BENGALURU: The poultry industry, which went through its worst crisis due to the pandemic and fake news linking chicken consumption to novel coronavirus, is now picking up pace. The industry saw a loss of Rs 1,000 crore in the last one month alone. Now, with the myths busted, the sales have gone up from 10% to 60%. The chicken prices have skyrocketed from Rs 30 per kg to Rs 280.
Moinuddin, owner of Najma Chicken Stall Centre at Bhoopsandra, said, “I have been charging Rs 280 per kg for dressed chicken and Rs 180 per kg for live chicken. The farmers are selling the live chicken at Rs 150 per kg, which is why we have also been charging high prices as we have to pay the labourers too.”
Another chicken stall owner said, “We had suffered huge losses when nobody was buying chicken. The price had dropped to Rs 30 per kg and then slowly increased to Rs 120 per kg which was still not good enough.
There is a huge demand now and by charging high prices, we can compensate our losses.” But the supply is still low, said Dr Sudarshan Rai B, president, Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association. “When the rumours spread about the chicken being the likely source of coronavirus, people stopped buying and farmers culled their chicken. We will not be able to match the demand as of now. Yet, we can see that we are doing 60% better now.
And we are losing out on the other 40% as many restaurants are still shut. Once they open up we can see profits coming.” Prasanna, chairman, Hathching Egg Committee, said that about Rs 20 lakh worth of eggs per day would be transported to different States from Karnataka, but now it has dropped to Rs 3-4 lakh.”
Following complaints of high prices, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike had issued a circular on charging nominal prices -- Rs 125 per kg for live chicken, Rs 160 per kg for dressed chicken and Rs 180 for skinout chicken – and that action would be taken against the erring stall owners. However, the chicken shops are still selling at high prices.