The poultry farmers who are still struggling to recover from the losses inflicted by the two-year long pandemic, received a fresh blow due to increasing prices of poultry feed, medicines and other essentials in Hili upazila of Dinajpur.
Farmers said on the one hand, prices of poultry feed prices hiked abruptly and on the other hand, price of chicken declined in the local market incurring losses to them. Many farmers have already decided not to farm fresh chicks fearing possible loss.
Besides, a large number of chickens died of various diseases due to frequent disruption of electricity during summer, they said.
The sales also declined drastically due to the Covid-19. As a result, the farmers faced huge losses and many farmers were compelled to shut the business.
Roksana Begum, a poultry farmer of Dharanda village, started poultry farming with 1,500 to 1,700 chicks at her house five years back after the death of her husband. Although she made some profit at the beginning, but currently, she cannot make any profit due to increasing prices of poultry feed and other essentials.
She recently started farming of 1,700 chicks of Sonali variety with the price of each Tk 26. She wishes to sell those after they will gain 700-750 gm weight.
Every day, she buys 50 kg of poultry feed at Tk 3,200 for the chicks. She will have to spend Tk 2.24 lakh to feed the chicks while medicine, power, rice bran and other materials will cost more. One sack of rice bran is sold at Tk 500 while her current batch will need ten sacks of rice bran.
Wholesalers buy each kg of Sonali chicken at Tk 190 to Tk 200 from Roksana’s home. She can produce 1,700 kg to 1,800 kg chicken from each batch in her farm with the market price of Tk 2.55 lakh, providing narrow profit for her excluding the production costs.
“But I will continue the farm hoping for good fortune in the future,” Roksana said.
Besides, farming of broiler chicken is also experiencing same conditions. Arman Ali Prodhan, who farm white variety of boiler chicken, said “I started farming after renting a farm shed. I made some profit in the last batch but now prices of poultry feed and medicines have increased rapidly while price of chicken has dropped.”
This year it will be difficult to recover the production cost as per kg broiler chicken is now sold at Tk 110, he said.
Another poultry farmer Saikat Ali of Palpara village also voiced the same saying, “I have halted farming chicken due to continuous loss. Will resume the farming if the market price of chicken rise in the future.”
At the Hili local market, one kg of Sonali and broiler chicken were available at Tk 220 and Tk 120 respectively.
Meanwhile, upazila Livestock officials said they are providing all necessary advice to the farmers to sustain the poultry industry.
Hakimpur upazila Livestock official Dr Kazi Mahbubur Rahman said the upazila has 125 chicken farms and they are providing all necessary advice to farmers.
Earlier in October, poultry growers have placed 11 demands including access to easy and soft loans for the grassroot level poultry farmers through stimulus package; and checking the illogical price hike of poultry feeds and chicks, reports the United News of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Poultry Industry Forum (BPIF) placed the demands at a discussion meeting, organised by Bangladesh SME Forum, at Economic Reporters Forum Auditorium in the capital.
The BPIF leaders said the poultry industry has been experiencing a severe crisis due to recent increase in the price of its raw materials including feeds and chicks.
The BPIF leaders alleged that although the poultry products are selling at higher prices in the local market, the actual farmers at the grassroot levels are not getting the benefit of it. Rather, a middleman is being benefited from the increased price of the products, they observed.