The Bangladeshi poultry industry is aiming to begin exporting products by 2025.
To achieve this goal, the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) has called on the government to allow the sector some relief from taxation, reports Dhaka Tribune. Following the losses that mounted up during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, this support is needed all the more by the nation’s poultry sector.
Already, several proposals for additional support have been sent to the appropriate government bodies by organizations representing producers, traders, and entrepreneurs. For farmers, tax cuts and exemptions for the coming year are needed to help recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. For the next decade, BPICC is calling for extensions to a range of benefits. These include all benefits on advance tax, advance income tax, taxes, duties, and Value Added Tax (VAT). Currently set at 2-5%, there is also a proposal to make raw materials collected from local sources to be exempt of all taxes.
Meanwhile, the country’s feed sector is requesting the corporation tax is lowered from the present 15% to 5%. This tax was introduced for the sector in 2011. In subsequent years, the rate was gradually raised until it was hiked up to 15% in the 2016 financial year.
For Md Ahsanuzzaman, who is secretary-general of the Feeders’ Industries Association of Bangladesh (FIAB), the nation’s poultry industry is looking at an imminent collapse. Such a catastrophe would put at risk the jobs of around six million people in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh poultry sector counts the costs of the pandemic
Dhaka Tribune reports that prices of poultry products fell to a 12-year low during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feed output is reported to have fallen by up to 40%, and sales of veterinary pharmaceuticals by 50% in June of 2020.
During the pandemic, losses accrued by the poultry industry of Bangladesh were estimated at 70 billion taka (BDT; US$826 million). In the period January-May of 2021, the poultry feed sub-sector alone lost BDT5.29 billion, according to BPICC.
As well as the nation’s poultry industry, its dairy, livestock, and aquaculture sectors have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
FAS confirms that prices rose for animal feed, veterinary medicines, and labor. Furthermore, supply chain disruption led to difficulties in organizing transportation. At the same time, widespread and prolonged official lockdowns and changing food purchasing reduced overall consumer demand for poultry meat in Bangladesh. As a result of the transport restrictions, many of the country’s farmers culled their flocks within three weeks of the national lockdown. Supplies of feed and access to markets were effectively halted.
Prior to the pandemic, the country’s poultry sector was growing at around 15% per year, according to BPICC figures cited by FAS. At that time, the number of poultry farms had reached 90,000.
By November of 2020, animal protein markets — including that for poultry — in Bangladesh were reported to be slowly recovering for the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.