The prices of all kinds of chicken, meat, egg, and fish increased while vegetables and other essential commodity prices remained stable at a higher price in the kitchen market in the capital on Friday.
People of limited income groups and job holders are frustrated and back home with half of their consumption basket to maintain a balance with their income and market rate of chicken, meat, fish, and essential commodities.
On Friday the broiler chicken was sold at Tk250 to 260 per kg, marking a hike of Tk 10 a kilogram. The price of broiler chicken has shown a continuation of price hikes during the last month. In contrast, in a month, the price of broiler chicken rose by Tk 100, which is a record according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Pakistani and Sonali fowl prices have further increased by Tk 10 a kg as retailed at Tk 360-370 based on size. Indigenous (domestic rearing) chicken remained static at Tk 560-600 a kg, according to kitchen market sources.
Rojab Ali, a chicken vendor of Tejgaon chicken market in Dhaka city, said prices have also been increasing at farm level during the last month.
Broiler chicken price has increased to Tk 20,200 from Tk 12,000-13,000 per quintal (100 kg) at farms in Dhamrai, Nawabganj, Savar, Tangail, Sirajganj, Narshingdi, and other hubs countrywide during the period, he added.
"We have no idea about the possible price of chicken during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan starting in the last week of March," Rojab pointed out.
Beef was selling at Tk 750 to 800, while mutton was selling at Tk950 to 1100 in Dhaka on Friday.
Rashedul Haque, a private job holder, went to Karwan Bazar kitchen market for weekly procurement of chicken, meat, and fish items. But he returned with half of the basket as the money allocated for this purpose finished quickly.
He told UNB in an irritated voice that he has to reduce 50 percent of chicken and meat consumption due to the lack of a cap on the price of these items.
Rashedul blamed the failure of proper market monitoring on overpricing the chicken, meat, fish, and egg as the prices of these items went up every week.
Despite the huge supply of chicken, cattle, and fish, there is no control over the price of these protein resources. The butchers and traders are raising the price of this item as they wish, and nobody has to monitor them, Rashedul pointed out.
The correspondent observed that like Rashedul, many other people are cutting purchase volume and engaged in burgeoning in the chicken traders and fish and meat markets to reduce the prices of these items.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) vice-president SM Nazer Hossain said farm eggs, broiler chicken, and cultured fish are key protein sources for millions of limited-income groups of people in the country.
He said these families are cutting intake of these protein-rich foods following their rising prices to adjust to their limited income.
CAB Secretary put emphasis on harsher vigilance to prevent any artificial hike during this tough time.
Talking with UNB a cattle farm owner of Keraniganj (who is owner of a farm of around 2500 cattle) said a number of internal and external factors have led to beef being the most expensive in Bangladesh in all of South Asia.
Factors like India banning the export of beef, the high population density in Bangladesh and the high cost of cattle feed have all led to astronomically high prices.
The butchers are retailing beef for Tk750-750 per kg in Dhaka, while mutton costs anywhere from Tk950-1100 per kg. To put things into perspective, highly prized Australian Angus beef retails for $ 4.90 or Tk550 per kg.
Mohammad Shah Emran, general secretary of the Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association (BDFA) said that the average price of per kg beef in the international market is around $5-5.50, but in Bangladesh, it is around $7-$7.50.
Higher prices of cattle feed, gas-electricity bills, higher transportation costs, and some other factors are influencing to increase the in beef meat in Bangladesh, he said.
However, the prices of vegetables, edible oil, sugar, rice, wheat and flour, onion, garlic, and ginger have rained stable this week.
Source: United News of Bangladesh