Maize price plummets as poultry farmers face reduced demand

Affected: Maize is cultivated on more than 10 lakh hectares of land in Karnataka.   | Photo Credit: VAIDYA

Rumours and apprehensions regarding COVID-19, which resulted in the slump in the price of chicken, has had a cascading effect on the price of maize, the key ingredient in poultry feed.

In the span of 15 days, the price of maize that is cultivated on more than 10 lakh hectares of land in Karnataka has plummeted by 35%. The price of fine-quality maize, which was ₹1,700 a quintal in Davangere and Shivamogga markets on February 28, has come down to ₹1,100 now.

‘No orders’

Shivakumar, a maize merchant from Shikaripur, told The Hindu that a significant chunk of the maize cultivated in central Karnataka districts is purchased by firms engaged in the production of feeds for poultries in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. Owing to COVID-19 fear, the number of livestocks in many of the large poultry farms has been reduced to mitigate the loss, owing to which the demand for feed has come down. “There are no orders for maize from feed producers owing to which we have also reduced the purchase at the local market, he said.

Santhosh, a maize cultivator from Channagiri, said that around 50% of the produce was still at the disposal of farmers.

H.R. Basavarajappa, honorary president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, told The Hindu that in 2019–20, maize growers suffered loss owing to fall armyworm infestation and decline in the yield owing to drought. Though the yield was good this time owing to sufficient rain, the slump in the price has come as a blot from the blue for growers. In some markets of Davangere, Chitradurga, Haveri, and Shivamogga districts, traders have stopped purchase of maize from the past two days.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:20:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/maize-price-plummets-as-poultry-farmers-face-reduced-demand/article31070866.ece

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