Delhi, India | 17th February 2020: Bihar has traditionally been a consumer state for non-agriculture produce, especially eggs and fish. In the light of its image of being a backward state, its growth rate of 44.72% per annum in poultry production has managed to draw attention and create quite a stir pan India. The current yearly growth rate of poultry industry in Bihar is four times higher than the national average.
The story of this phenomenal rise started in the year 2016-17 with a senior woman IAS officer taking charge of the Department of Animal and Fisheries Resources, government of Bihar. Dr. N Vijaya Lakshmi, an officer of 1995 batch and recently promoted Principal Secretary in government of Bihar took charge of the department as Secretary in the year 2016-17. With a long-term vision and hard work, she led the department to win many awards. She was present in the national capital on Friday, February 14th to attend one such felicitation programme organized by the Agriculture Today Group, where the State was hailed for the mega success of its poultry sector.
In 2015-16 the egg production in the state was 100 crores, which rose to 176 crores in the year 2018-19, which is a mega leap of 65%. The total annual egg production in the year 2016-17 was 111 crores, which rose to 122 crores in 2017-18 and 176 crores in 2018-19. The projected egg production for the year 2019-20 is a whopping 265 crores. In 2018-19 the state has registered a yearly growth rate of 44.72% in the layer segment alone, which is four times higher than the national growth rate. The tentative annual growth rate in 2019-20 is an eye-catching 50.57%. The per capita availability of eggs was 11 in 2016, which has increased to 25 in 2019-20.
The Animal and Fisheries Resources Department’s cumulative data of the last three years’ growth chart of Bihar reflects that the total egg production has grown with a rate of 65%, meat production with 19.63%, fish production with 18.47% and milk production with 17.43%.
The state of Bihar is predominantly rural and 88% of the population lives in villages. Animal Husbandry plays an important role in the economy of the state with 36% of the agriculture GSDP contributed by the livestock sector. During the past three years, the contribution of the animal husbandry in the GDP of the state has been a resounding 145168.27 crores under the leadership of Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi. The multifaceted programmes of the sector have a vital role in poverty reduction, self employment and doubling farmers’ income.
The Department has taken various policy initiatives to support poultry farmers both in broiler and layer farming. To encourage self employment and to double farmers’ income the Department has started several incentive schemes with 30% subsidy along with interest subvention, especially in layer farming. A total of 75.5 crores were allocated in last three years as incentives.
Regular training programmes are being organized and support services are being provided to the farmers. Backyard poultry has been encouraged by leveraging women’s self help groups. The Department has been supporting Jeevika (Bihar rural livelihood promotion society) in distributing low input variety / dual purpose birds (both egg and chicken meat) by supporting to the tune of 116 crore rupees so far.
The Department under the leadership of Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi is also pushing for nutritional security of pre-school going children by supplying eggs and milk to the Anganwadi centres in the state. The Department has tied up with the Directorate of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) under the Department of Social Welfare of Government of Bihar for supply of milk powder and eggs to all the Anganwadi centres of the state. The milk powder is being supplied by COMFED and the eggs by the poultry farms established with the incentives provided by the Department. This is going to be implemented in all the Anganwadi centres very soon and has been proved to be a giant step towards meeting the nutritional goal amongst the children in Bihar where malnutrition is a big problem.
The Bihar Livestock master policy has been launched with the support of scientists of the International Livestock Research Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Department has created an enabling environment for market linkages, extended extension services and has facilitated research work in the newly created Bihar Animal Science University.
The current poultry scenario in the state has motivated the youth to take up this activity as a profession, which again is a positive development, because youth engagement in any sector ensures a bigger risk taking capacity as well as bringing technological advancement at every stage.
The success story of the poultry sector in Bihar has just begun.