Poultry sector loses hope as sales hit more by rumours than lockdown; govt says, eating chicken safe

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Updated: April 3, 2020 3:46:39 PM

Poultry industry suffered sizable losses in the last 2-3 months which wiped out almost all profit booked in the first three quarters in the last fiscal year. 

chicken, poultry business, rumours about poultry, mutton, meat, non-veg, coronavirusPoultry has not been found to be involved in the transmission of Covid-19 to humans so far in any report globally. (Bloomberg image)

Businesses throughout the country and globe are struggling through the lockdown and a slump in demand but the poultry industry is hit more by rumours than from lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic. The fake news and rumours about how consuming chicken or other meat products can spread the dreaded disease have contributed to a sharp decline in sales of the poultry sector in the last quarter. The industry suffered sizable losses in the last 2-3 months which wiped out almost all profit booked in the first three quarters in the last fiscal year. 

The pressure is likely to sustain over the next two quarters, with industry hoping for a recovery towards the end of Q2, the report added. Being a perishable product, the restrictions on logistics have further increased the pain of the industry.  

“Industry leaders’ appeal about chicken promotion multiplied negative sentiments and the rates of chicken/eggs fell up to Rs 70-90, making it difficult for the poultry farmers to survive as they are either killing their birds or are distributing for free,” Ramdas Kambale, Senior Vice President, Vetphage pharmaceuticals (Antibiotic-free bacterial disease solutions provider for poultry industry), told Financial Express Online. 

This has made a big hole into the economics of poultry business as by March-end, there were no or very few birds available in the market and the impact was so bad that there was literally only 5-10 per cent liquidation, Ramdas Kamble added. 

Also Read: Govt’s fiscal stimulus may hit deficit target but no worries; here’s what may bring money

The coming  2-3 months are being considered extremely crucial in managing the financial situation of the sector and to keep them motivated. While the old companies are struggling to survive, start-up companies are facing more heat.  

Meanwhile, the government of India has also confirmed that chicken consumption is safe. “Poultry has not been found to be involved in the transmission of Covid-19 to humans so far in any report globally,” Praveen Malik, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, said in a notification released on 10 February 2020. India is one of the fastest-growing global major poultry producers over the last decade and is currently the fourth largest in volume terms though per capita consumption is still one of the lowest in the world. 

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