Bird flu scare spells doom for poultry's allied industries
Bellary, Karnataka, Mar 23 (UNI) The avian influenza scare sweeping the country following the recent outbreak of the dreaded virus in Maharashtra has dealt a severe blow to not only the thriving poultry industry, but also its allied industries.
With the public shying away from consuming chicken meat and eggs, the demand has hit the rockbottom, with the poultry farmers incurring losses in lakhs each day. Almost all the 35-40 poultry farms in this district have virtually stopped work, rendering 6,000 to 7,000 labourers jobless.
The poultry farmers' crisis had percolated to the industry's allied units as well as there was no demand for poultry feed. Rice mills, solvent units, oil mills and groundnut cake manufacturing units were in doldrums, a fact proven by the closure of a couple of solvent units and many others preparing to toe the same line.
The chain reaction had also hit the demand for maize, an important ingredient in poultry feed, besides sunflower oil, rice bran, paddy waste and poultry medicine.
The crisis-ridden poultry farmers were not in a position to meet even their power and other overhead expenses following the prices of poultry produces hitting a new low. For instance, the industry faced a huge loss as the price of an egg had come down drastically to just 50 paise, while Rs 1.15 was spent for it. Over 23 lakh eggs were lying in farm godowns without any demand.
The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) held the multinational companies responsible for the crisis.
NECC member Srinivas opined that unless the Government intervened, poultry farmers could not survive. Though Karnataka had not reported even a single case of bird flu, rumour mongers were instilling fear in the minds of consumers.
District Deputy Commissioner Arvind Srivastav had taken effective steps to check the virus in the district. He had inspected almost every poultry farm and reported to the Government about the health condition of the birds.
UNI XR GD CH BST1359