Once considered a hub of chicken and egg business, Gurgaon in the National Capital Region, has lost poultry business to areas in the interior of Haryana bordering Rajasthan.

From around 250 small and big poultry farms in Gurgaon in 60's and 70s, the satellite town is today left with not more than 40 farms, Ricky Thaper, Treasurer of Poultry Federation of India (PFI) told PTI.

In a bid to cash in on soaring land prices in Gurgaon in 90s with the boom in real estate business, many poultry owners of the city sold their land at a high rate and purchased bigger areas in interiors of the state like Jajjhar, Bhiwani and Narnaul, about 100 km from Gurgaon bordering Rajasthan, Thaper, himself in poultry trade in the town, said.

Some left the trade to enter into more profitable business like property dealing, he said.

So, in place of Gurgaon, the areas bordering Rajasthan have now become nerve centre of broiler and egg production and supply to the national capital.

Haryana and Rajasthan are the leading supplier of chicken to the national capital which runs into several lakhs while major portion of egg, a cheap source of protein, comes to Delhi from Punjab and Haryana, traders said.

Tracing history, Thaper said poultry started on a small scale in Gurgaon in late 60's and early 70's where government employees of Delhi adopted poultry as vocation after retirement.

They were taught scientific poultry farming and given training at government Poultry Farm in Satbari, Delhi. They purchased land in Gurgaon, adjoining Delhi, to build proper sheds for raising poultry birds for eggs and meat.

Slowly, Gurgaon turned into core of poultry trade in Haryana. In late 90s, the scenario started changing, when land prices soared, with the construction of residential colonies and factories.

Among those stayed back in Gurgaon, Bajaj Poultry Farm with more than one lakh layers is a leading name.

Its proprietor Sanjay Bajaj decided to stay in Gurgaon and cash in on the opportunity offered by food malls, that come up all over the city, to farm fresh branded eggs at a premium price.

Mr Sanjeev Gupta, owner of leading Khushboo Poultry, said, “Facing erratic power supply and other infrastructural bottlenecks, poultry is no longer a profitable business in Gurgaon... Let's see how long we can continue in the trade.”

(This article was published on May 8, 2011)
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