August 30, 2017
Kochi: Chicken prices in Kerala have dropped, thanks to the rise in the number of poultry farms in Tamil Nadu.
But for farms in both the states, it has meant lesser margins. According to those in the industry, Tamil Nadu has the edge owing to low labour cost. Though Kerala farms are dependent on cheap migrant labourers, trade unions have stepped in and warned farm labourers against working below a fixed remuneration. This will result in a price war, say industry sources.
It was only a month ago that the Kerala Government and the poultry dealers and farmers were engaged in a bitter fight over chicken price.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac had threatened action against those who sold chicken above Rs 87 per kg even as introduction of GST had exempted them from paying 14.5 tax. Yet, traders continued to sell chicken above Rs 100, ignoring the exemption they got with the implementation of GST.
But the situation has changed, forcing traders to lower prices. Last week chicken sold at Rs 65 per kg and has gone up to Rs 80 in view of Bakrid and Onam which will be for a very short period.
After two months comes the Sabarimala season which should bring down chicken prices further as many will, as part of the rituals, have to be on a strict vegetarian diet.