State to keep poultry mission on hold as flu threat looms

SHILLONG, Jan 13: The Meghalaya government has decided to keep its poultry mission on hold till the time the avian influenza outbreak is contained in the affected states.
An official from the animal husbandry and veterinary department on Wednesday said the state government intended to focus on backyard poultry farming through the poultry mission but the idea would be kept on hold till the bird flu outbreak was contained in the affected states.
It may be mentioned that the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is helping Meghalaya formulate the mission considering its huge potential in the poultry sector.
“The NCDC has prepared a draft poultry mission which is being examined by an expert committee,” the official said, while informing that the government would focus on breeds like Markasa (West Khasi Hills), Rongjeng (East Garo Hills) and kuroiler through hatching.
Meghalaya, as of now, has 5.1 million live birds.
The state government has banned the import of poultry and eggs from mainland India. However, it can still import poultry from the other Northeastern states.
The official maintained that there would be no shortage of live birds in the state for the time being as it could still import poultry from the neighbouring states even as the consumption of chicken and eggs have gone down, of late.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that no cases of bird flu have been reported in the state till date.
He further said the state government had come up with the idea of launching the poultry mission since Meghalaya was yet to be self-sufficient in poultry production.

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