Shopian: The poultry industry in Kashmir is suffering heavy losses as the Covid-19 lockdown has blocked supply of feed for the birds and access to local markets.
About 20 poultry farms in Lasipora industrial area have all sustained losses. Javid Ahmad, a dealer who operates from Lasipora, said that dealers had maintained enough stock ahead of festivals and the wedding season, but the stock is all going to waste.
Other dealers informed Kashmir Reader that there dozens of poultry farms have already gone out of business due to losses sustained in recent years.
Ishaq Ahmad, who owns three poultry farms at different locations in Kashmir, said that due to the current lockdown he suffered losses to the tune of Rs 40 lakh. “For many days the feed wasn’t available for chickens, which led to the death of 5,000 of them in my farms,” he said.
He added that another problem is that dealers cannot sell their stock in markets due to restrictions on public movement.
Traders also said that the government-prescribed rates were too low. “A kilogram of chicken costs us twenty rupees more than the price at which the government has ordered us to sell it,” Javid Ahmad said.
It is pertinent to mention that the poultry sector across India has sustained losses due to the lockdown and rumours that eating chicken may cause swine flue, a baseless fact that has not been suggested by any scientific studies.