Prices of chickens, eggs rise further
THE prices of chickens and eggs marked another hike on the city markets, making these sources of protein nearly unaffordable for most of the people here. On retail market in Dhaka one farm egg is selling for Tk 9 and chicken for Tk 160-165 per kilogram. It is unprecedented in the country. One-day chick breeders are mainly responsible for such sky-high prices. Of course, the poultry farm owners, poultry feed producers and government decision makers are partially responsible. People are frustrated with such a high price of eggs. The prices of poultry birds have doubled during the past few years.
The majority of the population in the country is poor and ultra-poor. They are confronting trouble even to purchase the necessary food items. As egg and poultry birds were relatively less costly, they used to opt for these items. Those are out of their reach now. It is unbelievable that an elected government has been showing apathy and has not taken steps to help the consumers. Definitely, the common people will show their reaction in the upcoming city corporation elections and the national elections, scheduled to be held at beginning of 2014.
A handful of one-day chick producers are making propaganda that free import of one-day chick and eggs would spread bird flu and destroy poultry farms. Indeed, it is their strategy to monopolise one-day chick business and sell a one-day chick at even Tk 60, which should not be more than Tk 20.
As a long-tern solution, the government should take measures to produce at least half of one-day chick requirement and sell those to poultry firms at reasonable price without profit and without subsidy. As a short-term measure to save the consumers, the government should open import of one-day chick and farm eggs. To support the poultry farms, CD, VAT, AIT, etc may be imposed but in aggregate those should not be more than Tk 0.50 per egg.
Md Ashraf Hossain
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