Low-Income People: Broiler chicken going off menu
Restaurant staffer Md Masum yesterday went to Karwan Bazar kitchen market to buy daily essentials. He felt helpless after knowing the soaring prices of different essentials.
With his Tk 1,000, he wanted to buy chicken, sugar, pulse, potato, onion, ginger and egg.
He found that different breeds of poultry chicken were sold at about Tk 60 a kg higher than the price was two weeks earlier.
Traders were asking Tk 240 for a kg of broiler chicken and Tk 320 for a kg of Sonali chicken, Masum said.
"This frustrates me. How will people like me survive if prices of essentials are skyrocketing?" Masum said.
The restaurant worker added that with his limited monthly income of Tk 15,000, he is struggling to make ends meet for his three-member family.
He said although he could buy other essentials like potato, onion and ginger, he finally had to cut off chicken from the shopping list.
Masum said he did not even dare to buy pangas fish that is popular among the low-income group because of its low price.
Price of pangas has increased by Tk 30 to Tk 40 a kg from the previous price of Tk 130 a kg, he added.
Prices of all kinds of fish have also gone up.
He bought a dozen eggs at Tk 145, paying Tk 35 additional compared to the price two weeks ago.
Chicken, egg and fish are some of the main sources of protein.
A number of consumers at the kitchen markets in Karwan Bazar and Farmgate areas said the hike in price of essentials left them in deep trouble as they were struggling to purchase necessary items.
They said they were experiencing the soaring prices of daily essentials, especially different types of meat over the past one week.
Rawshan Ara Begum, 70, of East Rajabazar area, said she never saw in her entire life that broiler chicken was sold at Tk 240 a kg. "If this is the situation, then how low-income families like ours will survive."
Nur Nabi, a wholesale chicken trader in Karwan Bazar, said he has been involved in the trade for over four decades in the capital. "This is the highest ever price of broiler chicken as far as I can recall."
The broiler chicken has seen an increase in price at the farmer level over the past one week while there is also a shortage in market against the demand, he said
As a result, traders were selling it at an increased price, Nabi added.
Talking to The Daily Star, both experts and small farmers recently blamed the big shots of the poultry industry and intermediaries for the abnormal price hike.