By A K Sahoo in Bhubaneswar, May 14, 2018: Tapati Rani Pradhan, a physically-handicapped woman hailing from Jaleswar in Odisha, was encouraged by the Union government to undertake poultry bird breeding under the rural backyard poultry development programme. She, however, now finds herself in a state of helplessness, – so much so that she is contemplating “extreme step” if chief minister Naveen Patnaik does come to her rescue.

After being assured by the state government that it would buy breeding eggs from her firm Dimond Agrovet, Tapati and her cost accountant husband Santosh Pradhan, – borrowed Rs 50 crore from local banks and set up their breeding project near Rasgobindpur in Mayurbhanj district.

Everything was going on well till November 2017 when the state government’s animal resources development department surprisingly floated a “tender process” inviting bids from “breeders” and “traders” to supply eggs to its hatcheries.

The inclusion of the term “trader” in tender notice allowed inexperienced traders to participate in the tender process quoting lesser prices. A Bhubaneswar based firm which quoted Rs 15.80 per egg was awarded the egg supply and rearing order to the tune of Rs 12 crore.

Prior to the tender process, Dimond Agrovet, the largest breeding firm in eastern India with a breeding capacity 60,000 parent stock (mother birds) and per day hatching capacity of 40,000 eggs, was supplying eggs to government hatcheries at Rs 16 per egg.

Sources in the government said, while the hatching capacity of Dimond Agrovet is more than 90 per cent, the new supplier’s hatching capacity is only 14 per cent. It implies while every 100 eggs procured by government from the new supplier to supply to its own hatcheries produce only 14 hatchlings, 84 eggs worth Rs 1327 prove unproductive. On the other hand, the government loses only Rs 160 on every 100 eggs supplied by Dimond Agrovet.

A rough calculation reveals that, in order to save Rs 20 on 100 eggs supplied by Dimond Agrovet, the government is losing Rs 1327.

“While the breeders breed eggs under a prescribed biosphere confirming all statutory norms, the traders only deal in sell of consumable eggs. We are spending nearly Rs 2.5 lakh every day to feed over Rs 60,000 birds. But we are not able to sell a single piece and burying several thousand eggs every day. Now, I don’t see any chance of repaying the bank loan. We would take extreme step, if the CM does not take any action to undo the wrong decision,” says Tapati.

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