Chicken, egg prices up after weeks of slump | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 08, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 08, 2008

Chicken, egg prices up after weeks of slump

The sales of eggs and chickens started getting normal in the capital and elsewhere in the country in the last few days after the poultry sector experienced miserable trade for more than two months following an outbreak of avian influenza.
Preventive initiatives and awareness publicity by different government and non-
government organisations regarding bird flu have worked behind the increase in sales of eggs and chickens, said traders at different city markets.
They, however, predicted a shortage of supply in near future.
Meanwhile, the increase in sales has also seen a hike in the price of poultry chicken.
Salesmen of Swadhin Broiler House at Nimtoli Anandabazar under Shahbagh Police Station said they used to sell 200 kilograms of poultry chicken daily before the bird flu outbreak. The sale plummeted to 20kg to 30kg last month.
"But, the sale increased significantly in the last four days. We sold 140kg poultry chickens yesterday," said Jamal Uddin, a salesman of the farm.
A trader at Palashi Bazar said the demand of local chicken has come to normal in the last four days and the prices of both the poultry and local chickens have also increased.
He said the price of poultry chicken rose by Tk 10-15 per kg, jumping to Tk 75-80. They sold at Tk 60-65 per kg a week ago. The price of a medium-sized local chicken also increased by Tk 25, he said.
Abu Hanif, a supplier at Karwan Bazar, said, "We used to supply poultry and local chickens to hotels and picnickers and on occasions like marriage during December-February. But the business came down by 90 percent only in the last two months due to bird flu."
The business started to get normal again in the last few days as they are getting orders from most city hotels and people for different occasions, he said.
The chicken markets in the city looked busy with customers purchasing chickens and eggs yesterday.
Rahima Begum, a customer from Begun Bari, said, "We stopped eating chicken and eggs for a few weeks now. But, since there were no reports of death or people falling ill anywhere in the country and the government gave assurance about safety through the media and mobile phone operators, we have started purchasing chickens and eggs again."
Another customer argued the prices of eggs and chickens are quite reasonable compared to other essentials and they are also nutritious.
Wholesalers at the city's Kaptan Bazar chicken market said about 70 percent business was restored in the last couple of days.
Fazlul Haq, a leader of Mahanagari Hash Murgi Arat at Tejgaon, told The Daily Star that they used to sell 30,000-40,000 birds every day on an average before the bird flu outbreak and the sale came down to 5,000 last month.
Another leader of the wholesale market said although the sale took a turn for the better, suppliers and traders at different levels are still being harassed while carrying chickens to different places.
A shortage of chickens may occur within a few weeks as most poultry farms stopped hatching of chicks fearing bird flu. Many traders even stopped investing in the sector, the wholesale leaders said, adding that culling of domestic fowls across the country and closure of many farms will also cause the shortage.

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