Panaji: Goa’s poultry supply has been hit by the COVID-19 lockdown, after over 50,000 birds belonging to the state’s poultry owners remained stuck at Belagavi in neighbouring Karnataka.
Several poultry owners in Goa prefer to have their breeding farms in Belagavi because of its favourable weather.
“Before the Goa government sealed the state borders on March 22, we were in the process of bringing in 50,000 birds to the state,” said Jaikrishna Naik, president of All Goa Poultry Owners Association.
The poultry is still stuck at Belagavi and the state government has not shown any interest in allowing transportation of the same, he said.
The biggest worry for the poultry farmers is that the birds need to be fed regularly and it costs them Rs 2 lakh on an average every day for their feedings, Naik said.
“If this situation continues, we will have to dispose them off in Karnataka and the entire trade will suffer a huge loss,” he said.
The association has sent a petition to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, seeking to lift the ban on transportation of poultry, poultry owner Rama Kankonkar said.
The lockdown has impacted the supply of poultry, which is mostly procured from neighbouring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, said Ramdas Kambale, senior vice president of Vetphage Pharmaceuticals.
“As poultry is a daily essential, there is a huge demand for chicken and egg in the state. However, Goa is not a poultry producing state, with most of the supply coming from Karnataka and Maharashtra,” he said.
Availability of feed is another matter of concern, Kamble said.
The supply of soya, which is a major source of protein for poultry is also hit, as all factories manufacturing the feed have shut operations in wake of the lockdown, he said.