TANAHUN, April 11: Poultry entrepreneurs of Tanahun district are facing a crisis due to the lockdown enforced by the government to minimize the spread of COVID-19. According to poultry farmers, lack of grains for the poultry sector has affected production and the lockdown has affected sales of poultry products. Most of the farmers in the district have sold their chickens bearing huge losses.
Krishna Prasad Pudasaini, a local poultry farmer of Yamphat, Bandipur has 3,000 broiler chickens in his farm. He had reared those chickens for 60 days but due to the lockdown, it has become difficult for him to sell them. According to Pudasaini, he has sold the chickens for Rs 90 per kilogram by bearing huge loss as he does not have required grains to feed the chickens.
“Chickens have started to die due to starvation. All of them cannot be put in the field. It is better to sell them by bearing losses rather than seeing them in this condition,” said Pudasaini. Prior to the lockdown, Pudasaini had sold chicken from Rs 175 to Rs 260 per kilogram. Pudasaini himself is also chick and grain suppliers and he is facing a loss of Rs 1 million due to the lockdown.
“The market is closed. After the lockdown started, the grain producers stopped providing grains on credit,” said Pudasaini, “The suppliers have not collected the chickens and we are forced to sell for a loss.”
Poultry farmers who are rearing layers chickens for production of eggs are also facing similar financial crisis due to the lockdown. According to Madan Thakuri, owner of Thakuri Poultry Farm, he has been compelled to store eggs in his farm for the past two weeks. Three years ago, Thakuri had quit his job abroad to start poultry farming back home. He has 5,500 chickens in his farm.
“Grains for chicken are purchased after I sell the eggs. But the eggs are not sold, so I cannot purchase grains for chicken now. In this situation, it is difficult to rear these chickens,” said Thakuri. As per Thakuri, his investment worth Rs 8 million is at risk and eggs cannot be stored for a longer period as the weather gets warmer. “Eggs will rot if it is stored for longer period. It is hard to take them to the market due to the lockdown,” said Thakuri.
Farmers of Tanahun rear broiler, layers and local chickens in their farms. Due to the lockdown, all the meat shops, hotels and restaurants in the district are closed.