Hyderabad: Chicken prices are down to Rs. 30 per kg in Hyderabad due to the Coronavirus scare, say poultry breeders. The spread of fake messages and misinformation about the virus has led many people to stop consuming meat. While the wholesale price of chicken per kg is Rs. 30, dressed chicken is sold at Rs. 42 per kg and skinless at Rs. 50 per kg.
Uma Maheshwar Rao, a member of the Telangana breeders association, said, “Production has exceeded the demand. The decrease in demand is mainly due to the fear that chicken will lead to Coronavirus. We want to sell the excess and that’s why we have slashed the prices.” He said, “While some retailers are still selling chicken at Rs.130 per kg, we have asked them to slash down the rates so that people start buying more.”
The famous Sneha Farms of Hyderabad has also slashed down its rates. The firm used to sell chicken at around Rs. 100 to Rs. 130 per kg but now it has dropped its prices to Rs. 50 per kg. Mr Rao said, “This price decrease may continue for a few more weeks and once the demand increases we will gradually increase the price."
Not just Hyderabad but many cities like Pune and Banglore have also seen a drop in chicken prices. Vasanth Kumar Shetty of Pune Poultry breeders association said, “In Pune, the price of chicken per kg is Rs. 8 to Rs. 12, while our production cost itself is Rs. 75. All this is because of fake messages that Coronavirus spreads through the chicken. We have asked both the Maharashtra government and the Centre to help us or else we will run into losses.”
On 28 February, Telangana minister for municipal administration and urban development K.T Rama Rao ate a piece of chicken at a fair organised by poultry farmers to dispel rumours about Coronavirus spreading through the chicken. However, decreasing prices show that people are still not consuming chicken.
A fake message had gone viral on WhatsApp which said that Coronavirus is spreading through chicken and images of infected chicken were also shared. It was later found that the pictures shared were of chicken affected with Ranikhet disease and not Coronavirus.