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Poultry farmers seek suitable business atmosphere in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI, March 14, 2018 (BSS) - The remaining marginal poultry farmers here are looking for fair price of the produced eggs and birds coupled with reasonable price of poultry feed, medicine and chicks for making their existing business sustainable.

"We need at least congenial atmosphere to run our business smoothly and successfully," said Enamul Haque, owner of a poultry farm in the city, adding that there is an enormous scope of furthermore promoting the sector.

While talking to BSS he mentioned existence of poultry industry is very important for supplying proteins to the community regularly. Its role is also vital to generate employment and poverty eradication.

Enamul produces around 3,200 eggs per day on an average in his 5,500-bird farm currently. He started his business with 550 birds in 2004 with an initial investment of around Taka 4.5 lakh elevating his business capital to Taka 40 lakh at present. Seven day-labourers including two females are working there.

He says production cost for each of the eggs is around Taka 5 whereas its wholesale price is hardly Taka 4.30 in local markets.

On the contrary, he said the consumers in general have to purchase an egg at Taka five to six in retail markets. Enamul terms the problem as artificial and manmade and demanded rational reduction of price-gap between wholesale and retail.

"I have compelled to reduce the number of birds to 4,000 from 10,000 to minimize the gradually declining operating cost to some extent," said Arifuz Zaman, owner of Asif Poultry Farm at Kamlapur under Godagari Upazila.

Nadim Hossain, Owner of Tanaka Agro Limited at Kapasia under Paba Upazila, draws government attention and intervention to protect the sector.

"Basically, we have no hands on markets as it's totally controlled by all the persons concerned," said Nazim Uddin, District Livestock Officer.

He said there are 577 layer hen farms in the district. The hens at those farms and the local variety hens lay about 34 crore eggs every year. But, the demand of egg in the district is 22 crore and the extra eggs are sent to different districts.

"We along with around 45,000 workers are facing an embarrassing situation due to the exorbitant price of poultry feed, medicines and chicks in one hand and lower price of eggs and birds on the other hand," lamented Masudul Haque Nilu.

Nilu, district unit president of Poultry Owners Association, told BSS that more than 3,500 businessmen have compelled to shut down their business in the district incurring huge loss during the last couple of years.

He alleged that although there are some rules and regulations for poultry market but those are not followed. The syndicates mainly control the market system, he added.

Many enthusiastic educated people came up to the sector with positive investment but couldn't survive due to adverse situation.

"If the present worsening situation continues, the local poultry sector will face huge loss in near future. In this connection, we are taking some steps to solve the problem," Nilu added.