Retailers blamed the recent price increase on the waywardness of hatchery owners
Prices in kitchen markets across Khulna have began to go up ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, which could begin on May 6 depending on moon sighting.
Local and farm chickens are already witnessing a significant price hike, with the price of eggs also witnessing an increase.
In the past 22 days, the prices of eggs increased by 34%, farm chicken by 26%, and local chicken by 19%. Prices of different types of chicken have gone up by Tk50 to Tk60 per kg.
Retailers blamed the recent price increase on the waywardness of hatchery owners, lack of monitoring in local markets, and next-to-no action from the Department of Livestock.
A poultry and fish feed businessman, SM Sohrab Hossain, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Only a month ago, a one-day-old chick was being sold for around Tk34. Now hatchery owners have hiked the price to Tk72.
“For every Tk10 increase on meat prices per kg, the hatchery owners hike chick prices by Tk20.”
Sohrab further said: “In 2013, the then government set prices of one-day-old farm chicks at Tk30, and layer chicks at Tk32 for hatchery owners. The owners however filed a writ against the government directive with the High Court, suspending the set prices.
“After that, the hatchery owners became even more reckless with their prices. Raising a day-old chick costs about Tk30, including a 25% profit margin. But owners are selling the chicks for exorbitant market prices.”
According to a number of chicken and egg retailers, wholesale price for a kg of farm chicken was around Tk100 around 22 days ago in markets around Khulna. The price has since gone up to Tk140.
Other species of chicken, such as the Pakistani cock and Sonali are being sold for around Tk230 and Tk215 a kg respectively. Retail price for farm and cock chickens have gone up at Tk150 and Tk250 respectively.
‘Administration remains silent’
Khulna Poultry and Fish Feed Industry Owners' Association have issued a statement, expressing concerns about the ongoing price hike.
The statement read: “Despite a 34% increase in prices of eggs, 26% increase in farm chicken meat, 19% increase in local chicken meat per kg, the administration remains silent about the issue.”
Khulna Poultry and Fish Feed Industry Owners' Association President Maulana Ibrahim Foyzullah, Treasurer Md Mamunur Rahman, and businessman SM Sohrab Hossain stated that despite the poultry and dairy farming industries’ contribution in the country’s employment and nutrition sector, they are being ignored.
They demanded that more benefits and facilities be introduced to the poultry and dairy farmers, including dedicated insurance services, fixed market prices of chicks, meat, and eggs and regular monitoring of markets.