PALAKKAD: The price of chicken has plummeted by as much as Rs 30 per kilogram in most parts of the State as fear of the epidemic has spread across the state.
Reports on Friday said that price has gone down in areas where there have been no records of death.
Interstate transport of the chickens has also come down drastically. While the arrival of live chickens through Nadupunni and Kozhipara checkposts on November 26 was 43,060, it was just 3,500 on November 27. Arrival on Friday was almost nil, said Dr Prakash, who holds charge of the check posts.
Chicken traders in Palakkad market are already a disturbed lot. They said the chicken prices, which had fallen to Rs 90 per kilogram a week ago, has plummeted to Rs 60 on Friday. Urban and semi-urban areas where there had been high demand for chicken have also marked a fall in demand as well as price, said Yousuf, a chicken trader in Palakkad market.
However, reports said that dressed chicken in freezer vans coming through the checkposts have marked an increase as the ban has been on live chickens. Large scale farmer like Jiji Mattathil, who is also the state vice-president of the Poultry Farmers’ Association, is of the opinion that indications have pointed to further damage to the industry.
According to Jiji, chicks of 46 to 48 days growth, overgrown by a week’s time, are left in farms waiting for buyers. In place of 40 crates a day, hardly 10 crates are being transported now, he lamented.
“Chickens are to be fed. One day more in the farm is more loss to the farmer. Almost 18 bags of poulty feed are required on a single day to feed 5,000 chickens, which makes a loss of Rs 27,000 per day at the rate of Rs 1,500 per bag,” said Jiji, who owns a farm of more than 5,000 chickens.
To add to that, the fall of wholesale or farm price. The chickens are being sold at Rs 40-45 per kg while the production cost alone works out to Rs 75, bemoaned Jiji.
However, responding to the widespread worry, former deputy director of the Animal Husbandry Department, Dr N Shodhodhanan, said that there was no reason for such an enormous scare.
48,742 Ducks Culled
Alappuzha: The Rapid Response Team (RRT), constituted by the district administration to cull avian flu-hit ducks in the district, culled 48,742 ducks in seven paddy fields on Friday. The culled ducks were burned as per the protocol of the Union Health Ministry. He said that the team will complete the culling operations in three days. Health Department officials distributed preventive medicines to the farmers in the affected areas. Culling was carried out in Illichira and Purakkad fields in Purakkad panchayat, Ward III in Nedumudi panchayat, Kainakari, Poopally, Bhagavathypadam in Nehru Trophy Ward in Alappuzha municipality, Kopparakadav in Ambalappuzha North panchayat and Thalavady. K C Veugopal MP has said that the Centre assured all help to state. The preventive medicines allotted by the Centre reached the district.