Kashmir Thrives in Bird Flu Rot

KASHMIR, INDIA - An incredible story is unfolding from the chaos of Bird Flu stricken Kashmir. Not only are poultry dealers still making profit, but they have posted a huge increase in sales.
calendar icon 20 March 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The poultry farmers said that so large has been the demand that they were running short of stocks. “The demand in the local poultry has increased following the outbreak of the bird flu in some states in India with people preferring consumption of the local birds,” they said.

"The subsequent gulf in the market was filled by the local poultry farms"
Kashmir poultry farmers.

Many poultry farmers who spoke to Greater Kashmir said that due to the bird flu (that was reported in some states in India) scare earlier this year, the poultry import to Kashmir decreased considerably. “The subsequent gulf in the market was filled by the local poultry farms,” they said.

Following the bird flu scare, the government had in January declared a ban on the night movement of the poultry in the state. “During all these months the portion of the market that was earlier catered to by the imported birds, has been catered to by the local supplies as a result of which the farms are running short of stocks,” Farooq Ahmad, a poultry farmer said.

There is another reason for growing demand for poultry in Kashmir. “The mutton dealers’ strike in New Delhi earlier this year caused huge scarcity of mutton in Kashmir,” local dealers said, adding that that also increased the demand for poultry. “We made a good business over these months because the mutton was also not available in the markets,” a poultry dealer said.

He said that most of the dealers were now procuring poultry from the local farmers.

A senior official of the animal husbandry department said the nighttime ban on the poultry movement was still in place as a result of which dealers preferred to procure the poultry from the local farmers.

“Over 50 percent demand is presently being met by the local production. While rest of the demand is being met by imports,” he said.

He added: “The local poultry was easily available in the markets because imported poultry was not available in the early morning due to the night movement ban.”

“The local supplies alone cannot meet the demand that’s the reason they are falling short of poultry,” he said.

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