Industry Desk: Marking an overall increase in food prices, broiler chicken is being sold at Tk200-220/kg and eggs at Tk150/dozen in kitchen markets across the country for over a week.
And due to this price hike, farmers who had been making losses for a long time by selling eggs and chicken below production costs, are now making a profit, claimed Bangladesh Poultry Association (BPA) President Suman Haoladar in a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday.
The BPA president said, “A marginalised poultry farmer spends, as production cost, Tk148 for a kg of chicken and Tk11.11 for a piece of egg. But they used to charge Tk118-120 for a kg of chicken and less than Tk10 for an egg. This is why these farmers incurred losses for a very long period. “Now when prices of eggs and chickens have gone up in the market, the farmers are getting fair prices. They are now being able to sell chicken at Tk160/kg.”
Haoladar said that prices of chicken and eggs are not to come down until the production costs drop.
He said, “Big companies produce broiler chickens and eggs with their own poultry feed, chicks and medicine. Costs are low for them and this why they are being able sale chicken at a rate of Tk118-120/kg.
“To put things into perspective, small farmers are buying feed at Tk3,500 (50kg) (for big corporates the price is Tk2,500), and chicks at Tk56/piece. Adding all the costs, they are spending Tk148 for a kg of broiler chicken.
“However, when corporate companies are making sales at Tk120/kg, root-level farmers like us have to match or undercut that price to survive in the market. A small farmer has the ability to supply some 5-10 thousand chickens. Whereas, a big company supplies close to lakh chickens.”
He said, “Despite small farmers having a market share of around 80%, it is the big companies that control everything. For example, a chick they [big companies] sold for Tk9 on 5 January, is now being sold for Tk56.”
In the press conference, BPA claimed that many farms had to be shut down as they made sales at prices lower than their production expenses.
Out of 160,000 poultry farms across the country, only 60,000 are currently in production and due to this supply has been disrupted and prices have shot up.
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