KARACHI - The prices of poultry items have increased substantially in the city due to ever-increasing demand due to start of the winter season, high rate of birds’ mortalities in chilly weather and the export of poultry items to other countries.

The rates of live bird and meat have witnessed sharp increase of Rs 25-35 per kg and are being sold at Rs 170 per kg and Rs 270 per kg respectively, while the eggs prices have gone up by Rs15-20 a dozen to up to Rs130 a dozen compared to previous week.  “With population of twenty million, mega city consumes 225,000 to 275,000 birds and 50,000 eggs boxes containing over 30 dozen eggs daily,” poultry expert told The Nation.  The public has demanded of the concerned authorities to chalk out a mechanism to control prices of daily-use kitchen items especially chicken and eggs.

Wasim Mubarik, a local poultry dealer, said it is start of the poultry season that has brought swift change in poultry prices, saying that variation in eggs prices depends on its availability. He said high price of red meat is also one of reasons for increasing the demand of white meat and consequently its prices.  On the other side, the eggs demand is also high due to chilly weather as eggs are used for traditional winter foods items like soups and sweets. A dealer said chicken rates depend on different factors.  Dr Mohsin, a poultry farm owner, informed that the high mortality rate of the birds during this chilly weather brought price hike in local market. He added that the falling temperature also boosts the demand of poultry items.

He said the supply of poultry items to the neighboring country also affects the local market in terms of price hike, adding that the shortage of CNG also pushed the prices up.  “A couple of a week ago, the chicken price was around Rs 150 per kg and eggs Rs 110 per dozen but now this sudden increase in prices not acceptable to us,” said M Afaq while taking The Nation. He said poultry dealers usually charge unjustified rate and don’t follow the price control list issued by Commissioner Office.  Ahsan Saeed, an employee of a private office, said that the demand of eggs usually increases in the winter season and subsequently the prices shoot up. “Eggs are an absolute priority in breakfast and people are forced to purchase them on high prices,” he said. Majority of the people use eggs in breakfast as it contains sufficient protein which helps in maintaining good health.

An economist said ever-increasing prices of essential commodities have made the lives of people miserable.

Some survey reports confirm that a large umber of the people didn’t eat even a single egg in a year due to lower income and sky-high inflation. In such circumstance parents even can’t fulfill the basic needs like food of their children.