Hazaribagh, Jan. 23: A Hazaribagh farmer has become the first in Jharkhand and Bihar to take up emu breeding, pipping 51 other applicants from the state after a first of its kind centre was set up in Ranchi last year.
Atul Chandra Mishra, a resident of Korrah locality, will get technical support as well as bird food from Haryana-based Samridhi Group to his breeding centre which was inaugurated by Hazaribagh deputy commissioner Manish Ranjan on Sunday.
Ramesh Raj Agarwal of Samridhi Group said emu breeding was fast gaining popularity in the region, adding the company was involved in construction of enclosures as well as supplying birds.
He confirmed the company had opened a breeding centre in Ratu, Ranchi, to promote emu farming in the state but Mishra was the first farmer to take up the business in the Bihar-Jharkhand region.
Ranjan pointed out that emu meat was cholesterol-free and even diabetics could take it without any health worries. "Emu farming is very profitable as one egg of the bird costs Rs 1,000 in the market."
The Australian bird, though it weighs between 50kg and 60kg and is the second largest in the world, can be bred in confined spaces, he added.
The big bird can tolerate temperature from 0�C to 55�C, Ranjan pointed out, urging farmers to take up the lucrative breeding option as the state's climate favoured the business.
Sources said Samridhi would charge Rs 2 lakh from interested farmers to start the business. In return, the company will set up the enclosure as well as provide food for a year, medicine and technical support besides a pair of emus.
From the second year, the company will charge for food alone while it will purchase meat and egg from farmers.