KOLKATA: The cheap source of animal protein turned dearer with the price of dressed chicken breaching the Rs 300 a kg mark, forcing consumers to cut corners to strike a dietary balance.
The price, retailers said, is likely to have a further upswing, thanks to the record rise in chicken feed, cost of medicines and sale of premature chicken.
With fish and mutton slowly turning unaffordable, middle-class Kolkatans are overwhelmingly dependent on chicken and egg. “Even five months ago, I sold chicken at Rs 200 a kg. But gradually, chicken prices had a steady upswing,” said Lake Market retailer Satyajit Sinha Roy.
Another reason is the exit of many small poultry farms from the trade. “The bird flu scare and resultant distress sale have also increased the demand-supply gap. Highly fluctuating retail prices of chicken and rumour-driven markets have discouraged small farmers from rearing chicken,” said Gautam Bhakta, a wholesaler.