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Indian Poultry Industry Urges Scraping of Maize Import Duties Amid Ethanol Concerns

The All India Poultry Breeder Association (AIPBA) is urging the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying to reconsider the 50% import duty on maize. They're concerned about the strain on the poultry industry due to increased maize demand for ethanol production.

KJ Staff
Representational image. (Photo Courtesy: Pexels)
Representational image. (Photo Courtesy: Pexels)

The All India Poultry Breeder Association (AIPBA) from Delhi has passionately appealed to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying to reconsider the current 50% import duty on maize, emphasizing its critical role in sustaining the poultry industry amidst concerns over ethanol production's potential impact.

Expressing apprehensions about the escalating demand for maize driven by ethanol production, the AIPBA underscored the inadequacy of India's annual maize production, pegged at 34.60 MMT, to meet the significant requirements of both the poultry industry and the nation's overall food security. Chairman Mr. Bahadur Ali, also Managing Director of IB Group, articulated these concerns in a memorandum submitted to the government.

Highlighting the staggering consumption rate of more than 60% of India's maize by the Poultry and Livestock sector, the AIPBA cautioned against the government's ambitious plan to allocate half of the ethanol production from maize by 2025-26. This diversion of maize for ethanol production might drastically diminish essential feedstock access, potentially leading to a severe demand-supply disparity soon.

The association stressed the growing discrepancy between the 4.5% growth in maize production over the last decade and the 8-9% expansion experienced by the poultry industry. This divergence signals an impending maize shortage for poultry, exacerbated by the government's robust promotion of maize for ethanol.

"In addressing the soaring demand for maize in diverse sectors, including livestock feed, importing maize or rapidly increasing domestic production emerges as the only viable solutions. Yet, immediate substantial growth in domestic output remains improbable. Hence, facilitating maize imports emerges as the most pragmatic solution to bridge the imminent gap," asserted the association in its memorandum.

Additionally, the surging demand for maize propelled by ethanol production has led to soaring prices, currently averaging around Rs 22-23 per kg nationwide. Such unsustainable costs pose a significant challenge to Indian poultry farmers, with projections indicating further burdens by February 2024, potentially destabilizing the poultry industry.

Despite India being the sixth-largest maize producer globally, second only to wheat and rice domestically, the AIPBA emphasized the necessity of striking a balance between maize utilization for ethanol and its vital role as a food crop. 

Embracing sustainable practices, efficient resource management, and a comprehensive approach to agricultural and energy policies becomes imperative to harness the benefits without compromising national food security.

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