BHOPAL: The growing poll frenzy in Gujarat is proving to be a windfall for poultry and goat farmers and traders in adjoining Madhya Pradesh. Village haats in Jhabua and Alirajpur districts of Madhya Pradesh are witnessing a spurt in demand for the signature Kadaknath (black chicken) and country-bred he-goats.
The bulk buyers are from Panchamahal, Chota Udaipur and Dahod districts of Gujarat. This has jacked up prices of the Kadaknath (also known as Kali Masi) by 60%-75% and of the he-goats by 50%-70%.
Bulk buying is being seen in the weekly markets in Jhabua, Ranapur, Mehnagar, Kundanpur, Pitol -- all in Jhabua district -- and Azad Nagar, Barjhar, Kathiwada, Sejawada, Chandpur, Chhatala, Bakhatgarh and Umrali in Alirajpur district.
A kadaknath farmer, Yasin, at the Ranapur haat said: “In the past week, the demand for Kadaknath chicken has seen a surge. Men from Gujarat come in big vehicles and buy 50-100 kadaknaths at one go from different traders. Till a fortnight ago, a kadaknath was priced between Rs 750 and Rs 800. Now, they are fetching between Rs 1250 and Rs 1400 each. We are expecting the prices to touch Rs 1500 soon.”
At the Bori haat in Alirajpur district, tribal farmer Vesta Bamaniya is beaming because all his he-goats were sold in one go. “Everyone knows that the demand for desi and kadaknath chicken as well as goats shoots up each time there is a festival or election in Gujarat. We will earn big bucks in the next few days,” he said.
Mohammed Salim, who supplies goats to traders in Jhabua and Alirajpur district, told The Sunday Standard that the price of he-goats – it ranges between Rs 3500 and Rs 6000 per goat during winter -- have shot up to Rs 7000-Rs 9,000. “Owing to bulk buying by Gujarat traders, we’re unable to offer he-goats at the old prices to our regular customers. Prices of desi chicken too have shot up from Rs 500 per kg to Rs 700 per kg,” he claimed.
Sources said the sudden spurt in buying of kadaknath and he-goats is not new but has been seen earlier too ahead of polls in Gujarat or even Madhya Pradhesh. “Be it tribal districts on our side or in Gujarat, politicians throw parties for the Patels, Tadwis and Ojhas (opinion leaders who influence tribal voting patterns). Hence their prices are bound to shoot up,” said a source long familiar with haats in Jhabua and Alirajpur.
What Is Kadaknath chicken?
It’s a black meat chicken, reared mainly by Bhil and Bhilala tribes. Penciled and golden varieties are also available. Popular for its tasty meat that has higher protein content than white chicken, adaptability to local environment, and disease resistance. Tribals use its blood for treatment of chronic diseases. Its meat is also used as an aphrodisiac.