THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Poultry farmers said here on Monday they would wait for one more day for Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac to withdraw his demand that chicken should be sold at Rs 87 a kg. From Wednesday, traders will open shops and sell chicken at Rs 135 a kg, the current retail price, the Poultry Farmers and Traders Association said.
“If any problems crop up at the shops, we will seek police assistance,” association president Moideen Rawther said. “We cannot reduce the price at one go. Production costs are going up,” he said.
S S Rajamouli, the farmer representative in the association, said there is no point in continuing with the strike. While the minister insists that small traders sell chicken at Rs 87 a kg, the retail price in one of the big poultry chains which has 15 outlets in the state capital stood at Rs 250 a kg on Monday, the association alleged.
The price of mutton has shot up from Rs 500 to Rs 650 a kg and that of beef from Rs 280 to nearly Rs 400.The association leaders said they could not understand the reason for the minister’s stern stance on chicken prices alone, though the production costs are much higher in the case of chicken.
At a loss
The Kerala Poultry Farmers Association has rejected the demand by Finance Minister to sell chicken for Rs 87 per kg. While attending a press conference here on Monday, association functionaries said farmers can’t accept the direction by the minister. “It’s impossible to make chicken available for the directed rate. Farmers have to spend more than Rs 110 towards buying chicks and providing them with foods and medicine,” they said.They also demanded subsidy and financial assistance for farmers in a bid to bring down the price for chicken.
Chicken dishes may go missing from restaurant menus if poultry farmers refuse to reduce chicken prices in the stand off with the state government said the Kerala Hotels and Restaurant Association (KHRA) on Monday. Hotels consume 40 per cent of the total production of chicken and if poultry farmers do not compromise and agree to reduce the cost, it will become difficult to provide food at low cost.