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Poultry Show Highlights Need for Govt Support

by 5m Editor
28 March 2011, at 9:04am

BANGLADESH - The three-day-long International Poultry Show and Seminar-2011 has ended in Dhaka. Breaking previous records for exhibitors and visitors, it confirmed the importance of the country's poultry industry in feeding the population and the need for government support.

The seventh in the series, the latest one was the biggest ever such show in the country held under the auspices of the World Poultry Science Association, Bangladesh Branch (WPSA-BB), reports Financial Express of Bangladesh. The mega-event showcased, in 246 stands, the products of 23 participating countries including Bangladesh. It was considered very useful for knowledge-sharing, technology transfer and also for the business. It was reported that business amounting to some Taka 10 billion was contracted during the holding of this event.

The poultry industry has pointed for some time as one which has multi-faceted prospects. First of all, it showed the way to increasing protein availability for the country's vast population. The traditional poultry birds ā€“ reared naturally and in an unplanned manner ā€“ have been the mainstay for many years. But the needs of the growing population dictated planned breeding of poultry birds to cope with the higher demand. Thus, planned breeding of poultry that started from the eighties is now a well established.

According to statistics available from operators in the sector, there are now about five Grand Parent stock farms, 40 to 50 Parent stock farms and hatcheries, 70,000 to 80,000 poultry farms and 15 to 20 poultry feed factories in the private sector. The sector is also poised to grow rapidly. It has already posted growth of some 20 per cent in the last 15 years. Owners and operators in the industry are confident that it could grow rapidly in the coming years and create employment opportunities for another 10 million people. The employment would be created mainly among the current jobless ones at the grassroots levels. This is certainly very heartening news for an economy that suffers from a heavy burden of unemployment.

The poultry industry is not only meeting substantial local needs; it has found newer opportunities from value addition. Food industries have grown up based on chicken that produce soups, nuggets, sausages and other products, in accordance with the changing preferences of the customers. Some of these local poultry-based and value-added products have also found export markets. The export trend looks encouraging.

But the faster and fuller realisation of the potentials of this sector also require the government's supportive measures. The association of owners in this industry drew attention to the needs of such supports in a recently held conference. Maize, the basic ingredient for making chicken feed, needs to be imported. The industry's importers have requested the withdrawal of the existing provision of advance income tax (AIT) on import of maize and also similar withdrawal of tax from feeds. They are also seeking duty concessions on other imported materials and medicines needed by the poultry industry. The government should examine these requests and meet them to a reasonable extent. Some pro-active government incentives are likely to create the environment for further growth of this sector. Furthermore, it is important to encourage the establishment of industries to produce these materials and medicines within the country.

There is also another vital area where the government can contribute, according to Financial Express. This is in the area of monitoring and regulation. It was stated in the WPSA-BB Poultry Show that 2.0 billion taka (BDT) was lost in this sector in the last three months from avian influenza and the consequent culling of birds. Another estimate said that some BDT550 billion could have been lost since 2007 for the same reasons. Thus, the relevant agencies of the government will have to improve and extend their monitoring and regulatory functions. Specially, governmental supervision to create conditions for healthy breeding of the poultry birds in the farms, is critically important. On its part, the government needs to take up extensive and regular countrywide monitoring and preventive activities to detect cases of avian influenza, to stop its outbreak from taking an epidemic form.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.