The price of brown farmed chicken egg has risen repeatedly since the first week of current month, creating additional financial burden to the consumers.
Price of egg, a great source of protein for lower and middle-income groups of population across the country, has jumped to Tk 12.50 from Tk 10 in recent weeks.
Producers and traders showed low production and increased production cost as the reasons behind the sudden price hike. They suggested government’s policy support to resolve the matter.
According to the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) sources, forgery committed by the producers and suppliers of egg was behind the price hike in the last month. Bangladesh Competition Commission also sued several people in this regard. Although egg price rose slowly this month but it should be investigated.
A dozen of brown and white eggs were sold at Tk 150 in different markets in the capital on Sunday which was Tk 120 at the beginning of this month.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of egg has risen by 18 per cent in last one month.
Earlier in August, the price of a dozen of egg also jumped to Tk 150 which later gradually slipped to Tk 120 following drives operated by the DNCRP.
AHM Shafiquzzaman, director general of DNCRP, said the directorate will operate monitoring drive if the agriculture ministry or fisheries and livestock ministry fix the egg price scrutinising the production costs.
“Monitoring will be useless without that. Besides, we can’t remain busy with one food item only. But still we are observing the matter,” he said.
Earlier, Competition Commission sued several business organisations including Kazi Farms, Paragon Poultry Limited and president of Egg Traders’ Association. Hearing of the cases will be held on Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, poultry industry owners termed the recent price hike rational stating that the increasing production costs and reduction in production have caused the hike. To reduce the price, production cost should be reduced with significant rise in production, they suggested. They also sought long-term plan regarding the poultry industry.
A report over production cost, prepared by Prof Anowarul Haque of Bangladesh Agriculture University on behalf of Bangladesh Poultry Farm Protection National Council (BPKRJP), stated that production cost of each egg is Tk 11.11 and showed profit margin of Tk 1.39 at retail level. This profit is divided among three parties: farm owners, wholesalers and retailers.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) President Moshiur Rahman said, “We are trying to reach egg at cheap rate to the doors of consumers. We all are currently in crisis. The situation will return to normal after prices of raw materials falls and rate of dollar returns to normalcy.”
BPKRJP General Secretary Khandakar Mohsin recently said that poultry farmers are stepping aside from the business gradually due to higher production costs and low selling price.
“Currently, the country has around 79,000-81,000 poultry farmers while the number was 88,000- 89,000 at the beginning of this year, according to the BPKRJP. Still the poultry farmers are selling eggs at low price compared to the production costs,” he added.
Ihtesham B Shahjahan, chairman of the Feed Industries Association of Bangladesh, also voiced same, saying that the recent price hike of egg was rational; production costs should be cut short to reduce the price of egg and chicken. Besides, he also suggested reduction of dollar rate and tax.