Meat, poultry traders struggle to meet demand


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the state gears up to celebrate Eid al Adha, meat traders are struggling to source livestock for slaughtering to meet soaring demands. Due to the pandemic restrictions, the flow of livestock from other states, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha, has come down leading to a hike in meat and chicken prices. An average of 1.5 lakh livestock arrives in the state every month.

Ever since the pandemic outbreak and lockdown, this has come down creating a scarcity of livestock for slaughtering during Eid. Mutton and beef cost around Rs 800 and Rs 400, respectively, across the state depending on the demand in each area.

Each cattle costs around Rs 30,000.President of Meat Industries Welfare Association (India) Saleem MA said the meat market which was shut because of the lockdown has come alive only in the past week and business might pick up in the coming weeks. “Around 90 per cent of the livestock comes from other states and 60 per cent of it comes from Andhra Pradesh. There is unnecessary fleecing happening while bringing in livestock from other states.

The animals are getting seized by SPCAs of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and middlemen are fleecing us promising safe passage of vehicles. We have taken up the matter with the state and the Union Government but no action has been taken so far. Seized animals are moved to illegal facilities,” Saleem said.

He said there is a scarcity due to the lockdown and animals are being sourced from households to meet the demand. The steep hike in the prices of poultry feed and drastic drop in poultry production in the state has caused a drastic hike in chicken prices in the state.

President of Kerala Poultry Farm and Traders Association Moideen Rawther said many poultry farmers have stopped production because of the financial crisis. “In the past two months, there has been a 100 per cent hike in poultry feed prices.

Last month, the farm rate of poultry was around Rs 75 to Rs 80 and now it’s around Rs 120. The prices of soya, rice bran oil and corn have also gone up which is the prime reason for the hike in chicken price. Many farmers have given up production and hence there is a shortage too,” said Moideen.

“I used to sell around 1.5 lakh poultry every week and around 6 lakh monthly. Now, the sale has come down to 40,000 per week. The demand has gone down because of the rise in prices. During Eid al Adha, I used to sell around 50,000 poultry per day because of high demand but now the business is too low,” he said. The export of poultry from the state has also come to a standstill due to lockdown restrictions and bird flu outbreaks.

“The Tamil Nadu government has banned poultry products from Kerala following the bird flu outbreak last year and the order still stands. The government hasn’t taken any effort to lift the ban,” Moideen said


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