Amid lockdown, chicken, mutton get pricier by up to 40% in Chandigarh
Chicken in the UT is pricier due to short supply, but price of mutton, which is in high demand, has been hiked by suppliers to make an extra buckUpdated: May 21, 2020 23:11 IST
In just two months, chicken is pricier by ₹100 and mutton by ₹200 in the city, even after prices had taken a fall due to rumours about Covid-19 spreading through poultry. Now, prices are going up due to shortage of supply and rise in demand, and are likely to rise even more.
The retail price of broiler chicken, which is usually ₹200 per kg, fell to ₹130 per kg in March. While last week, retailers asked for ₹180-190 per kg, now prices have now shot up to ₹230 to ₹260 per kg.
Manager of King Broilers in Sector 46, Ravinder Kumar, said prices were rising owing to shortage of live poultry. Paramjeet SIngh Chawla, proprietor of Chawla’s Chicken, said “Sale of chicken has dropped by 75% even as prices are rising. Chicken will cost even more once administration allows restaurants to open doors for dine-in.”
Mutton, which available for around ₹500 per kg in March, now costs up to ₹700 per kg. Speaking of this, Ashok Kumar Nagpal, a mutton wholesaler in Sector-21 meat market, said, “People have fewer qualms eating mutton rather than chicken, due to earlier rumours associating chicken with Covid-19 and bird flu. Now, with rise in demand for mutton, wholesalers and retailers are grabbing the opportunity to make an extra buck by hiking mutton prices.” However, prices of eggs remain stable at ₹4 to ₹5 per egg, he said.
As per wholesalers, the supply of chicken was down due to the hot weather and shortage of chicken feed.
Deepak, a wholesale supplier of chicken from Jagatpura village in Mohali district, said, “Chicken often suffer heat strokes during summer so the supply does go down a little every summer. But this time, supply is scantier due to lockdown curbs.”
Most chicken in Chandigarh is supplied from Barwala village, Haryana. Harish Mittal, CEO of SS Poultry Farm in Barwala, said several poultry farmers with small businesses had to abandon their birds leading to a shortage. “Poultry farms have been hit by the exodus of migrants enmasse and are currently short-staffed. The price of feed increased due to shortage, while income from poultry dropped amid the lockdown. This impelled farmer farmers to abandon their birds on the roads, while some even dug holes and buried them rather than watch them suffer intense hunger,” he said.