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Kerala Co to get Iraq contract for chicken

AJAYAN/The Financial Express

Posted: Feb 04, 2004 at 1200 hrs IST

The bird `flew' very high over Kerala casting no shadows which has helped a company here get ready to bag a major contract from Iraq for chicken and buffalo meat.

Meat Products of India (MPI), a Kerala government establishment, is in the final stages of signing a contract with an Iraqi firm to export 400 tonnes of chicken and bufallo meat. Company managing director Ani S Das told that the Iraqi team visited the factory late last week and were keen on buying material from there. Details of the contract were being worked out and it was too early to say how much this would fetch the company.

The bird flu has come as a boon for MPI which was on the verge of closure till a few months ago. The advantage Kerala had was that this disease had not affected the State. Also it was free of the mad cow disease and other bovine ilnesses, according to Mr Das.

He said the delegation came to MPI after the bird flu incidence spread across South Asia. Already there was a great demand for poultry from Kerala in West Asia which was an added advantage to make the delegation make it to the factory here.

Officials of the delegation were convinced of the high quality and hygiene standards maintained by the company.

He said that the contract would be an ongoing process and the demand for the 400 tonnes would not have to be met at one-go. Modalities were being worked out.

Company officials said the contract would help farmers in a big way. The factory sourced its material from the people who were given chicks and cattle and pigs on a buyback arrangement and also got feed at a subsidised rate. The new contract, which was expected to be a continuous one, should see farmers get a better price for their produce and also help attract more into this field.

The company, situated at Koothatuklalam, nearly 45 kms from here, has been into production of various products from pork, bufallo and other cattle to poultry. It has a most modern abbatoir and would be soon entering the market with ready-to-use food material.

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