Agri Business

Bird flu: Farmers growing maize, soya worry over slim demand from poultry

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on January 12, 2021 Published on January 12, 2021

The demand for chicken meat has dropped by 15-20%   -  The Hindu

Poultry owners not ordering feed owing to space constraint: expert

Maize and soya farmers fear that the bird flu outbreak will bring down the market price of their produce drastically with experts predicting distress sale as demand from the poultry industry is likely to come down in the next few days. The poultry industry is the main consumer of soya and maize and many private poultry players have a direct contract with farmers for supply of feed.

“Poultry and farmers have developed an integrated system and a supply chain. The bird flu scare has started impacting soya and maize demand. The demand for chicken meat has dropped by 15-20 per cent and poultry owners are not ordering poultry feed as there is no place to keep chicken,” said Vasantkumar Shetty, President, Maharashtra Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association.

Maize prices have been sluggish and trending below the MSP level during the kharif harvest season. The modal price for maize in Maharashtra’s APMCs fluctuated between ₹1,035 to ₹1,350 per quintal on Tuesday while soyabean was sold at about ₹4,000 per quintal. The MSP for maize is ₹1,850 a quintal and soya (yellow) ₹3.880 per quintal for the current crop year (July 2020-June 2021).

Tough year for farmers

Ramkisan Nirmal, a farmer from Aurangabad, said that soya and maize farmers have faced triple whammy. “Unseasonal rains have destroyed almost half of the soya and maize crop in the region. The Covid-19 came as another shock where markets were not operating and coronavirus was connected to poultry. Now, the bird flu has posed another challenge before us,” he said.

BV Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), said that poultry consumes about 5 million tonnes of soya every year and despite the bird flu, soya prices would not come down drastically. “Soya constitutes about 30 per cent of poultry feed every month. If the domestic demand dips, we are looking for additional export. We don’t want to increase export by reducing supply to the domestic market, but if local demand fails to pick up we will enhance export,” said Mehta.

Prassana Pedgaonkar, GM at Venky’s predicted that bird flu will have a major impact on maize and soya farmers. The poultry industry is the main consumer of soya and maize and farmers might go for distress sale said Pedgaonkar. “Linking of Covid-19 to poultry has already made a major impact on soya and maize farmers. Now, bird flu might add to their distress,” he said.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on January 12, 2021
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.