DHARMAPURI: The retail price of egg has touched ₹6, but poultry farmers say they are reeling under losses, some even selling the birds, as fodder prices have increased.
Poultry farmers in Namakkal, a key producer of eggs in the State, said the rise in egg prices is because of the rise in fodder prices. Poultry farmers stated that over the past year, production cost increased by roughly 30% which put immense strain on farmers who couldn't stabilise the maintenance of their poultry farms. Further, the hike in prices of fodder forced many poultry owners to close down some sheds to reduce expenses which declined production, they said,
Vangli Subramanian, President of Tamil Nadu Egg Poultry Farmers Marketing Society, said, "For example, before Covid 19 lockdown, we bought a kg of fodder for ₹18- ₹20 and now we spend ₹30 - ₹32 per kg."
"Moreover, due to hike in fuel prices and other raw materials, poultry farming incurred losses. On Wednesday, the price of an egg was `5.20. For farmers to incur a profit, this price has to remain the same for the upcoming six months, but this is highly unlikely," he added.
K Mohan, a poultry farmer said, "Consumers might feel that the prices are high. But, for a poultry farmer, this price helps us tally out other expenses. To produce a single egg we invest approximately ₹4.80 to ₹5.10. If we include other costs like labour, transportation, vaccination and electricity, we barely break even."
Mohan added, "I owned over one lakh chickens. As I was unable to afford the fodder and to compensate losses I had suffered in the past 6 months, I had to sell over 20% of my chickens. Nearly 35% of poultry farmers (in Namakkal) did the same to survive in the business," he said.
He added, "In Namakkal, the average production of eggs in the district is 6 crore eggs per day. But presently, poultry farms are producing only five crore eggs. Among them, a significant portion of the eggs is sold to other states like Kerala and Karnataka. Over 50 lakh eggs are provided for noon meals. So, the supply in local markets has been affected. To salvage the situation, fodder prices should be subsidized or market prices of eggs should be increased to `6 per egg for poultry farmers to recover."