Pork price drops as pricing competition and mysterious disease scare hit pork market in Manipur
Imphal: Beeline of non-veg eaters at pork outlets in Imphal valley since the last few days as the price of the meat mysteriously dropped even as Manipur veterinary and animal husbandry department is readied to send samples to laboratory to ascertain if any swine disease is detected in pigs.
Pork is currently priced between Rs 150 and Rs200 per kilogram almost half of the actual price of Rs. 350 - Rs. 380 at retail outlets.
What prompted the retailers to slash down the amount could not be as curtained immediately, Manipur Progressive Pig Farmers' Association reported that many pigs died of an unknown disease at various farms in some valley districts since March this year. Farmers from Kakching and Imphal East districts reported a sudden surge in pig deaths, with symptoms like fever, loss of appetite, starvation, and death within a week. However, veterinary officials have not confirmed if the disease is African Swine Flu.
Another report said that there has been certain pricing grudge and competitions among pork retailers that led to slashing of price.
“We don’t sell diseased pork. We only sell fresh and healthy pork, and we deliberately slash down the price because of certain price competition among retailers, but I think the price issue would be sorted out soon,” said Gulapi, a pork retailer in Imphal.
“Actually, we sold pork at Rs 400 per kg earlier, but it had gone down to even Rs 150 following the price competition, and now we sell at Rs. 200,” he said.
Taking advantage of the price fall, pork lovers enjoyed parties at various localities in the valley districts.
“We have been enjoying feastings with pork as the main menu with our friends at our residence since the last three days. Yesterday, we paid Rs 180 for a kg of pork and today we had to cough up Rs 200 per kg,” said Yaiphaba Singh, a resident of Imphal East district.
“The pork we bought was fresh and healthy and we didn’t come across any diseased stuff in the market,” Singh added.
Meanwhile officials of Manipur veterinary and animal husbandry department when quizzed on the matter said that samples were collected of some pigs from the piggeries at Kakching and Imphal East districts for confirming if there is any outbreak of a disease in the state.
The samples would be sent to a laboratory in Guwahati on Thursday and if any disease is detected, the department would take necessary measures to control it, a top officer of the department said.
Last year, African swine fever broke out in three districts in Manipur - in Kakching in June, Bishnupur in the following month and Noney in December, prompting the government to take effective measures to fight the outbreak.