Agri Business

Poultry players in Maharashtra demand revival package similar to bird flu, peg losses at ₹700 crore

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 13, 2020 Published on March 13, 2020

The poultry industry is taking a major hit due to the coronavirus pandemic with poultry players in Maharashtra estimating a massive loss of ₹700 crore as demand declines, the Times of India reported on Friday.

There has been a sharp fall in demand due to rumours that the coronavirus could be spread through poultry circulating on social media.

A delegation of poultry owners on Thursday had submitted a status report to NCP president, Sharad Pawar, and animal husbandry and dairy development minister, Sunil Kedar, demanding a revival package for poultry owners to compensate for their heavy losses, TOI reported.

Poultry owners drew comparisons to the crisis faced by the industry during the bird flu. The central and state governments had sanctioned compensation per bird for poultry players when the market was hit badly by bird flu a few years ago. The players have demanded a similar package during the current crisis, the report said.

Indian poultry sales had declined by over 50 per cent in February owing to the rumours, according to a Reuters report.

The Indian poultry sector is headed for a crisis as consumption of chicken meat and eggs are constantly declining. Farmers are incurring a loss of ₹100-130 on every bird according to previous reports.

Earlier this week, a poultry farmer in Dahanu, Maharashtra had destroyed ₹5.8 crore worth poultry products citing lack of demand as per media reports.

Poultry players have started cutting down on production and are trying to liquidate the stocks to trim losses.

According to the report, the current crisis in the poultry sector is also hurting the rural incomes as bout 80 per cent of the poultry produced in the country is through contract arrangement with farmers with a bailout package becoming increasingly necessary.

The All-India Poultry Breeders’ Association had also sent a memorandum to the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman earlier in March, appealing for fresh loans to bail out poultry farms from the present crisis as per previous reports.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India has surpassed 75 as of Friday.

Published on March 13, 2020

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