Chicken Price Out of Reach04 June 2012
ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA - The rising mercury levels in the State are literally keeping the people on the edge and so is the case with the prices of chicken.
According to The Hindu, with temperatures hovering above 40 degree Celsius, the cost of chicken has almost doubled to about Rs.180 per kg, leaving food lovers in a sticky situation.
While the price of a kilo of a fully dressed chicken was between Rs.80 to Rs.90 a few weeks ago, citizens are forced to shell out that much amount for a ‘live' bird.
That is not all: poultry industry experts say that the high temperatures are taking the toll on the birds as they are failing to gain weight.
“Because of heat, birds are not eating, resulting in poor weight. With already high mortality rate among the poultry and failure to gain enough weight by the live birds, the availability of the chicken has taken a plunge,” said K.G. Anand, general manager of Venkateswara Hatcheries.
Apart from excessive the heat, the prices of the chicken feed have also increased tremendously and this too is affecting the total cost, he explained.
“There is an acute shortage of corn and soya, major ingredients of the chicken feed, resulting in the increase in the cost of each kilo of chicken feed by Rs.16. On an average, a chicken has to be fed with four kilos the feed for it to gain sufficient weight, so there is an increase of Rs. 64 per chicken in the input costs,” Mr. Anand said.
Though MeT officials predict that the capital will receive rainfall soon, Mr Anand said that the prices of chicken will not drop back to the earlier levels of Rs.80 per kg.
“Among all other meat forms, chicken is the only meat that is available throughout the year. While fish is available only during few seasons, availability of mutton is also not satisfactory owing to the lack of grazing pastures. Even vegetables will not be available till July-end and hence demand for chicken will be high,” he observed.
But, mercifully, the high chicken prices will not have an effect on the cost of eggs, according to K.V.S. Subba Raju of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC). “Eggs are available for Rs.2.60 each and we do not fore see any drastic increase in their prices”, he said.
The mortality rate of chicken or sweltering heat does not have much of an effect on egg production and at the most the prices might go up to Rs.3.50 per egg, he added.