The government has started market monitoring after the chicken price surged significantly.

Citing lack of production, the sellers have hiked chicken price recently. As a result, chicken price has hit a record price of Rs 430 per kg in the retail market at the moment.

Due to the unusual price hike of chicken, the Department of Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection (DoCSCP) has started looking into the matter.

According to the DoCSCP Spokesperson Shivraj Sedhai, the department has started market monitoring from Sunday after receiving several complaints regarding chicken price in the market.

He said that the department has deployed officers within and outside the valley for the market inspection.

"Wholesales, retails and production factories are being inspected at the moment," he said, "We are yet to find out the exact reason behind the sudden price hike of chickens." According to him, the department officials inspected five shops just on Sunday.

Amid this, chicken producers said that the price is likely to increase further. The cold store purchase price of live broiler chicken has gone up by Rs 10 per kg from Monday. Following the revision, the purchase price of broiler chicken has reached Rs 310 a kg, according to the National Poultry Entrepreneurs Association.

The retail price of broiler chicken meat has reached Rs 425 to Rs 430 per kg. As per the association, the price has reached an all-time high due to the decline in poultry production and increase in market demand.

Tika Ram Pokhrel, president of Nepal Hatchery Industries Association, said that the demand for chicken meat has increased in the market and the supply has decreased. "The demand for chicken meat is high in the market. The demand for chicken has not been met due to the shortage of chickens," he said, "We are working towards meeting the market demand."

As the supply is not likely to increase for another month-and-a-half, he said that the price of chicken meat could reach up to Rs 500 per kg. He said that the demand for meat has been high recently due to the Nepali New Year, Chaite Dashain festival and weddings.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.