Chicken prices escalate as poultry farms get scorched

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Chicken prices escalate as poultry farms get scorched

Jun 23, 2014-

Chicken prices in the Kathmandu valley have jumped Rs 15 per kg due to a drop in supply with major meat producing districts sweltering in the heat.

Retailers are now selling the popular meat item for Rs 355 to Rs 360 per kg against of Rs 340 to Rs 345 a week ago.  

Traders have attributed the decline in supply to low production. “The supply has come down by around 20 percent in recent days,” said Shreeya Dhakal, vice-chairman of the Nepal Chicken Sellers Association (NCSA).

“There is a supply shortage from the major chicken producing places like Dhading, Trishuli, Chitwan and other districts in the Tarai.”

He added that soaring temperatures in the Tarai districts had badly affected chicken output besides pushing up production costs. Prices of live chickens too have surged to Rs 250 per kg from Rs 235 earlier.

Chicken prices have been on an upward trajectory since the last four months. The meat has become dearer by 33 percent during that period. Chicken was selling for Rs 270 per kg till Feb 4 and began rising continuously after that date.

Traders said bird flu outbreaks in mid-July last year was the major reason behind the decreasing production as many farmers in Chitwan, Bhaktapur and Kavre, among other districts, left poultry farming after suffering huge losses. “Farmers are still reluctant to invest in poultry farming. They are shifting to fish and goat farming these days,” said Dhakal.

According to the NCSA, only 200,000 kg of chickens are being supplied in the Kathmandu valley which has a daily requirement of 250,000 kg.

Krishna Shahi, proprietor of Shreedevi Meat Centre at Ratopool, said that they had not been able to fulfil demand due to low supply. “We need 40-50 kg of chicken daily, but our wholesaler has been providing us only 20-25 kg,” he said.  

Traders said that prices would go up further in the coming days due to a rise in demand during the monsoon and marriage season. Dhakal said that prices could hit Rs 380 to Rs 400 per kg by September-October when demand spurts due to the occurrence of major festivals like Dashain and Tihar.

Meanwhile, the Agricultural Ministry has projected that chicken output would drop 4.95 percent to Rs 40.69 million during this fiscal year. Chitwan, Dhading, Nuwakot, Rupandehi, Chitwan, Sarlahi, Kavre, Itahari, Sindhuli, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu are the major suppliers of chicken in the market, according to traders.

Published: 24-06-2014 09:25

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