Broiler chicken prices have skyrocketed in the past two months across the country. Even two months ago, broiler chicken was sold at Tk 140 to Tk 150 per kg. The price of chicken has increased and is currently being sold at Tk 240 to Tk 260. The price of ‘Sonali’ chicken has also increased from Tk 330 to Tk 340 per kg. At the same time, local chicken variants are also being sold at an increased price.
Retailers say wholesale traders and farmers are raising chicken prices citing rising food prices and supply costs. As a result, it has to be bought at a higher price and sold at a higher price in the retail market. Farmers, on the other hand, say that big companies have reduced the supply of chicks. It's their price gouging strategy.
The farmers requested that the government should fix the price of the baby, the price of food and the selling price of chicken. Otherwise, grassroots farmers will move away from this sector.
If there was a law that the hatchery owner could only produce the hatchery but not raise it, then this cycle would be broken. Grassroots farmers could sell chicken at affordable prices.
It has been found that two years ago, the price of a 50 kg bag of broiler feed was Tk 1700. The current price is Tk 3,600 to Tk 3,700 per bag as the price of food increases every month. There were about 5,500 poultry farms in the district.
About 3500 farms have closed due to doubling of food prices.
Hannan, the rickshaw driver who came to the market, said in a tone of regret, "Does anyone consider us as human beings?" The price of broiler chicken is Tk 240 per kg. We have to market with our daily earnings. It has become impossible for us to buy and eat broiler chicken meat for 240 Tk. No one cares about us. My daily income is 300 to 350 taka. It is not possible for me to buy broiler chicken and eat it now.
Shahidullah, Manik, Alamgir, Kamrul and others who came to the market said that it is difficult for low-income people to buy chicken at such a price. Due to the price, beef or goat meat was out of reach for a long time. Now the price of broiler chicken is also out of reach. The way the prices have increased, poor people like us are in trouble. Now it seems that we will not eat meat even during the month.
Shafiqul Islam Shafiq, a farmer of Sadar Upazila, said, I stopped the business due to business losses. I started business again. Out of 3 batches, 2 batches were lost. Food prices have increased 5 to 6 times this year. Many have closed their businesses in our area. The selling price should be in line with the price of food.
Farmer Shafiullah of Sadar Upazila said, we have fallen into a cycle. A few days ago, the company fixed the price of the child at a maximum of 55 Tk. But big companies are making cycles and selling babies for 70-80 taka. Which is not desirable at all. It takes a lot of effort and money on the part of the farmer to raise the baby and make it marketable. At the end of the month, sales prices in the market are abnormally fluctuating due to the cycle. Due to which the grass roots farmers are winding down the business unable to bear the burden of losses.
Bangladesh Poultry Farm Protection National Council Kishoreganj District Branch President AK Fazlul Haque said that the farmers have suffered a lot of losses in this sector in the 2 years of the coronavirus epidemic. As the price of chicken feed has doubled, marginal farmers have to count losses in 6 out of 8 batches in a year. Poultry production has decreased but demand has increased. That is why the price has increased. It is a temporary problem.
When asked that the farmers are claiming that big companies have reduced the supply of chicks, President of Bangladesh Poultry Farm Protection National Council Kishoreganj district branch AK Fazlul Haque said that the hen who laid eggs for the production of chicks have been decreased. Due to which the production of chicks has decreased.
National Consumer Protection Directorate Kishoreganj District Assistant Director Hriday Ranjan Banik said, we are working to bring the price of broiler chicken to a reasonable level in coordination with the Directorate of Animal Resources.
District animal resource officer Dr Nazrul Islam said, price control is not in our hands. Food prices have doubled. Hatcheries producing chicks, on the other hand, have reduced production.
These two reasons have increased the price of chicken. Currently, the price of 1-day-old chicks is Tk 60-65. We are asking hatchery owners to increase production.