By Laxman Kafle Kathmandu, Aug. 30:The price of chicken has dropped sharply in the market over the last weeks owing to low demand against its supply. The retail price of chickens has dropped to Rs. 240 per kilogram in the market following the decline in its demand after the implementation of prohibition order in various places across the country, said Junga Bahadur BC, president of National Chicken Sellers Association. The price of chicken stood at over Rs. 390 per kilogram a month ago when the government eased the lockdown across the country. The demand for chicken across the country dropped by 80 per cent and price by 40 per cent within a month after prohibition order was enforced by the local administrations in various places, he said. “The supply of chicken had increased in the market after the removal of the lockdown. But now, the enforcement of prohibition order has affected the demand resulting in sharp fall in prices as meat shops are allowed to open only in the morning,” he told The Rising Nepal. During current prohibitory order, local administrations in Kathmandu Valley allow meat shops to open only until 9 am every day, which has badly affected the consumption of meat items. “The daily consumption of chicken has dropped to 50,000 kilogram in the Kathmandu Valley at present while it was above 300,000 kilogram in the normal time,” he said. Kathmandu is one of the major markets for chicken. The daily demand for chicken stood at around 9 million kilogram across the country in the normal period. 'Chicken sold below production cost' Coordinator of National Poultry Entrepreneur Struggle Committee Bishnu Khadka said that farmers were getting around Rs. 160 per kilogram for live bird at present which was almost Rs. 270 per kilogram before the prohibition order. “Present price of live bird is significantly lower than earlier one. Farmers are facing a loss while selling their live chicken at the rate of Rs. 160 per kilogram. The cost of production of a live chicken is Rs. 200 per kilogram,” he said. He blamed that the chicken traders had been engaged to reduce the price of chicken in the name of probation order as they were collecting chickens from poultry farms normally. “Traders are collecting chickens from farmers regularly in mass quantity despite decline in demand in the market. The intention of the traders is to store chicken by purchasing at low rate and sell after a month when the market faces shortage of chicken,” he said. He said that the consumption of chicken had not decreased by 80 per cent as claimed by the sellers. Khadka said that the traders had slashed the price of chicken three times in a week citing the cause of reduced consumption.