Confidence-building measures pay dividends

G. Gurumurthy

The clinchers

No fresh

incident of bird flu in the country.

Centre may

formally declare avian disease-free status this week.

Gulf nations'

technical panel may approve import of eggs from India.

Coimbatore, Aug 1

Table egg exports to Gulf countries, which have remained disrupted for the past five months, are expected to resume by the second week of this month, the Namakkal-based shell egg export trade sources said.

High demand

With no fresh incident of avian disease reported after last February from any part of the country, authorities in the Gulf countries, where the demand for table eggs remain quite high, are said to be convinced of the prompt measures initiated by India to prevent the disease. The confidence building measures have enabled the public health and animal health authorities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to consider resuming imports of egg shipments from India, according to Mr Valsan, Secretary of the All-India Poultry Products Exporters Association in Namakkal.

Disease-free declaration

"We expect the Union Government to formally declare on the avian disease-free status during the first week of this month and the endorsement of the Organisation of Internationale Epidemia (OIE) to resume the exports is also expected by August 10", he told

Business Line,

adding the resumption would start by August 15.

Mr Valsan, who was among the Indian delegation that visited Dubai, Muscat and Doha, with a view to appraising the Gulf market on India's overall poultry status post February bird flu incidents, said the public health and animal health department officials in these countries offered to resume the trade at the earliest.

Imports review

The Gulf countries have also initiated reviews of Indian situation of poultry imports.

For example, some of the GCC members' technical committee of the Animal Health Department, which is to clear the restoration of poultry imports, is expected to issue clearance during the first week of next month coinciding with the anticipated OIE clearance, Mr Valsan said.

Among the GCC countries, Bahrain and Kuwait are the only states which are already importing table eggs but the high consumption zones such as Dubai and Muscat are the crucial markets.

Gulf region was also importing hatching eggs from India. Of the total estimated Rs 200 crore worth of eggs imported every month, the share of the hatching eggs would be some 20 per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 2, 2006)
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