Rare all-black chicken breed could find big market in UAE, Indian minister says – Reuters

Protein-rich, GI-tagged Kadaknath could be a hit in region, says Madhya Pradesh minister


Published: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 11:03

Last update: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 12:52

A nutrient-rich all-black chicken from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh could soon stimulate the taste buds of residents of the United Arab Emirates.

A government delegation from Madhya Pradesh is already in Dubai to explore, among other things, the possibility of exporting their indigenous variety of protein-rich chicken called Kadaknath to the United Arab Emirates.

The gothic bird is jet black, originally bred by tribal communities in the Jhabua and Dhar districts of the state. From comb to claw, every piece of this chicken is the color of the cosmos – even its bones and internal organs.

The cause of chicken blackness is a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis, which is caused by a mutation that affects the functioning of pigment-producing cells.

Kadaknath is one of three black chicken breeds in the world. The other two are Silkie from China and Cemai from Indonesia.

However, unlike its famous cousins, who are hailed as “super birds” and command astronomical prices, Kadaknath languished in obscurity until 2014, when it was thrust into stardom by historian culinary artist Ashish Chopra who showcased Kadaknath dishes at a Lost Recipe Festival in Delhi.

Since then, the black-featured beauty has become a smash hit, selling for Rs 1,200 (Dh58) per kilogram in some Indian cities.

The Madhya Pradesh government hopes the native bird will attract many enthusiasts to the UAE given its penchant for luxury gourmet cuisine. “Kadaknath could become a huge rage in the Gulf countries including the UAE. The prized bird even has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag. So yes, we are indeed looking to introduce it to the UAE “said Rajvardhan Singh, Minister of State. for industrial policy and investment promotion.


Singh spoke to Khaleej times in Dubai on Saturday, following the launch of Madhya Pradesh Week at Expo2020 Dubai on December 3.

He said that Kadaknath not only tastes great but also has immense health benefits.

The allegation is not without merit. Independent studies suggest that the rare breed of chicken contains 25% more protein than regular chicken. It contains about 18 amino acids, many of which are essential for the human body. Low in cholesterol, Kadaknath meat is rich in vitamins and minerals such as C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, calcium, phosphorus and iron. It is also said to improve libido. Eggs from the Kadaknath hen also have a myriad of health benefits.

Making a strong case for Madhya Pradesh as an attractive investment destination, Singh said they were looking for new opportunities in critical sectors including textiles, automotive, food processing and pharmaceuticals. “Our agricultural sector has recorded an average growth of 20% over the past five years. We have a favorable ecosystem for agricultural production and related businesses,” Singh said.

Sanjay Kumar Shukla, Principal Secretary at the State Department of Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion, Madhya Pradesh has many advantages as it is located in the geographical heart of India. “Nearly 450 trains criss-cross our state. We also have an abundance of technical and skilled labor to support various industries,” he said.

Madhya Pradesh week runs until December 9th.

Did you know?

Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has ventured into the poultry business with 2,000 Kadaknath chickens at his sprawling farm in Ranchi, Jharkhand, eastern India.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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