Bangladesh: A tough 2008 ahead for the poultry sector
Last year Bangladesh experienced turmoil with an avian
flu outbreak, floods and a cyclone; all which were weighed down by higher feed
costs. 2007 saw the previously booming poultry industry shrink. Recovery in 2008
is needed from last year's occurrences.
In recent years the poultry industry has been growing
at an annual rate of about 15%, recording a turnover of Tk 7,000-8,000
(€69 million - €79 million) in
According to initial estimates by industry experts however, this
figure is likely to have fallen to below Tk 7,000 (€69 million) crore in
"The industry is undergoing a silent form of famine. I do not see anything
good in the coming days," said MM Khan, technical adviser and spokesman of
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association.
Causes of the declining industry
Avian flu was the
industry's main problem in 2007. According to the livestock and fisheries
ministry, some 2.85 lakh of poultry were culled since the outbreak of bird flu
early last year.
But the twin floods and the cyclone Sidr also killed
lakhs of poultry in the affected areas.
The price of maize is the main problem currently for
the industry. As maize is the main feed for poultry, this is causing
Mr Saleque, general secretary of World
Poultry Science Association, Bangladesh, was however hopeful that bird flu is
almost under control.
"The price of maize is increasing continuously," said Saleque. He added that prices of maize
per kg were selling in the range of Tk 16-17 (€0.15 - €0.16) during December 2007,
up from Tk 11-12 (€0.10 - €0.11) a year before.
"If we fail to improve the situation by the next couple of months, many
farms will shut down," said Saleque.
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