The number of designated staff at the Thakurgaon poultry farm is 14, but only eight remain employed
The district’s sole poultry farm is running for the past year without a manager, without a broiler house, and with a pond that has almost dried up.
This has rendered the Tk1 crore investment made by the government futile. It has also impacted the local kitchen market, as people are not being able to purchase poultry meat or eggs at affordable prices.
In an effort to meet the poultry demands of the northern districts, namely Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Nilphamari, the poultry farm was set up on 3.17 acres of land in front of Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital in the 1982-83 fiscal year.
Despite presenting massive potential, mismanagement and negligence from authorities prevented the poultry farm from picking up pace.
The number of designated staff at the Thakurgaon poultry farm is 14, but only eight remain employed. The post of manager has remained vacant for the last year.
Local livestock officer Dr Abdur Rahim is running the farm on an ad hoc basis, and attends on a semi-regular basis.
Even the staff quarters are not looked after, de-motivating employees from performing their duties.
Currently there are three chicken sheds, but one of them remains empty. Twenty-two Faiyumi breed chickens are kept in one shed, while 2,700 two-to-three-day-old chicks are located in another.
Due to the lack of incubators, the eggs are not bred into chicks. Whenever the chicks reach 40 days of age, they are sold off.
The absence of a broiler house also prevents the chicks from getting the proper temperature to grow organically.
Despite the poultry farm being able to rear ducks, from the first day they have never been reared. The lake beside the farm that was supposed to house the ducks is now a cesspool for dumping medical waste from the adjacent hospital.
A poultry farm employee, requesting anonymity, said they had asked hospital authorities to refrain from dumping their waste into the pond, but to no avail.
Another employee had earlier set up a fish farm, but outsiders stealing away all the fish forced him to scrap that project, he added.
The poultry farm previously used to breed various breeds of chicken, as well as both local and broiler eggs, but those were not maintained by authorities.
The current employees demanded renovation of the existing infrastructure, which could still salvage the farm, including newer sheds, updated staff quarter, a hatchery and incubators.
Kawser, a retail poultry trader in nearby Thakurgaon bus stand cooperative market, said the local market could have depended on the farm’s produce, but they have to bring in their products from other areas, thus increasing price amid often-low supplies.