Small poultry farms need to be saved

04 November 2021

Leaders of Bangladesh Marginal Poultry Industry Organization (BMPIO) have asked the government to take measures to reduce poultry feed prices and demanded protection from big poultry companies as their big capital and monopoly over the business is threatening the existence of small poultry farmers. They raised the demand at a human chain programme in front of the National Press Club on Tuesday. Marginal farmers have rightly said they started poultry farming in the country selling their land or leaving jobs to create a new business which showed prospects for better earning. They gradually gave structure to the industry when today's big companies started as feed suppliers to rising poultry farms. Slowly various businessmen became interested in this sector with big money of their own or bank loans and thus owners of feed business quickly became owners of big mainstream poultry business.
The marginal poultry farmers said the big farms are now controlling the market by producing all kinds of chickens including feed, chicks, broilers and layers, and pushing small farmers to the brink. They have therefore asked for government intervention to save the small farmers. Their demands moreover call for the quality feed supply for poultry, keeping the prices of broiler and layer chickens at reasonable margins and raising the quality of chicks. Small poultry Industry owners are also right when they demand loans at reasonable rates to registered farms in every upazila; and not to allow a single farmer to produce disproportionately higher numbers of chickens which elbow out smaller ones.
We know that big poultry farms or companies that own several poultry farms each are controlling the import of poultry feed and medicine, and forcing smaller ones to buy those at exorbitantly high prices. In fact the industry structure has become distorted as a small numbers of big farms are controlling smaller farms in absence of any regulatory or business rules. The industry has suffered serious setbacks amid the pandemic and smaller farms are struggling to revive business. Many small farmers have shut down their farms. We would agree with small farmers' pleas to give them loans for reopening the business. Market information suggests poultry now sells at exorbitant prices and one of the reasons are post pandemic market disorders. We would want the concerned authorities to help resolve the industry's problems.

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