A 29-year-old farmer allegedly committed suicide in Kolhapur in Maharashtra after losing money in the multi-crore Kadaknath poultry scam, police said on Tuesday. Several farmers had invested money in firms which promised higher returns as well as expertise to rear Kadaknath chickens in western Maharashtra, but the scheme went bust last year.
The chicken breed is popular in parts of central India, primarily Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, for its nutritional and medicinal values, with a kilogram selling at rates as high as Rs 900. Farmer Pramod Sarjerao Jamadade, a resident of Masud Male village in the district's Panhala taluka, consumed pesticide on January 18 and died in a hospital on Tuesday morning, an official said.
"He had taken Rs 2 lakh from a money-lender to rear Kadaknath chickens. However, after the scam broke out, there were no takers for his poultry, leading to heavy financial losses. He was forced to sell the stock at throwaway prices," the Shahupuri police station official said.
Police said Jamadade had earlier filed a complaint against Maharayat Agro India Private Limited, the firm behind the Kadaknath poultry scheme which he was part of. Pune police had filed a case against this Sangli-based firm in August last year and arrested four of its officials. Police said a case has been registered in connection with Jamadade's death and probe was underway.