Poultry industry gets a boost in Telangana

Sales pick up with doctors suggesting chicken and eggs to improve immunity

Hyderabad: The poultry industry in the State, which was among the first sectors to be hit by the Covid-19 pandemic much before the lockdown due to rumors, is now on the comeback trail. From where sales and prices had dipped to an all-time low, the sector has now got a boost with many consuming chicken and eggs to improve immunity.

The nightmares had begun in early February, when miscreants spread rumors that consumption of chicken could lead to Covid-19. This resulted in egg and chicken sales plunging. The traders cut down the prices by over 70 per cent across the State, but in vain. Chicken and eggs became taboo for many.

To dispel the fear among the people, the poultry sector in association with the administration made efforts by conducting awareness campaigns, but failed to make desired impact. However, with doctors suggesting chicken and eggs as among the best foods to improve immunity, things have turned upside down. Sales have picked up at chicken centers, especially on Sundays, with many people making beeline to buy chicken and egg.

According to poultry farmers, if the daily consumption of eggs between February and April was 1.25 crore per day, sales have now gone up to 2.5 crore a day. Similarly, sale of broiler birds rose from less than 1 crore to 1.5 crore per month during this period.

“We are able to do over 70 per cent of business compared to last year. Usually, the egg sales from Telangana is 3.50 crore a day while broiler birds per month is 2.50 crore. The industry is steadily returning to normal business and might reach 100 per cent of business by December,” said KG Anand, General Manager, Venkateshwara Hatcheries.

There are around 10,000 broiler farms and 2,000 layer farms in the State. Apart from within Telangana, eggs are supplied to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata and some parts of Tamil Nadu while broiler birds are sold only within the State.

Prices to remain high

In the wake of shortage in production, the price of both eggs and chicken are likely to remain high till October and may come down later depending on the supply. Farmers said the price of chicken would be around Rs 220 a kg to Rs 250 a kg while eggs could cost up to Rs 6. The wholesale price at the farm itself is Rs 4.50 per egg, which is costing Rs 5.50 in retail stores. The loss incurred during the lockdown to the poultry industry is estimated to be around Rs 3,000 crore.

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