Home >News >India >Poultry farmers in Karnataka feel COVID-19 effect as wholesale prices crash

BENGALURU : Poultry farmers in Karnataka are increasingly worrying over the fall in prices due to the fear around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), industry bodies said.

Wholesale prices of poultry have dropped from about Rs80 to less than Rs40 or lower in some cases, they add.

The misinformation being circulated on social media that poultry, livestock and meat are not safe to consume has compounded problems for those involved and added to mounting losses.

“It has sort of become inevitable to cull poultry," Kantharaju, the chairman of the Karnataka Poultry Association said.

The association has 180 cooperative societies.

He said that there is a cost of 7-8 per chicken per day and the returns have collapsed, forcing farmers to take the step. Images and videos of a distraught poultry farmer in Belagavi district, about 500 km from Bengaluru, dumping chicken into a large pit had gone viral.

The misinformation continues to thrive despite clarifications issued by all major government departments. India’s animal husbandry department on 11 February has said that poultry was not found to be involved in the transmission of COVID-19, Mint had reported.

Kantharaju said that the investments to maintain the poultry farm far exceeds any returns.

“If there are 10000 chicken, it will consume 20 bags of feed per day that will cost around 35000," he said.

He added that the fall in prices was unprecedented and adds to problems of at least 15000 poultry farmers in Karnataka alone.

“There is no connection between livestock, poultry and COVID-19," G.Devegowda, the president of the Institution of Veterinarians of Poultry Industry said.

He says that culling is rare but does acknowledge that there are concerns about the fall in prices.

However, the two people cited above say that retailers continue to make profits, especially in urban areas.

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