Bird Flu in Mumbai: Chicken prices fall, restaurant owners fear another season of loss

Amid the prevailing fear of the Brid Flu, the prices of poultry products across the state have started to fall in parts of Mumbai. Sellers across the city confirmed, there has been a fall in chicken price and poultry products since last week after reports of deaths of birds started coming in.

Sellers informed the price of chicken in Maharashtra has fallen from Rs 85-90 per kg to Rs 55-60 in the past one week while the price of an egg has fallen to Rs 4 from Rs 6. However, sellers and hatchery owners informed business hasn't been adversely affected and they would get a clear picture would by the end of this week.

"The fall in price has resulted due to fear psychosis, likewise how it happened during the initial days of COVID-19 outbreak," said Ramesh Gaikwad, board member and spokesperson, Association of Poultry Sellers, Western India.

Gaikwad stated, all the poultry birds are being bred at dedicated farmhouses and the chances of being getting infected are very low.

"As much I know, the carriers of the virus are migratory birds who live by water bodies. Most of the infected birds are crows and other birds which roam around freely, whereas our chickens are brought up in isolated farms and there is no chance of getting them infected" he added.

Kumar Sridhar, who co-owns poultry farms in Kalwa and Asangaon stated all the broiler birds in the farms need to be vaccinated, keeping in mind the government norms.

Meanwhile, some city based restaurant owners are fearing the loss in business owing to the flu outbreak.

"Last year we had suffered heavy financial loss due to the pandemic outbreak, now that our businesses are on the verge of recovery the flu has struck us" stated Piyush Jotwani owner of a city-based biriyani joint.

"During winter season 80 per cent of our orders are for chicken items but since the past few days, demand for chicken products has fallen by 20 per cent" said another city-based restaurant owner.

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Free Press Journal