Zarif Mahmud: According to the survey of Global Economist Forum, Bangladesh needs to invest at least Tk 100,000 crore for the poultry sector for ensuring minimum requirement of chicken and eggs. The present investment in the sector is about Tk 40,000 crore.
In a situation, some unscrupulous ‘business syndicate’ have made the market abnormal hiking price and creating artificial crisis. Recently, the syndicate has increased the chicken and egg prices almost 40 percent and the government has decided to import eggs.
Eggs are called complete food. It is one of the foods that are termed as super-foods in the world. As a result of continued production increase, the annual availability of eggs increased to 136 per capita last year, but this year it has decreased to 135.
According to the calculations of the Department of Livestock, the production of eggs in Bangladesh was 574.24 million pieces in the financial year 2009-10. In FY 2020-21, the number of eggs consumed per capita was more than 121. At present, the annual demand for eggs in the country is 1,806 million pieces, against which the production number is 2,337 million pieces. According to this, the annual availability of eggs per person is 135.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nutritional standards, every human being needs to consume a minimum of 104 eggs per year to stay healthy, according to Ministry of Animal Husbandry sources. However, there is no harm in eating more than this, nutrition experts said.
In 2017-18 egg production was 1552 crore, in 2018-19 egg production was 1711 crore, in 2019-20 egg production was 1736 crore and in 2020-21 egg production was 2057.64 crore. In the official statistics, eggs include poultry eggs, domestic chicken eggs, duck eggs, quail and pigeon eggs.
Officials of the Department of Livestock told Daily Industry that it is not possible to achieve the desired goals in this sector due to various reasons including some economic crisis in recent times. Achieving production targets has also been hampered since the corona pandemic. But now slowly trying to overcome that crisis. They think that the per capita availability of eggs will increase by next year.
Institutionally known farms produce only 10 to 12 percent of the total commercial poultry egg production in Bangladesh in small and large farms. In other words, 88 to 90 percent of the country’s eggs come from small and marginal farms.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), world egg production has increased by about 150 percent in the last three decades.
A positive campaign has been going on worldwide for 27 years since the International Egg Commission (IEC) Vienna Conference held in 1996. Through which the message of the necessity of eggs to meet the nutritional needs of the people of the world is being conveyed to everyone. Every year on the second Friday of October, ‘World Egg Day’ is celebrated around the world.
On October 11, 2013, ‘World Egg Day’ was celebrated for the first time in Bangladesh. Which was the 18th World Egg Day. Since then, World Egg Day has been celebrated in Bangladesh every year.
According to nutritionists, there is no age limit to eating eggs. The function of the egg begins by meeting the nutritional needs of the mother’s body even before birth. After that at every stage of life, people need the nutrition of eggs. Eggs are unmatched for providing the body with valuable essential nutrients throughout childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and the rest of life. If eggs can be properly promoted and if a large number of people in the country eat enough eggs, then the picture of malnutrition in the country can be completely changed. There are very few natural ideal foods in the world that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
It is known that the Asian continent is in a good position in the global production of eggs. China is the largest producer of eggs in the world. Egg production has increased by 24 percent in this decade as compared to last decade. Egg production in 2019 was 83 million tons, which is about 63 percent more than the egg production in 2000.
According to statistics from the International Egg Commission, China’s per capita egg consumption in 2020 was 255 and India’s was 76. According to the information provided by the Directorate of Animal Resources of Bangladesh, the number of eggs consumed per capita in Bangladesh in 2020 was 104.23, which is currently 135.
Those concerned say that the domestic poultry industry is making a significant contribution to the development of rural economy, poverty alleviation and empowerment of women. This sector has created the most employment after the garment industry. About 6 million people are directly and indirectly employed in the poultry industry – about 40 percent of whom are women. In a span of just four eras, a sector that was completely import-dependent is now largely on the path to self-reliance. At present, the domestic poultry industry is meeting 100% of the demand for poultry meat, eggs, day-old chicks and feed.
According to the estimates of the Department of Livestock, the current investment in the poultry industry has exceeded Tk 40 thousand crore. As of June this year (2023), the total number of commercial poultry farms in the country was 205,231. Among them, the number of ungistered farms is 85,227.
According to the Department of Livestock, 30-40 years ago, the per capita consumption of eggs in the country was on average five to seven. Currently this number is 135. About 64 million eggs are produced daily. Poultry meat production is about 3.8 million metric tons annually. Availability of chicken meat is about 22.38 kg per person per year.
The country has set a target of 165 per capita annual egg consumption by 2031 and 208 by 2041. Since 2019, Bangladesh has been exporting poultry and fish feed to two neighboring countries, India and Nepal. Preparations are underway to export poultry meat, meat products, eggs and chicks by 2025.
Egg producers say that due to the increase in the prices of other non-vegetable food products in the market, the demand for eggs as an affordable non-food product has increased manifold. The average production cost of eggs has increased from Tk 10 to Tk 10.50 in case of brown eggs due to rise in price of animal feed raw material in the international market, cost of electricity, transportation cost, above all increase in dollar price and decrease in supply. Although the egg production is temporarily reduced due to adverse weather and various reasons, it is returning to normal.
In this regard, Fisheries and Livestock Minister S M Rezaul Karim said, to build a prosperous nation, nutritious food must be ensured. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods. The need for eggs should be spread everywhere including villages. Everyone in the country should understand that one of the best food ingredients is egg.
He said, care should be taken to ensure that these food ingredients are not expensive. Rather, a joint plan will be taken by public-private initiatives to reduce the current expenditure. People should be encouraged to increase production and availability of eggs. New entrepreneurs should be created in the poultry industry. Self-reliance should be increased by increasing employment in this sector.
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