The bird flu outbreak in Telangana has scared the poultry industry in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India. Telangana government has decided to cull around 1.45 lakh birds in Ranga Reddy district, which will strike an immediate Rs.30 crore blow to the industry.
"The immediate impact of culling 1.45 lakh birds will be Rs.30 crore, of which Rs 18 crore will be compensated by the state government," said Ranjit Reddy, President, Telangana Poultry Breeders Association (TPBA).
Poultry farmers are worried about the further loss, as the bird flu alert will scare consumers off poultry products for at least 7-10 days.
The price inflation of nearly 50% for bird feeds over the past two years has added on to the pressure. Sanjeev Chintawar, Business manager, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) said, "The industry expects to face some pricing pressure on poultry products as demand will continue to be low over the next few days, resulting in a drop in prices."
Feed prices play a crucial role in determining the health of the poultry industry, as feed costs constitute nearly 75% of the total input cost. Over the last two years, the poultry industry has been incurring an average loss of Rs.50-75 per bird per year.
Poultry farms in Telangana produce four crore layer chicken per year, two crore broiler chicken per month and 3.2 crore eggs per day. Nearly 40-50% of the layer chicken produced in AP and T are exported to states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, among others while the locals prefer broiler chicken.
Farmers in AP are worried though the outbreak is in Telangana. Balram, a representative of the poultry farmers association of West Godavari, said, "Poultry prices will surely drop due to this scare irrespective of where the produce comes from. Farmers from AP too will have to bear the brunt of this outbreak. The government should ensure that farmers receive adequate compensation for their loss."
TPBA is already planning to come up with a campaign that, poultry products available in the market are absolutely safe for consumption as in India most of the poultry products are not consumed raw but cooked, which kills the virus to convince chicken and egg lovers.