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Farmers Urge Govt to Reverse Import Decision

21 August 2009

BANGLADESH - Poultry farmers are asking the government to reverse its decision allowing more imports of poultry meat and eggs from India in order to bring down retail prices.

Poultry farmers yesterday urged the government to take steps to reduce chicks and poultry feed prices rather than resorting to imports to contain the market price of eggs, according to Daily Star of Bangladesh.

After a day-long convention, farmers announced they would no longer buy chicks from hatcheries until chick prices come down to a tolerable level.

Presently, poultry farmers have to spend 55 to 65 taka (BDT) for a day-old broiler chicken, while they have to count BDT75 for the same aged layer chicken. The farmers allege that the price of each broiler chicken was BDT 25 and each layer chicken was less than BDT35 a month ago.

Meanwhile, the prices of poultry feed continue to shoot up. At present, a kilo of broiler feed sells at BDT28 and layer feed at BDT24. Poultry farmers urged the government to fix the price at BDT20 for layer feed and BDT 23 for broiler within the next seven days.

The government has recently announced that it would import eggs to check egg prices on the local market.

"Importing eggs is not enough to keeping egg prices within tolerable limits," said Abdul Barek Sarkar, president of Bangladesh Poultry Khamar Rakkha Jatiya Sangram Parishad, at a press meet at the National Press Club in Dhaka.

Four eggs are now selling at BDT28 to 30, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh's daily market price update.

"We are now trying to regain our foothold in the sector that was crushed by the onslaught of bird flu. Under such circumstances, any step favouring the import of egg and poultry from neighbouring India will obstruct our efforts," said Khandker Md Mohsin, general secretary of Bangladesh Poultry Khamar Rakkha Jatiya Sangram Parishad.

Farmers expressed resentment over moves to relax existing import restrictions, as many are struggling to make up for losses from the perils of bird flu that hit the BDT150 billion worth poultry industry in early 2007.

"We have to spend as much as BDT5.30 to produce an egg because of the high price of day-old chicks and feed," Mr Mohsin told Daily Star.

He also blamed middlemen for the high prices of eggs, which are now selling at more than BDT8 a piece at retail level.

More than 100,000 poultry farms are producing 12.5 million eggs a day. The farmers also supply about 1,000 tonnes of chicken a day, concludes the Daily Star article.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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