Bangladesh poultry farmers will receive interest waivers on their bank loans as part of the government's plan to revitalize the industry in the wake of ongoing avian influenza challenges, according to reports.
The waiver is part of an extension from the ministry of fisheries and livestock. "The foreign businessmen in Bangladesh's poultry industry are taking loan at 4–5 percent interest, while our businessmen pay 15–16 percent interest," said the ministry. "So, the foreigners are expanding business very fast and sending a significant amount of money abroad." The high domestic interest rates have caused price hikes in chicken and eggs.
Sector leaders said nearly 47 percent of local poultry farms have closed in the last one-and-a-half years due to spread of avian influenza. In that time, the number of poultry farms has dropped from 114,763 to 60,824. "After incurring massive losses during the last one-and-a-half years, none has the capacity to inject fresh money," said Convener of the Bangladesh Poultry Industry Coordination Committee Moshiur Rahman. "So, we immediately need rescheduling of our bank loans so that we can arrange new loans from banks."