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 Post subject: Chicken prices soaring
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:01 am 
Chicken prices soaring

by Wattala group correspondent
CDN /12APR2005

The price of chicken has gone up in the Wattala, Hendala and neighbouring areas. Residents said the price of chicken have been increased from Rs. 230 to Rs. 330 in most shops and could go higher during the festive season.

They said shortfall in production was the main reason for the price increase. The country's monthly chicken consumption is 5.5 million kilograms and production is around four million kilograms.

Most leading chicken manufacturers in the country are unable to meet the current demand in the market due to low production in their farms.

Many chicken manufacturers did not go ahead with their investment plans due to the bird flu outbreak in the Asian region last year. This led to an increase in prices owing to the shortfall in production.

Some small-scale chicken suppliers moved out of business while large and scale manufacturers cutdown production and put their investment plans on hold due to the outbreak of the bird flu, customers said.

They also complained that egg prices in the market have also been increased. Meanwhile, Manning Market Poultry Traders Association said:" after the tsunami the prices of chicken have soared to a record high. It was expected that with the fishing industry resuming its activities after the 26/12 setback prices could stabilise to normal levels that is Rs. 80 per kg live weight.

The major poultry producers prior to the Boxing Day tragedy occurred, had cut back their production level as the supply was over and above demand levels. The poultry farms in the tsunami affected areas were damaged and the entire supply position is now in a very critical level.

The bird flu was only felt in far eastern countries and it was not an attribute for the major farms to avoid or cut back their production. India was not severely affected by the bird flu. This was a deliberate attempt by the major poultry farmers to obtain a higher price during the festive season and the bird flu is their scapegoat".

The Ministry of Agriculture has not come into grips of the actual reality. A consumer has to pay an increase of 300% in prices within a period of 3 months. The All Island Poultry Association has assured the ministry that they will not increase the price beyond 215/- or 240/- per kg.

The Manning Market Poultry Traders Association has been engaging in this business for more than five decades. Majority of our customers are low and middle income earners and at this price nobody will buy chicken.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the AIPA are not aware of the basic supply and demand position of chicken at festive season and the standards they have issued to the press is a clear indication of this fact. Apart from all this, the buying power of the common man is at the lowest ebb. said the Manning Market Poultry Traders Association in a press release.

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