Chicken sale in Kerala has dropped 30-40 percent over the last one month following a campaign that the birds are injected with the serum of Filariasis for getting maximum weight in a minimum period. This is especially seen in the northern Malabar region.
PV Unni, a Kochi-based wholesale dealer of chicken, said during the Christmas–New Year festival, duck was the preferred item followed by beef and pork. For years, chicken was most preferred meat in Kerala during Christmas. But now as the sale has declined, prices too have fallen to Rs 60 a kg against Rs 80 a kg last season. During the Christmas season in 2009, chicken price ruled at Rs 100-110 a kg, he said.
Chicken injected with the serum gets the maximum weight within just three weeks, which otherwise takes 3 months. In districts like Kasargode, Kannur and Kozhikode in the northern part, some chicken outlets have already been closed.
The antichicken campaign has seen a rise in the fish prices, which have increased 20-30 per cent during last couple of weeks. Fish, especially Seer fish, is now in good demand across the state and the average price has increased to Rs 400 a kg from Rs 350 some two weeks ago. Paul Babu, a fish trader based in Munambam, near here said all types of fish were in good demand now and the prices had increased during the last 3-4 weeks.
Even Mackerel, a common man’s item in Kerala, is now priced at Rs 120 a kg from Rs 90 a few weeks ago. The only item, which has a steady price tag is Indian Sardine, which is commonly available at Rs 20-30 a kg.
The demand for live duck too has increased, especially in the central districts like Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha. In most of the paddy fields of these districts duck farming business is very active currently.
The price of a single duck which weighs 1.5 kg on average is Rs 200-220 from Rs 180, three-four months ago.