Bangladesh's poultry industry is facing significant challenges from bird flu and high feed prices, as well as a lack of government oversight, according to farmers, harming producers and driving them out of business.
Nearly 6,000 poultry farms were shut down between November 2011 and February due to either avian influenza or higher feed prices, according to the Bangladesh Poultry Industry Association. The country had 114,763 poultry farms in 2009 but, following the spread of bird flu, the number of farms declined to 74,000 in 2010 and 64,000 in 2011. According to the Department of Livestock Services, between November 2011 and February around 69,000 chickens were culled and 70,342 eggs were destroyed due to outbreaks of avian influenza.
In addition, without government oversight, some producers are causing poultry prices to skyrocket.
According to the Bangladesh Poultry Industry Association, the price of a one-day-old broiler baby bird has increased to Tk 65-75 (US$0.79-0.92) from Tk 25-26 (US$0.31-0.32) and the price of a one-day-old layer baby chick has increased to Tk 85-90 (US$1.04-1.10) from Tk 20-22 (US$0.24-0.27) since the start of 2012. The poultry feed price of broilers has increased to Tk 42-44 (US$0.51-0.54) from Tk 32-34 (US$0.39-0.41) and feed for a layer has increased to Tk 36-38 (US$0.44-0.46) from Tk26-28 (US$0.32-0.34) per kilogram since the beginning of 2012.