VIJAYAWADA: Chicken lovers will have to shell out more from their pockets if they want to buy some chicken and cook a sumptuous meal this summer. Chicken prices have shot up in Vijayawada, where the customers end up paying Rs 220 per kg of skinless chicken against Rs 170 priced before the beginning of the summer. The prices have been rising for the past two weeks and the meat sellers claim that soaring temperature across the State is the reason behind this.
As on Sunday, while dressed chicken costs Rs 220 per kg, boneless chicken is priced at Rs 300 per kg at retail outlets. A live bird is sold at Rs 100 to Rs 120 per kg. The traders are of the opinion that the prices are likely to go up further as the demand is set to increase in peak summer with the holy month of Ramadan beginning from the first week of May.
As the day temperatures are scaling over 40 degree Celsius, these birds are dying in large numbers. According to the people attached to poultry farms, the mortality rate of birds will surge up to 10 per cent in summer, compared to 2 to 3 per cent in normal times.
Speaking to TNIE, J Ramesh, owner of a poultry farm in Vijayawada rural, says, “This is a regular phenomenon every summer. The birds don’t take much food or water, and they fall sick easily and die. On a single day, we see many birds dying due to soaring heat. To avoid the hot weather, we transport the birds during night. However, they still die due to their poor appetite. Though their demand is huge, we still incur losses in summer.”
Meanwhile, meat sellers in the city state that chicken sales have slightly decreased with increase in their prices, and customers are opting for other non-veg products.“Usually, people stay away from meat, especially from chicken, during summer. However, as Ramadan will start soon, with all haleem sellers and iftar parties, there will be huge demand for chicken. But the supply is no where going to be enough and that results in the increase of prices even more.” said Md Basha.
However, to negotiate the soaring prices people are either buying lesser quantity of chicken than they used to buy before or have decreased their buying frequency. “I usually buy chicken twice a week as my children like it. But now with the heavy prices, we are buying either reduced quantities or sticking to consuming it once in a week,” said V Bhushan.