December 13, 2013
In the last three months, poultry industry in Bangladesh has incurred more than BDT4,000 crore (US$506 million) in losses and 30% of farms closed because of escalating political turmoil.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Coordination Committee (BPICC), a combined body of six major poultry associations in the country, organised it at the National Press Club and demands political stability to save the industry.
The industry leaders urged the ruling party and the opposition to find an immediate solution to the current political crisis so that the businesses could be run in a peaceful environment.
Moshiur Rahman, convenor of BPICC, said: "We are unable to bear losses caused by the on-going political unrest."
Moshiur demanded rescheduling bank loans, waiver of interest, providing financial support to resume the closed-down farms and incentives and monetary stimulus to recover their losses.
Saidur Rahman Babu, secretary of Breeders Association of Bangladesh (BAB), said: "Farmers had to sell day-old chicks at a rate of BDT15-20 (US$0.19-0.25) per chick while the production cost was BDT35 (US$0.44). Broiler chickens were sold at BDT70-80 (US$0.88-1.01) per kilogramme at farm level against the production cost of BDT110-120 (US$1.40-1.52)."
Saidur claimed that the breeders suffered losses of around BDT382 crore (US$48 million) in last three months. Kazi Zahedul Hasan, managing director of Kazi Farms Limited and senior vice-president of BAB, said continuous hartals and blockades have almost stalled the supply of eggs.
Not only that, but the supply of poultry feeds to the farms has also been disrupted as political unrest continues, Kazi Zahedul Hasan added. He urged the parties concerned to keep vehicles carrying eggs, chicks, chickens and feeds out of the enforcement of hartals and blockades.
Fazle Rahim Khan Shahriar, secretary of the Feed Industries Association Bangladesh (FIAB), said the demand reduced to 35-40% as the farms incurred BDT1,000 crore (US$126 million) loss in the past 13 weeks (three months). The demand of feeds during the period was around 600,000 tonnes, he said.
Taher Ahmed Siddiqui, president of the Egg Producers Association, said the weekly production of eggs is around 100 million and five million eggs. He said they had suffered losses of BDT266 crore (US$34 million) for failure to sell 30% of their total production and BDT364 crore (US$46 million) for selling at rates less than production costs.
Rafiqul Haque, secretary of the World's Poultry Science Association- Bangladesh Branch (WPSA-BB), said the industry has suffered losses of BDT975 crore (US$123 million) from commercial broiler poultry farming.
M Nazrul Islam, general secretary of Animal Health Companies Association of Bangladesh (AHCAB), claimed the market has squeezed to 63% from that of normal situation, making it suffer BDT158 crore (US$20 million) loss in the last 13 weeks.
Md Helal Uddin, vice president of FBCCI, said the poultry sector as well as the entire businesses of the country are "burning in politics." He hoped the political leaders would soon understand the situation and come to a peaceful solution.
Poultry industry leaders stressed that if poultry industry crashed, poverty, unemployment and malnutrition will rise, rural economy will be affected while food security will face a serious challenge.
They forwarded memorandums with seven-point demands to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Leader of the Opposition Begum Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad.