Deeksha Bharti 1*, Akshay Kumar2, Abhishek Bhardwaj3
1. Division of Veterinary Medicine , G.B.P.U .A & T , Pantnagar (Uttarakhand)
2. Division of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology , IVRI Bareilly
3. Division of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics ,GADVASU Ludhiana
The poultry industry in India has made a remarkable growth ever since its inception and is presently emerging as a sunrise sector with a growth rate of 8.51 and 7.52% in egg and broiler production, respectively. Poultry is the highly efficient livestock sector in India, worth €14.5 billion. Per capita consumption of eggs has increased from 30 eggs per annum to 68 eggs per annum in last few years.
ICMR recommend a minimum of 180 eggs and 10 kg chicken per annum. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown for a long period have created a significant adverse influence on different sectors, including that of the agriculture and other allied sub-sectors in India and several other countries. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has been a public health emergency all over the world, which further becomes more important for a developing and also populous country like India with a population of over 1.3 billion.
Deleterious effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on poultry sector
The spread of falsity about poultry being a source of Covid-19 on social media heavily impacted consumption. The sustained large net losses due to sudden decline in demand, realization and profitability. The post-COVID-19 lockdown further reduced the demand of the meat all across the country due to several other logistic factors. About two crore human being employed in the poultry industry across the country have been impacted. People were avoiding intake of meat, fish, chicken, and egg etc. Due to the autumn in demand, price of poultry product had dropped by way of as lots as 70 percent.Over the last 1 yr, the industry is riding a tough wave witnessing the higher feed prices owing to lowered acreage in maize production followed by COVID-19 impact and lockdown. The estimated loss of the poultry industry due to impact of COVID-19 and its associated lockdown is USD 3053 million.
In India, rural areas constitute maximum poultry production, whereas the urban area constitutes the maximum consumption (NAPEP, 2017). With the majority of urban areas being under “red zone” category (with higher number of COVID-19 cases), the transportation of poultry products has become completely compromised as a result of the lockdown imposed in these red zones. These events led to the forced culling and destruction of majority of live broilers in the country.
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has affected all supply chains through severe disruption of logistics activities, production, and markets.
Chicken meat and egg consumption in India is highly unstable in connection with the involvement of taboos, festive occasions, purchasing power, and so on. Therefore, their prices are dynamic with high sensitivity to change in daily demand. COVID-19 pandemic–driven economic crisis has adversely affected purchasing power of majority of the consumers in the country owing to the salary cuts and loss of employment.Closure of restaurants including those of the fast-food restaurants or quick-service restaurants further had greatly impacted the demand, the disruption of transport chains, perishability of the produce, and closure of several wholesale markets and malls in the cities affected the supply chains.
Inadequate availability of critical inputs such as feed and fodder, at least during the 1st phase of lockdown, significantly affected the growth and production of the rearing animals, leading to substantial economic loss.
Future plan of action for upliftment of poultry industry after COVID-19 pandemic
National action plan for egg & poultry-2022 for doubling farmers’ income by 2022 – For doubling farmers’ incomes, livestock sector is indispensable.
These national action plans on feed and livestock sectors by the The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries (DADF) DADF are truly commendable efforts in the right direction. Birds must have proper easy access to feed following the feed line manufacturer’s recommendations for the number of birds per feed pan or line of trough feeder.
Precautionary measures against COVID -19 for workers working in poultry sector
• Using entry screening measures
• Using face masks and other personal protective equipment
• By physical distancing and reducing gathering points
• Increasing sanitation and disinfection practices
• Maintaining proper air sanitation and ventilation
• Training and educational programmes on COVID-19 symptoms and prevention
Currently Covid-19 pandemic is a leading challenge globally. It is mandatory to maintain good nutritional status to fight against virus. A proper and healthy diet can ensure a robust immune system that can resist any onslaught by the virus. Protein deficiency is relevant to impaired immune system function, mainly due to its negative effects on both, the amount of functional immunoglobulins and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). Besides quantity, the quality of proteins is also an important factor with regard to the relationship of this macronutrient with immune system. In regard of the above, it has been highlighted that including proteins of high biological value (those present in eggs, lean meat, fish, and dairy) containing all the essential amino acids may exert an anti-inflammatory effect .Protein is essential for mainintaing the muscle mass . But during the second wave of COVID -19 in India , which is more deleterious as compared to first , the public awareness allied to the role of protein in the diet of COVID patient is prevelant.Nowadays due to the awareness among the people,again the poultry industry is gaining ecolnomical prosperity.By taking all the upliftment measures poultry industry can become the distinctly prosperous and high economy generating sector .