Market Watch

Poultry farmers struggle to survive lockdown

Poultry farmers struggle to survive lockdown

A worker collects eggs at a poultry farm. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 30

Poultry business has been badly hit by the lockdown and the owners apprehend that it will take at least a year for the business to revive.

Sanjiv Bassi, chairman, Progressive Punjab Farmers Association and owner of Bassi Farms, GT Road, opposite Hardys’ World near Laddowal, said the poultry farming was a flourishing business before the lockdown but due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of the pandemic, the demand for eggs and broilers had plummeted.

The hotels and restaurants are shut, big marriage functions and gatherings are not allowed, rehris and street-food joints selling boiled eggs and chicken snacks are not allowed to open in the evening, all this has severely hit the poultry demand, said Bassi.

“We now face a major problem of arranging feed (grains and corns) for the birds and have to buy it at exorbitant prices. We also have to pay high charges for transporting poultry to markets. If we had not arranged feed in time, a large number of birds would have perished. Nevertheless, around 30 per cent of our birds have died,” said Bassi.

Rajesh Gandhi, secretary of the association and owner of Gandhi Poultry Farms, Hambran, echoed the same sentiments. “Poultry is susceptible to various diseases such as fowl cholera and typhoid, infectious sinusitis and hepatitis. Certain precautions are to be taken to control them,” said Gandhi.

While in other industries one simply locks the unit and sit at home, in poultry farming, the owner has to look after the birds, otherwise any dead chick could infect the others and the disease could go beyond control, added Gandhi.

Bassi and Gandhi urged the government that the poultry farming could be promoted like fishery since the former is also an important component of the diet of the poor. This will benefit a large population which is dependent directly or indirectly on poultry farming and also provide the much needed respite following the prolonged lockdown.

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