Over the last two years three of India’s poultry giants, Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group, Shuguna and Amrit, have expanded their operations to Bangladesh.
The attraction was the growth in the local industry and the prospects of increased demand for protein due to the rise in incomes and a large population.
Suguna Foods, India’s number one broiler producer and a pioneer in poultry integration, has leased a number of parent stock farms to breed chicks to market among farmers. They have also rented a feed mill.
India’s poultry conglomerate Venkateshwara Hatcheries (VH) Group, also known as Venky’s, has set up a feed mill, Uttara Food and Feeds Ltd, to grab a part of 2,500,000 tonnes of annual market for feed in poultry and fish farms. They also have plans to set up a grand parent stock farm in Sylhet.
The arrival of foreign companies has created worries among the local poultry and feed industry operators who fear uneven competition as foreign companies get funds at lower costs.
Ihtesham Shahjahan, general secretary of Feed Industries Association of Bangladesh, said foreign companies enter Bangladesh market because of competitive advantage in terms of loans that they get at lower interest rate from abroad.
He said the production capacity by Bangladeshi companies far exceeds the present annual demand for 2,700,000-3,000,000 tonnes of feed.
“So, why do we invite outsiders with a huge competitive advantage,” he said, urging the government to make a list of possible investment areas where local companies are yet to venture or bring in new technology.
It should be done in consultation with the local industries, he said.