Poultry merchants may shut shop after Bakrid

Unable to run business owing to soaring prices of chicken, they say

Retail chicken merchants in Kozhikode district are likely to shut shop after Bakrid owing to soaring poultry prices.

District office-bearers of the Kerala State Chicken Merchants Committee affiliated to the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samiti told reporters here on Monday that retailers were being “persecuted” by the public and officials for no mistake of theirs. They said poultry merchants procured chicken at a higher rate from farms in Tamil Nadu.

“Since farms in Kerala are unable to meet the demand, we are forced to procure chicken from Tamil Nadu,” Mustafa Kinasseri, district secretary of the committee, said. Traders in Kozhikode procure broiler chicken at ₹130 or more per kg, while dressed chicken is sold at around ₹240, he added.

Alleging conspiracy by the “Tamil Nadu lobby” to destroy poultry business in Kerala, the office-bearers said merchants were willing to cooperate with the government if it fixed a unified price. They also demanded that officials keep a check on those selling dressed chicken at a much lower price, claiming that the meat might be stale.

Committee district president K.V. Rashid said the police and food safety officials were forcing them to sell chicken at a much lower rate, and that it would cause huge loss to merchants.

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