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Chicken yet to find its way to dining table

THOUGH NO case of bird flu has been reported in Uttar Pradesh, its scare has hit the poultry industry hard. In February the outbreak of bird flu was reported at Nandubar in Maharashtra. Since then the poultry industry here has suffered a loss of Rs 60 crore.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 01:24 IST

Rs 60 crore loss to poultry units

THOUGH NO case of bird flu has been reported in Uttar Pradesh, its scare has hit the poultry industry hard. In February the outbreak of bird flu was reported at Nandubar in Maharashtra. Since then the poultry industry here has suffered a loss of Rs 60 crore.

Ironically, all 800 samples of chickens and birds dispatched to the Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal, by the State Animal Husbandry department tested negative. But it failed to convince the consumers and chicken was not included in the menu.

Around 800 poultry units had already closed and many more were on the brink of closure. “Even as we were getting ready for the Holi festival, bird flu scare returned to haunt us,” said Devesh Kumar Rastogi, president of UP Poultry Association. The sudden drop in the consumption of the poultry products hit us hard, he added.

“The poultry industry has not yet recovered from the shock. We have urged the State government to give Rs 40 per bird as compensation to the farmers. The association has also requested for 4 percent cut in the interest rate on the loan given to the farmers. But the State government is yet to issue the GO,” he said.

Though three months have passed since the outbreak of bird flu was reported in Maharashtra, farmers are still shaky and shying away from investing in the poultry industry. Same is the situation on the consumers front as 40 percent of people are not including chicken in their meal. The sale of eggs has also recorded 40 percent fall.

Meanwhile, the Animal Husbandry department officials said a special package was being prepared for retrieval of the poultry industry.

Talks were continuing with the insurance companies to give compensation to the poultry farmers if the chickens died due to communicable diseases. Director, Animal Husbandry , SS Yadav said the government was also planning to give land to the farmers and provide marketing facilities too.

First Published: Jun 02, 2006 01:24 IST