STATES

Poultry business takes a hit as prices of broiler crash to Rs 72

Express News Service

TIRUPPUR: Rain and onset of Tamil month Karthigai, when Iyyappa devotees go vegetarian, have affected sales of poultry farms in Tiruppur. The wholesale price of broiler chicken plummeted to Rs 72 per kg in the last month.

According to data made available by Broiler Coordination Committee, the wholesale price of chicken was around Rs 123 per kg in June, Rs 133 in July, Rs 116 in August, and Rs 120 in September. It dropped to Rs 110 on October 20 and Rs 100 on October 25. Now, it has nosedived to Rs 72 per kg.

An office-bearer from the Palladam broiler farm owners association said, “Sales slumped over the last two weeks since rains started and there is very less offtake from Coimbatore, Nilgris, Dindigul, Erode and Tiruppur districts. Many farmers are in shock as the stock for one week runs into a few hundred crores.”

Explaining the production cost, Eswaramoorthi, a poultry owner, said, “A chicken attains two kg in 45 days. Soya and maize are the primary feed, and they have turned costly. Add to this cost of vaccination, power and labour, the input cost comes to around Rs 90 per kg.”

On how retail price is fixed, he said, “The wholesale price is based on the weight of live bird — 2.25-2.5 kg whereas it weighs 1.5-1.8 kg after culling and cleaning. Retailers add Rs 40-50 per bird towards labour and other costs and sell meat at Rs 180-190 per kg.” In order to clear stock, poultry owners are selling birds at Rs 72 per kg, Easwaramoothi said.

Rajesh, a chicken stall owner in Iduvampalayam said, “I used to sell 20-30 birds a day as both live chicken and meat. However, the number has gone down to just five a day for the last 15 days. If the situation continues this way, I don’t how I will pay my workers. Every year, November- December (Karthikai) see a drop in sales. This time, rain has played a big part.”

Shanmugam, a poultry owner in Palladam, said, “I used to sell 12,000-15,000 birds a week to buyers from Coimbatore and Kerala. But for the past two weeks, heavy rain crushed my business. Due to the sudden drop in demand, I could transport only 3,000-5000 birds in two weeks.” (*72*) said the tumbling sales added to the burden of poultry farmers as now they have more birds to feed. “The birds cannot be culled,” said Shanmugam.

Noting that transportation is a key component in the poultry business, Broiler Coordination Committee (Palladam) secretary K Chinnasami said the transportation of chickens to retail shops had been stalled by two weeks of intense rains and flooding in most parts of Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of chicken stalls were closed as people stayed indoors.

The broiler industry in western Tamil Nadu is worth more than `4,000 crore with over 5,000 farms operating in Palladam.

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