Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, languished at the bottom of the charts when it came to the availability of eggs even as the globe celebrated the World Egg Day on Friday. World Egg Day is observed on the second Friday of October every year.
The Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics for the year 2017-18 showed that the per capita availability of eggs in Uttar Pradesh was only 11, which was the lowest in the country after Sikkim and below the national average of 74 eggs.
Not surprisingly, egg production in the state is below its daily requirement and UP has to import around 80 lakh eggs every day, largely from Andhra Pradesh, to meet the deficit.
Additional director, poultry, PK Pradhan said UP procured around a crore (10 million) eggs every day from its poultry farms and another around 7-8 lakh (700,000-800,000) were made available as backyard eggs every day.
“The state has to import 70-80 lakh eggs every day from other states,” he said, but added, “The number of imported eggs is declining with an increase in the state’s own production every year. Two-three years ago, we had to import around a crore eggs every day.”
Andhra Pradesh has the highest per capita availability of eggs (346) followed by Tamil Nadu (246), Haryana (209), Punjab (180), Karnataka (89) and West Bengal (79). The per capita availability of eggs in only these six states was more than the national average.
UP’s share in the country’s total egg production, according to the data, was also low at 2.6% though it was better than other some egg-producing states, including Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Bihar.
Andhra Pradesh that contributes 18.7% of the country’s total egg production is the largest producer of eggs. It is closely followed by Tamil Nadu (18.3%) and Telangana (13.3). Other states that contributed more than 5% of the country’s egg production were West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Kerala.
UP is, however, maintaining a steady growth in egg production. The state figured among 14 states that registered growth above 6%. Nevertheless, UP’s annual growth rate in 2017-18 was 6.6%, which was below the national average of 8%. Nine states have crossed the national average of egg production growth rate. West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh registered significant growth.
Pradhan said the per capita availability was gradually increasing in UP every year though the same, he admitted, was among the lowest in the country.
“This is probably because the vegetarian population is more here,” he said. Sources, however, said people’s annual income in UP was one of the lowest in the country and this they added, was reflected in low per capita egg availability to them.
WHAT IS WORLD EGG DAY?
The World Egg Day got the nod at the Vienna conference of the International Egg Commission (IEC). The commission decided to celebrate World Egg Day on the second Friday of October each year. The occasion is marked around the globe to help raise awareness of the benefits of eggs and their importance in human nutrition.
IEC was formed in 1964 to give a global presence to egg producers and to promote and popularise egg consumption as a balanced diet. Currently Suresh Chitturi, an Indian, heads IEC. Many countries now participate in the World Egg Day by hosting a variety of events. In India, Andhra Pradesh, the leading egg producer, decided to celebrate the World Egg Day on October, 11, 2019 in Vijayawada by holding rallies and making free distribution of boiled eggs to school children and old age homes.
NO MAJOR FUNCTION IN STATE
The state did not organise any major function to mark the occasion. Previously, events like distribution of free eggs to school children and making them aware about the nutritious value and role in developing the human brain have been held on the World Egg Day that is celebrated on the second Friday of October every year.
“We keep on spreading awareness among people about the benefit of eating eggs through various programmes from time to time. But we are not holding any specific event on the occasion of the World Egg Day this time,” additional director, poultry, PK Pradhan said.
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