With rising prices, chicken also flies out of menu

Warangal: Options on the common man's menu have now started to shrink slowly with the steady increase in the prices of meat, vegetables and fruit in the last few weeks.

The prices of mutton had already skyrocketed to Rs 560 a kg (with bone) and Rs 700 a kg (boneless) during Dasara last year. This has left the majority of people to opt for chicken and fish.

The price of broiler chicken has also witnessed a surge in the last couple of months due to growing demand and lower production. With the mercury levels hovering above 43 degree Celsius, the chicken price that hovered between Rs 160 a kg and Rs 180 a kg has now moved past Rs 200 mark.

The rising prices may augur well for farmers who had a setback due to large-scale bird deaths in the recent past but it has become a burden for the consumers. Understandably, the mortality rate of chicks is high in peak summer.

The ideal temperature for the survival of broiler chicks is said to be below 38 degree Celsius. It is also ideal for the chicks to gain weight. But with the rise in temperatures and the abnormal difference in the day-night, the industry suffered a huge loss, according to industry sources.

With a hectic wedding season in the offing, the prices are expected to shoot up further. This apart, the ever-increasing price of poultry feed has also become a major worry for the entrepreneurs, industry sources add.

Speaking to The Hans India, Telangana State Poultry Federation (TSPF) president Errabelli Pradeep Rao said: "It is a usual phenomenon that during the summers the production is decreased due to mortality of chicks.

Even though the consumption of chicken and eggs is low during the summer, the prices continue to be on high side due to decreased production. It will continue for another four to six weeks. The situation will change only after production of poultry picks up after June 15."

P Hari, a retailer in Kumarpally market, said: "Of late, chicken sales plummeted drastically not just because of skyrocketing of prices but also due to fear of facing health problems. With the summer peaking, the consumers are cautious that chicken produces heat in the body." Surprisingly, the price of egg remained stable at Rs 4 a piece, he added.

On the other hand, while vegetable prices witnessed a steady rise, fruits such as watermelon and muskmelon have gone out of the reach of the people. "Watermelon is costing a bomb. So is muskmelon. The two are the most sought-after in the summer.

A medium size watermelon is costing around Rs 80," Dr Sangala Ephraim Raj, Kakatiya University employee, said.

The spurt in prices forcing the people to take up austerity, he said. With the demand for tender coconut water is high; the vendors are the happiest ones with each coconut costing Rs 25.

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