Mysore/Mysuru: COVID-19 and bird flu scare have sent prices of poultry products plummeting with the bird meat being sold for as low as Rs. 110 per kg in Mysuru. “The sales have gone down drastically and we cannot return the chicken to farms, therefore we are forced to sell them at cheaper prices,” said V. Ravi who owns BVR Chicken in Hebbal.
Just a week back, the prices of broiler chicken stood at Rs. 160 per kg and now it stands at Rs. 110 and skinless chicken that was being sold for Rs. 190 per kg is now being sold at Rs. 130 per kg, he said and added that he used to sell 30 to 40 kg chicken meat every day and now he sells just 10 to 15 kgs.
Some chicken shop owners who have more than two outlets have closed down one or two shops as it is difficult to maintain the shops, electricity and salary for workers. “This is our family business and I work with my uncle. He is managing the main shop at Vijayanagar while I am managing this outlet in T.K. Layout. It is only because of the bird flu scare that the prices have crashed,” Aslam, a chicken trader told Star of Mysore.
The main problem is that while the supply has remained more or less intact, the demand has gone down drastically. Usually, the price of chicken declines during summer every year as there is less demand for fowls during hot climate. But the misinformation passed on through the social media about the spread of virus through poultry, egg and meat, has reduced the prices drastically, say traders.
Generally, poultry industry is worst hit during the spread of viral diseases, be it bird flu, chikungunya, or now the corona virus. Manjunath of Viren Chicken at B.M. Shri Nagar said that he used to sell over 80 kgs of chicken meat every day and 150 kgs on Sundays. “Now the business is only 50 percent,” he added.
There are more than 500 chicken outlets in Mysuru. Some hoteliers say that regular customers who have chicken dishes are not asking for them anymore. “People who used to hog on chicken specialities including soups and fry are asking for mutton and fish now,” said a hotelier in city.