Agri Business

Poultry from TN drives chicken prices down in Kerala

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 18, 2019 Published on July 18, 2019

Chicken farmers from Tamil Nadu have been selling broilers at a farm-gate price of ₹55-57 a kg   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

TN poultry farmers making distress sale of broiler chicken in the face of drought

Kerala’s chicken lovers can have more of their favourite dishes, thanks to the drastic drop in broiler chicken prices.

The retail prices have come down, forcing farmers to sell birds at less than the break-even price of ₹85/kg vis-a-vis ₹135/kg a couple of weeks back. The larger inflow of low priced broiler chicken from Tamil Nadu is cited as the reason for the prices registering a steep fall.

Spurt in sales

Though the cost advantage has led to a 20 per cent spurt in chicken sales, the poultry sector in the State could not fully exploit the potential due to the influx of low-priced birds, coupled with a rise in feed price. With the starting of the auspicious Ramayana month from July 17, the sale is expected to be down further, Binny Emmatty, President of Kerala Poultry Farmers and Traders Samithy, told BusinessLine.

PS Pramod, the Samithy secretary pointed out that drought and water scarcity in Tamil Nadu has forced poultry farmers to sell broiler chicken at a farm gate price of ₹55-57 a kg. On an average, the poultry sector in Kerala is incurring a monthly loss of ₹45-50 crore. The emerging situation has affected majority of poultry farmers and entrepreneurs, who are reluctant to rear chicks for the time being.

Kerala, according to him, needs 1 crore kg of chicken on a weekly basis, for which the requirement is nearly 50 lakh chicks. Of this, 50 per cent of the demand is met from Tamil Nadu. However, the drop in prices in Tamil Nadu has affected the domestic poultry sector. The reluctance of poultry farmers to rear chicks also drastically reduced the price of chicks from ₹35-40 to ₹8-12.

Palladam in Combatore district is the major production centre for broiler chicken, where the rates for South Indian markets of Kerala, AP, Karnatka and Tamil Nadu are fixed, he said.

Incurring losses

TP Sethumadhavan, former Director of Entrepreneurship, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, said the inflow of low-priced chicken affected domestic poultry sector where the cost of producing 1 kg chicken is more than ₹80.

Because of scarcity of raw materials, the feed price has increased from ₹24 to ₹35 a kg, with maize price rising to ₹27 from ₹14 a kg.

Published on July 18, 2019
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