Poultry sector faces Rs1,750cr losses due to coronavirus rumours; demands relief package from govt

Poultry sector faces Rs1,750cr losses due to coronavirus rumours; demands relief package from govt
New Delhi, Mar 2 () Poultry breeders on Monday demanded a relief package from the government claiming that the sector has incurred heavy losses of around Rs 1,750 crore in a month due to fake news that coronavirus was spreading due to chickens.

Poultry bird prices have plunged to Rs 10-30 per kg at farm gate level due to a slump in chicken demand while the average cost of production is Rs 80 per kg, the All India Poultry Breeders Association (AIPBA) said in a representation to the Ministry of Animal Husbandry.


"The repeated onslaught of social media with wrong information on consumers has shaken consumer confidence and depleted the demand for chicken products," AIPBA Chairman Bahadur Ali said.

The loss of broiler farmers, integration companies and breeding companies put together was about Rs 1,750 crore during the third week of January till the third week of February, he said, adding that it has created "massive crisis" and forced poultry sector to "bankruptcy".

Expressing concern that the "fake" coronavirus threat spread by social media among consumers has created a massive problem for the poultry sector, Ali said, "If these conditions persist in March going forward a loss of Rs 1,750 crore per month will be additional."

This will also impact maize and soyabean farmers because without poultry there is no market for soyabean meal and maize in the country, he said, adding that maize prices have droppped from Rs 25 per kg to Rs 15 per kg in the last few days.


Seeking a rescue package, the association requested the government to extend additional working capital and not to consider poultry farmers and companies' accounts receivables of more than 90 days as non-performing assets.

It also demanded interest subvention of 5 per cent on loans extended to the poultry sector and a grace period of one year for repayment of the current term loans.

Besides, the association asked the government to provide wheat and rice to the industry at a subsidised rate of Rs 10 per kg and allot minimum 30 lakh tonne from the government stock.

Indian poultry sector employs more than 10 lakh farmers and contributes Rs 1.2 lakh crore to the country's GDP. LUX MRMR

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