About 5000 poultry farms in Sirajganj, Pabna, Natore and Bogra districts in the Northern region of Bangladesh have closed in the last three months and many others are on their way to closure due to an abnormal price hike in chicks and poultry feed, posing threat to the industries.
Meanwhile, many farm owners have become unemployed and distressed, as they faced huge loss to carry the business and failed to pay the money of bank loan.
A powerful group of hatchery owners has increased the prices of chicks and poultry feeds by creating its artificial crisis, the poultry farms owners and traders complained.
"I had a poultry farm, started since 2005. But, I compelled to close that in the first hour of last month, as I incurred in debt, due to frequent loss to carry my poultry business, said Atiar Rahman, a former poultry farm owner of Bera upazila in Pabna district.
It was not possible to purchase a chick because the price had doubled. Besides, the price of poultry feed has increased abnormally. A kg of poultry feed is now being sold at double the price of about six month ago. As a result, I have bound to closure my farm to safe from loss", he said.
Livestock official sources said that, at present, there are about 10,000 poultry farms in four districts like Sirajganj, Pabna, Natore and Bogra. Of them, about 6000 are registered, while rests are unregistered. But the non-government sources claimed that, the total figure of poultry farms is now double than the government description.
However, the officials of Livestock offices in the districts admitted the closure of farms following the price hike of chicks and feed. They further said that, a section of dishonest hatchery owners has increased the prices ignoring government instruction, as there is no specific rule on this sector.