Hyderabad: One of the most affected sectors in the ongoing COVID-19 nightmare has been the poultry industry, where egg sales were first hit and now, chicken sales too have plummeted with the industry reeling under the scare triggered by the virus.
Despite several awareness camps and programmes being organised by poultry and breeders associations dispeling the rumours to help the industry, it is going through one of the biggest crises ever it has in the State.
The impact has been such that dressed chicken, which was sold at Rs 200 a kg last month, is now being sold at prices ranging from Rs 30 a kg to Rs 60 a kg while egg prices have come down from Rs 5 to Rs 3. The situation of chicken centres is such that in some places, live chicken is being distributed for free.
Rs 1,000 crore loss
According to the Telangana Poultry Federation, the industry has already incurred a loss of nearly Rs 1,000 crore. In Hyderabad alone, around six lakh hens used to be supplied from various poultry farms in the State. The number has dropped by nearly 70 per cent.
‘Never seen such a bad phase’
Federation president E Pradeep Rao said both egg and chicken sales have fallen to an all-time low. “I have been in this industry since 1979, but have never seen such a bad phase. Though there was the bird flu, the impact was only for a week,” he said, recalling that the bird flu had brought the prices to less than Rs 100 a kg.
KG Anand, general manager of Venkateshwara Hatcheries, said the price of live chicken has dropped from Rs 70 a kg to Rs 15 a kg. If the situation continues to prevail, the industry would incur a loss of Rs 1,000 crore each month, he said.