The prices of chickens, at Christmas, soared very high in Enugu, forcing the residents to resort to hitherto less-fancied pork.
THE WHISTLER’s visits to several markets in the city centre show that sellers were unwilling to reduce the prices of their fowls, with a majority of them attributing the hike to the high cost of feeds as a result of Covid-19.
Our correspondent reports that a chicken that was selling for N2, 500 some days ago was being sold for N5, 500 at New Market. Old layers that were sold for less than N2, 000 went as high as N4, 000.
A seller, Mrs Monica Idoko, said, “We are simply selling at losses. The lockdown due to Covid-19 made us train our chickens beyond their normal duration. The feeds were also very expensive because of the closure of the nation’s borders. We can’t sell below what we used to train them. We won’t even break even. That is why it is like all of us have uniform prices.”
Among those making brisk businesses are women who kill fowls for buyers. They were seen running around, looking for who had bought to process their fowls for them.
One of them, Nkechi Eze, said, “I can’t answer any question now because I’m very busy. Before, we used to process a chicken at N100 only. But today, it is N200 flat. Between 7am and 9am, we had killed over thirty-five chickens. If you multiply it, you know how much I have made. We pay some money for the space we occupy; so we also spend from it. I target to kill at least 200 birds today. All my children are here with me doing this. They look for those that purchased, and bring their fowls here.”
Meanwhile, the high cost of chickens at New Market has forced many meat buyers to resort to pork. Our correspondent reports that it was a beehive of activities at various pork-selling stands.
A pork butcher and seller said, “Many of them now patronise us. Before, we beg them. But now, when they go to buy chickens, the prices they tell them chase them to us. We didn’t hike the price of pork. It remains N1, 000 per a kilo. That is why they are surrounding us like this.”
A buyer, Mazi Oliver Ogbuka, said, “It’s true that the price of chicken has gone beyond our pockets. Things are difficult. We are happy that pork is affordable, and it is also white meat. So, we have lost nothing. Some of them were de-fattened, so they are very good. Left for my wife who doesn’t like pork, it is my delight. My children have no options.”