Mysore/Mysuru: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have egged on the people of Mysuru into consuming more eggs as consumption has doubled from 2.5 to 3 lakh eggs per day to 5.5 to 6 lakh. They have indeed turned Mysureans’ new-found love during lockdown.
Egg is among the protein-rich foods prescribed for patients and is the cheapest source of protein available to people. The consumption of key poultry product to boost immunity amid the second wave has increased as even the doctors are recommending patients to have eggs for the body to increase resistance power.
It has been included in the regular hospital diet along with lunch and dinner, especially for the patients who are on the road for recovery. Experts attributed the increase to growing awareness among the people about eggs being a good source of protein and other essential nutrients, besides containing Vitamin-A, Vitamin B-12 and Selenium, which are key to keep the immune system healthy.
The revival in demand amid tight supplies led to an increase in retail prices to Rs. 6 to Rs. 6.50 per egg depending on the areas and in residential pockets, per egg is costing Rs. 7. For 100 eggs, the prices have increased from Rs. 350 to Rs. 400 to Rs. 400 to Rs. 550.
V. Seshanarayana, sales promotion officer of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), Mysuru, told Star of Mysore this morning that before COVID, Mysureans used to consume 2 lakh eggs per day and now the consumption has shot up. “The demand has peaked despite bakeries and roadside eateries — largest buyers — shutting down due to lockdown. The high demand and shortage in production have caused prices to increase,” he explained.
There are over 40 to 45 egg dealers in Mysuru and they push 25 lakh eggs to the market per day and the stocks go to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and even districts like Mandya, Hassan and Kodagu. “Many poultry units have shut due to COVID, labour shortage, pricey poultry feed and other factors and the egg production has come down to 10 to 15 lakh eggs per day. Also, poultry feed is not coming from Gujarat and Rajasthan. As such, new batches of poultry have not been released to the farms,” Seshanarayana said.
The supply of eggs is tight as poultry farms are not operating at their full capacity in many parts of the country after bird flu early this year, COVID-induced restrictions and other reasons like rising feed cost, he added.
Vendors said the poultry industry was impacted badly during April-May 2020 due to the lockdown as demand for both eggs and chicken declined.However, he said demand revived between June and December last year. “The demand got again impacted due to unfounded reports of bird flu outbreak. After March this year, the demand has bounced as immunity booster caught the minds of people,” a vendor said.