Express News Service
HYDERABAD: While the poultry industry in Telangana has suffered a jolt amid the raging bird flu scare, the mutton and fisheries sectors seem to be making the best of the crisis.
Even though there has been no report of bird flu transmission to humans so far, the rumours have put the poultry sector on tenterhooks. The scare of contracting the disease, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, has hit egg and chicken consumption, as well as the exports from the State.
The daily egg production in Telangana used to be around 3.5 crore, of which about 1.82 crore were exported to other States such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Today, these numbers are frighteningly low.
“The poultry industry has suffered a massive blow in just a matter of days. While the local consumption has been affected by only five-seven per cent, our exports have suffered the larger damage. The exports have gone down by about 50 lakh eggs a day. Farmers are bearing the brunt as their produce is just piling up,” National Egg Coordination Committee Business Manager Sanjeev Chintawar said.
The poultry sector was just beginning to get back on track after being hit by the pandemic, when the bird flu rumours cost it Rs 100 crore in the last 10 days, he added. In fact, ahead of Sankranti, the association members are anticipating the worst slump ever.
Meanwhile, the mutton and fisheries sectors in Hyderabad and across Telangana seem to be making brisk business. “At a time when people are scared to have eggs and chicken, many are opting for fish,” PN Janardhan, from the National Fisheries Development Board, said. Pisciculture farmers, who were affected by the recent floods, are getting back on foot.
Making brisk business
Mutton prices have also scaled up. On Tuesday, meat shops in Hyderabad sold mutton for Rs 740/kg and minced mutton for Rs 840/kg, against last week’s Rs 700/kg