge about the local variety of trees. Dr Jatindra Kr Nath, lecturer, Vocational Training Centre, Darrang also spoke on the occasion.
The day-long meet, attended by nearly 80 male and female farmers across the State, was moderated by senior journalist Mayukh Goswami. Earlier, in his welcome address Kushal Deka, a prominent young poultry farmer and the proprietor of the �Shaan Agri Orchard� highlighted various potential agro-business opportunities including mushroom production for the youths of the lower income families of the State.