Admin Fails to Regulate Broiler Chicken Price in Guwahati
There is suddenly a steep rise in the price of broiler chicken in Guwahati. Even during the lockdown the prices were regulated and broiler chicken seemed affordable. How about now?
Confusion prevails regarding the rate which varies from shop to shop. In some areas today, dressed chicken is being sold at Rs 320 per kilo and in some areas it is as high as Rs 380 per kilo. Similarly, undressed chicken is sold at Rs 240 to Rs 260 per kilo. Before the lockdown in March, dressed chicken used to be sold at Rs 200 per kilo and undressed was priced at Rs 120 per kilo. Given this scenario people are suspecting that some kind of syndicate has come into place in the entire process.
“There is no syndicate as such because to create a syndicate product has to be stored somewhere like eggs, onions and potatoes. In the case of chicken it is a daily business,” said a general manager of a prominent farming company wishing anonymity.
He said that the consumers should get the chicken by paying maximum Rs 40 more over the ex-farm price. There are two to three go-betweens between the farm and the consumers, and if they are increasing the price, the administration should bring in a check.
He said that a month ago the farmers had a lengthy meeting with officials of the Kamrup Metro administration where it was decided that the administration will keep a check on the price of the broiler chicken and announce the same twice a month. But that did not happen.
G Plus tried contacting the district administration officials but they did not respond to the phone calls that were made.
The manager explained the reason of increase in the price post lockdown. According to him, for a broiler chicken to become saleable, it takes around 9 weeks. The eggs are kept in the incubator machine for breeding which takes around 2 weeks. Then the baby chicks are fed and grown in a farm and the entire process requires 9 weeks till the chickens are of 1kg to 1.5 kg size.
“Now the chicken which is available in the market are not fully grown or matured,” said the general manager claiming that the farmers are selling it at a higher price therefore. During lockdown all the farms had to be closed suddenly and the eggs, in most cases, were not kept in the incubator for hatching. To Guwahati, broiler chicken comes from places like Jagiroad, Baihata, Chaygaon and nearby areas. Assam is considered a self-dependent state for chicken; the broilers are not imported. He also said that gradually the price is decreasing and as of 12th June the ex-farm rate of undressed chicken is Rs 140.
Hence, the consumers should get it for Rs 180 in Guwahati, according to him.
A source in the livestock department said that the sale of live chicken in Guwahati is illegal as it should be sold only through slaughterhouse.
A veterinary officer with Guwahati Municipal Corporation, talking to G Plus said, “Though the chicken should go through the slaughterhouse like mutton in Guwahati, the capacity of slaughterhouse is 20,000 chickens and the city consumes around 70,000 chickens every day.” He added that unless more slaughterhouses are made, GMC cannot enforce the sale of broiler chicken mandatorily through the slaughterhouse.
Though the slaughterhouse excuse is there, the administration has yet failed to regulate the price of broiler chicken in Guwahati.
The livestock department has fixed the price of dressed chicken at Rs 260 per kilo but it is not a mandate for all the registered 435 chicken retail price shops in the city.
The livestock department sources also said that if the administration wants they can regulate the price and even enforce the sale through slaughterhouse.