VISAKHAPATNAM : The cost of chicken and eggs is going through the roof in the city, thanks to the damage suffered by the poultry industry due to the cyclone Hudhud. With the industry not showing any signs of immediate revival, prices are likely to soar further.
As on date, chicken is priced at `180 a kg as against its normal price of `140, with meat shop owners predicting that the cost would reach `200 in the coming days. Similarly, eggs are being sold for `6 each as against `4 and are likely to touch `7.
In the districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, there used to be about 7 million broiler chicken, a whopping 60 per cent of which died due to the cyclone, causing immense damage to poultry farms. As a result, only a small quantity of broiler chicken is arriving into the market. The city itself requires 150 tonnes of broiler chicken per day. As there is no chicken available in the district, it is being brought from Godavari districts, thereby causing scarcity there. “At this rate, the price is sure to go up further. It may even go beyond `200 per kg,” says Mohammed Arif, a meat vendor at Isukathota Junction. Since the remaining broiler chicken in the city might cause health problems, as the birds have been affected by the storm, the demand for country chicken has risen sharply, leading to an increase in price from `300 to 360, which is likely to go up as well.
The same is the case with layers. In Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, around 16.5 lakh birds died in the cyclone. On normal days, one lakh birds lay 85,000 eggs. “But with so many birds dying, it would be a miracle if we get at least 20,000 eggs,” said NECC zonal chairman (Visakhapatnam) G Ramakrishna Chowdhary. In the coming winter, the cost of eggs is likely to rise steeply as the demand would peak in West Bengal and other north eastern states, he said.