The prices of broiler, golden, and domestic breed chickens has increased by about 25% in 15 days in Chattogram as the demand has increased in various social events taking place since the withdrawal of lockdowns.
Traders said half of the poultry farms were closed down after incurring continuous losses amid the pandemic, which has affected the supply chain against the growing demand.
Consequently, the monthly supply in 17 upazilas of Chattogram district, which was 20 lakh pieces of chickens, before the pandemic hit the country, dropped to 8-12 lakh during and after the pandemic, said Riton Prasad Chowdhury, the secretary-general of the Greater Chattogram Poultry Association.
At present, broiler chicken is being sold at Tk160, golden chicken at Tk300-320 and domestic chicken at Tk420-430 at the retail markets of Kazir Dewri, Bahaddarhat, Karnaphuli, Chawkbazar, and Reazuddin market in the district, prices were Tk115-12, Tk200-220 and Tk390-400 respectively 15 days ago.
"Chicken prices rose in 15 days due to a shortage of supply compared to demand in the market. However, the price of chicken is expected to come down in the next 15 days. A meeting will be held soon with the traders in this sector to keep the price under control," Shah Mohammad Morshed Quader, senior agricultural marketing officer in Chattogram district told TBS.
Of the total poultry consumers, 50% are individuals and the rest includes community centres, restaurants, entertainment centres, etc. During the lockdown, social events were restricted and restaurants were closed. As a result, the demand dropped by half and many farmers had to close down their farms, said Shahadat Hossain, Secretary of the Mirsarai Upazila Poultry Association.
Abu Bakar Siddique, a regular shopper at the city's Kazir Dewri Bazar, said he bought broiler chickens on Friday at Tk165 per kilogram, but 15 days ago the price was Tk115.
"It is worrying that the price has gone up in this way. The administration should keep prices under control," he urged the authorities.
On the other hand, the prices of poultry feed and medicine have gone up as well.
Riton Prasad Chowdhury, secretary-general of the Greater Chattogram Poultry Association, said the price of poultry feed has gone up by around Tk700 per 50-kg bag in three months. Moreover, the price of medicines hiked by about 30%. As a result, farmers are afraid to raise chickens on their farms. Due to this, there has been a crisis of chicken in the market.
Chattogram District Animal Resources Officer Dr Reazul Islam said there are currently 4,200 broiler and 512 layer poultry farms in Chattogram district.