Nimbus Holdings has formed a Bird Flu Relief Fund to mitigate not only the risk of poultry farmers by compensating them but also to mitigate the risk on public health, apart from helping government policy to triple per-capita consumption and availability of chicken and eggs in the next 15 years by encouraging commercialisation of poultry sector.
"We have established a Bird Flu Relief Fund of Rs 7.5 million," informed chairman of Nimbus Holdings Jagadish Agrawal, here today.
Though the government also compensates poultry farmers for losses incurred due to bird flu, the government relief comes late and is too little.
"Our initiative will also support the government as farmers will get double benefit," he said, adding that the Bird Flu Relief Fund will compensate poultry farmers within seven days. "Commercial poultry firms have to be, but, registered with Nimbus, as only those farmers using Shakti feed will be compensated, at present, upon the declaration of bird flu outbreak by the government."
Named Shakti Sahayogi Haatharu — the campaign — will help protect farmers and encourage them to report bird flu — Avian influenza — also known informally as avian flu — as soon as possible which will help reduce the risk on public health, said managing director of Nimbus Anand Bagaria.
Repeated instances of bird flu have forced poultry farmers to shift business as they have to bear losses every time it strikes. “Nimbus is planning to collaborate with insurance companies and other domestic and international agencies to safeguard the poultry business in the future,” he said, adding that it will help stop farmers abandoning the business.
The fund, under Nimbus Sahayogi Haatharu — a corporate social responsibility campaign of Nimbus Holdings — will help promote poultry business in the country, said Dr Dinesh Gautam who is the deputy chief executive of Probiotech Industries, an agribusiness wing of Nimbus Holdings.
Probiotech Industries is the first feed industry to receive ISO 9001: 2008 and NS certifications and has the latest pelleting plant with autobatching facility producing 300 metric tonnes of feed every day. 'Shakti' is the largest selling animal feed brand in the country with 25 per cent market share.
It deals with approximately 20 products in animal feed, another 20 in feed supplements, and around 20 more in fine chemicals, vaccines and medicines.
The government has introduced a poultry policy with an aim to triple the per-capita consumption and availability of chicken and eggs in the next 15 years by encouraging the commercialisation of the poultry sector.The current average per-capita consumption of poultry meat and eggs stands at nine kg chicken and 120 eggs. The poultry policy has also envisaged strategies including prioritising the poultry sector for government supported programmes so as to encourage massive commercialisation of the sector that already has an investment of over Rs 30 billion.