Odisha Poultry Sector Badly Hit

INDIA - In a major jolt to the state's poultry sector, which was on the revival path after bird flu ruined it last year, chicken and infrastructure worth around Rs 60 crore were destroyed in Phailin while assessment of loss in floods is still on. Livelihood of around 30,000 people was affected, industry sources said.
calendar icon 22 October 2013
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"Our preliminary assessment suggests around seven lakh layer birds (used for laying eggs) and 2.5 lakh broiler chickens were killed, mostly in Ganjam district, and hundreds of farms demolished. The total loss would be Rs 55 crore to Rs 60 crore," said general secretary, Odisha Poultry Association, Rudra Narayan Pradhan.

According to The Times of India, the worst-hit Ganjam, besides Khurda and Cuttack districts, houses around 50 per cent of the state's 50,000 poultry farmers. Poultry industry in Odisha has an estimated turnover of Rs 2,500 crore. There are around 12,000 farms, employing 70,000 people directly and another over 50,000 indirectly. Mr Pradhan said the restoration will take a very long time, severely affecting chicken and egg business.

Poultry farmers said chicken and egg production has nose-dived. The weekly meat production has come down to 10 lakh chickens (one chicken gives 1.8 kg meat) from around 20 lakh, said president of the association Harmohan Das.

Odisha's layer farms produce around 25 lakh to 30 lakh eggs a day. The same has gone down by 50 per cent, Mr Das said.

"What flu did last year, Phalin did this time," Mr Das added.

The shortfall has already pushed up prices. The price of chicken has gone up from Rs 140-Rs 160 a kg to Rs 220. Similarly, eggs are being sold at Rs 70 a dozen, earlier priced at Rs 55 to Rs 60.

Government authorities said assessment of loss is on. "The damage was massive. We have disposed of the carcasses. Our officials are estimating the loss for further action," said director, animal husbandry and veterinary services, Srikant Prusty.

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