Poultry farmers in Punjab, Haryana stare at losses due to feed shortage

Chandigarh, Mar 26 (PTI) Poultry farmers in Punjab and Haryana are facing acute shortage of feed because of the nationwide lockdown to check spread of coronavirus, and fear that their birds will die if supply is not restored.

The farmers claimed that supplies of poultry feed, including maize, soybean, groundnut cake, bajra (millet) and other items coming from other states are stuck because of the lockdown.

'We have not been able to get poultry feed ever since the restrictions have been imposed because of coronavirus,' Progressive Poultry Farmers Association Punjab President Mohinder Arora told PTI on Thursday.

Arora said the suppliers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat could not send feed to poultry farmers of Punjab and Haryana, the major suppliers of chicken and eggs in the country.

'Each farmer keeps feed stock of just four to five days and most of them are left with little or no poultry feed,' he said.

'The government is not caring for poultry business,' he added.

In Haryana, Karnal-based farmer Randhir Singh lamented that poultry birds would soon start dying if the government did not take appropriate steps to ensure resumption of feed supplies.

Insiders in poultry business, however, pointed out that because of acute shortage of feed, a few poultry farmers were forced to bury their birds, and some have reduced quantity of feed for their birds.

'By reducing feed, at least birds have chance to survive,' one of the poultry farmers in Punjab said.

The farmers further said they were not able to deliver eggs because of restrictions on the movement of transport.

The current crisis for poultry industry comes at a time when it is already suffering losses because of decline in sale of eggs and chicken.

The farmers in Punjab and Haryana urged their respective state governments to allow movement of vehicles carrying feed and eggs, otherwise the industry would soon shut.

Punjab Animal Husbandry Department Director Inderjit Singh said that the department has written to several states for allowing supply of poultry feed. PTI CHS VSD RVK