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Saturday, Jun 14, 2003
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Venkateshwara Hatcheries to manufacture FMD vaccines
PUNE, June 13
THE Rs 1,300-crore Venkateshwara Hatcheries group is all set to get into the business of manufacturing vaccines for the dreaded foot and mouth disease (FMD) which played havoc with economies around the world a couple of years ago.
The company has entered into a technical tie-up with Brazilian company Bio-Vet, one of the world's largest producers of vaccines for poultry, pet animals and FMD and is setting up a Rs 20-crore manufacturing centre at Hinjewadi near Pune, its Chairperson, Ms Anuradha Desai, told Business Line.
"We plan to be in the market with the product ten months from now,'' she said. The company plans to manufacture forty million doses of FMD vaccines and 15 and ten million doses each of bacterial and other viral vaccines in the new facility.
The company, which is the pioneer in indigenous production of poultry vaccine, will tap the huge developing market for the FMD vaccine both in the domestic and the export market, Ms Desai said. The Government's action plan under the Tenth Five-Year Plan is to take up a national immunisation campaign for FMD.
"Under this plan there is a requirement of two hundred million doses of the vaccine to cover a total population of 25 million animals to create disease free zones (DFZs),'' Ms Desai said.
According to the company, the domestic market also comprises demand for the vaccine from other States and private players in the dairy business adding up to between sixty-seventy five million doses every year.
"For India eliminating FMD is crucial since over Rs 800 crore of buffalo meat is exported every year and the new WTO rules demand that the exports only be from DFZs,'' she said.
India's FMD vaccine capacity currently stands at 43 million doses annually produced by three existing manufacturers including the Indian Veterinary Research Institute.
Ms Desai said the company would leverage its huge marketing and distribution network for various poultry products and its knowledge of potential rural markets at the grass roots level for the new business venture.
While there is a shortfall in the supply of the FMD vaccine considering the target set by the Tenth Plan, Ms Desai said there is also a huge export market for the product in the neighbouring South East and Middle East countries totalling 45-50 million doses annually.
These countries currently import vaccines from European manufacturers thus making the product expensive at $ one per dose she said pointed out that the costs could be more viable for these countries if the product were to be imported from the country.
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