In a video that emerged on Wednesday, chicken was distributed on the streets of Nashik, Maharashtra for free. This comes amid a sharp decline in demand for poultry products which is being attributed to the rumours on social media that the novel coronavirus can spread through poultry. On Tuesday, Shiv Sena MPs met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss the crisis in the poultry sector. According to Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant, they discussed the reduction in demand for poultry products. They requested the Centre to provide immediate financial assistance to poultry farmers in Maharashtra.
.@ShivSena MPs had meeting with Hon. @FinMinIndia Smt. @nsitharaman ji regarding massive crisis in #poultry sector due to #CoronavirusOutbreak & reduction in demand. Requested Central Govt. to provide immediate financial assistance to poultry farmers in Maharashtra. @AUThackeray pic.twitter.com/1Guf5DYFyG— Arvind Sawant (@AGSawant) March 17, 2020
As per reports, the sales of the Indian poultry sector which includes products such as chicken, meat and eggs declined by over 50%. The All-India Poultry Breeders’ Association had already sent a memorandum to Sitharaman appealing for loans to bail out poultry farmers. Recently, a delegation of poultry owners met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the Maharashtra Animal husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar. They demanded a revival package to compensate for their heavy losses. Reports suggest that the poultry sector in Maharashtra faces a loss of Rs 700 crore.