27 September, 2010

India's poultry giant sets foot in Bangladesh


Indian poultry giant Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group began its operations in Bangladesh yesterday.

The US$650 million conglomerate, which claims to be the largest fully integrated poultry group in Asia, says the company plans to replicate its Indian success through revolutionising the poultry sector in Bangladesh.

"Our aim is to bring the state-of-the-art technologies of poultry farming to the doorsteps of the common rural farmers of Bangladesh," said VH Group's Joint Managing Director, B Venkatesh Rao, in his speech.

The three-decade-old company, which boasts an 85% share of India's poultry market, will produce broiler and layer feeds under the brand name "Venky's", through Uttara Foods and Feeds Private Ltd, one of its major concerns.

The corporate giant launched its operation through a ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

The colourful event was attended by famous Indian actor Sanjay Dutt and Australian cricket star Brett Lee, among many other eminent personalities.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Md Abdul Latif Biswas attended the ceremony as the chief guest, while senior officials from the company were present at the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Biswas came down hard on traders who were deliberately trying to manipulate the prices of poultry products in the market.

"Although the government has fixed the prices of major poultry products in a bid to check the price spiral, it is frustrating that some traders are defying the directive," the minister said.

While the fisheries and livestock ministry has set the maximum prices of one-day broiler and layer chick at BDT30 (US$0.43) and BDT32 (US$0.46) respectively, some poultry dealers are selling them at prices as high as BDT90 (US$1.29) to BDT100 (US$1.44), he said.

Highlighting the important role of the poultry industry in the economy, the minister said the sector has created employments for around 2.5 million people while contributing to poverty alleviation nationally.

"As a whole, the livestock sector has generated indirect employment opportunities for 20% of the population while creating indirect employment for around 50%," he said.

Though poultry is a major source of nutrition, a huge gap remains between the demand and supply of poultry products in the country, he said.

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