11 Nov 2023

Madhya Pradesh: Jhabua's famous Kadaknath chicken witness surge in demand & price ahead of polls

Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh is home to Bhil tribe and is renowned for its prized Kadaknath chicken. This famous breed of chicken has witnessed a surge in prices ahead of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. Recognized for its distinctive black-colored, nutritious meat and holding Geographical Indications (GI) status, the demand for Kadaknath has risen by 30 to 40 percent with the onset of the cold season coinciding with the election period.

Poultry farm operators flock to the region for pure breed Kadaknath chicks

Dr. Chandan Kumar, a scientist from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Jhabua, highlighted that poultry farm operators from across the country flock to the region for pure breed Kadaknath chicks. 

Sudhanshu Shekhar, CEO of Sara Seva Sansthan Samiti, an NGO dedicated to preserving the breed's purity, said there was an increase in business during the election season for the poultry farms of two Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) associated with the Samiti.

Due to heightened demand, the price of an adult Kadaknath chicken has shot up to Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500, compared to the previous range of Rs 800 to Rs 1,200. Shekhar mentioned the necessity of increasing supply to meet the growing demand.

Chicken plays a crucial role in both diet and economy

In Jhabua, predominantly inhabited by Bhil tribals, chicken plays a crucial role in both the diet and economy. The local tribal customs involve the ritual sacrifice of chickens for deities and ancestors. The Kadaknath chicken, known as "Kalamasi" in the local language, is distinctive for its black color, from its skin and feathers to its meat. Live birds, eggs, and meat of the Kadaknath species command higher prices than other chicken varieties.

Experts emphasize that the black meat of Kadaknath contains significantly lower fat and cholesterol compared to other chicken breeds, with a relatively higher protein content. The Geographical Indications Registry of the country granted the GI mark to Kadaknath Chicken in 2018, categorizing it under "Meat Products and Poultry and Poultry Meat."

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