The bird flu outbreak in the Kuttanad region was the last straw for farmers already struggling to come to terms with the losses inflicted by the 2018 floods and the ongoing pandemic. Sam Paul A. and Hiran Unnikrishnan report on the poultry industry that is reeling under several blows
The Pampa river flows gently, its water glittering in the warm January sun. A lush green carpet of paddy saplings stretches out for miles near the water body. But a sombre mood prevails in this picture-perfect setting at SN Kadavu, a village near Karuvatta in Kerala’s Alappuzha district.
A levelled patch of uncultivated paddy field abutting a road along the village looks diseased, sprinkled with bleaching powder. A nearby board reads: ‘Warning! Bird Flu 2021 carcass burning site’.
Seated on a bench outside a thatched structure close to his two-bedroom house a few metres away from the culling site is Devaraj K.V., 52, a second-generation duck farmer. He looks shaken. Devaraj lost 9,240 ducks,…