HYDERABAD: Already burdened with rising prices of essential commodities, including vegetables and pulses, more bad news awaits city residents as eggs are likely to become costlier by the end of next week.

According to M A Raoof Ghazi, president of the Hyderabad egg marketing society, the price of eggs in the open markets will soon escalate to Rs 6 from the existing Rs 4.10 per egg, with many hatcheries located in and around the city increasing rates.

“While the price for egglaying chicks is meant to be regulated at Rs 4 per live bird, dealers at these hatcheries are charging between Rs 6 and Rs 8 per bird, which will have a cascading effect on the prices of eggs as well,” he said.

But soaring costs have left the common man angry.”There seems to be nothing within our reach any more.First it was vegetable prices, now it is eggs. If prices continue to rise, we will have to take eggs out of our daily meals,” said M Jai Shankar, a retired teacher, who is a resident of Bowenpally.

On Thursday, many traders in Nampally and Murgi Chowk in the Old City were worried after news of price rise reached them.”The consumption is very low now owing to Ganesha Chaturthi, but if prices go up further, people will not buy and we will stare at losses,” said a trader in Nampally.

That’s not all, industry experts rue that the hike in the price of birds will have an affect on where in the egg prices elsewhere in the country too, as the city is a prominent producer and supplier of eggs. The city sends eggs to other places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, experts from the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) said. Telangana generates close to four crore eggs per day, and the consumption is about 1.5 crore per day in the state alone.The rest are shipped out of the state.

“Roughly 50 per cent of the eggs produced from Hyderabad are sent to the other centres.But, since the country is in a festive mood due to Ganesh Chaturthi, the consumption in other cities is less. Once the festival is over, the consumption will increase,” said Sanjeev Chintawar, business manager, NECC.
City-based poultry associations say prices of eggs are being deliberately increased so that the polutry farmer can strike an equilibrium, with the money that he has invested and the dividends he draws.
While stating that the end of the festive season would push up egg prices as demand increases, Ranjit Reddy, president, state poultry breeders’ association, said, “This might assist the farmer in recovering his losses, but people will definitely have to pay more to eat their favourite egg curries or omelettes.”

When contacted, hatcheries, for their part, denied any wrong-doing and refused to elaborate on the matter.
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