The production of egg, the most common source of protein for the poor, has increased threefold in a decade, driving the size of the market in Bangladesh to Tk 115 billion. The production, however, has dropped slightly in recent days due to many obstacles, people related to the poultry industry say. They spoke about the problems and possibilities of the industry at a roundtable organised by the fisheries and livestock ministry and Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council or BPICC marking the World Egg Day in Dhaka on Friday. Shamsul Arefin Khaled, president of the Bangladesh chapter of World’s Poultry Science Association, presented data on egg consumption in the country.
Egg consumption increased 88 percent in six years from 2010 while beef consumption enjoyed a 10 percent rise and fish consumption 26 percent in the same period, he said, referring to a household income and expenditure survey.
Egg consumption rose to 13.58 grams from 7.2 grams per head in this period, he said.
But the poultry farmers in Bangladesh are passing a tough time now and many of them had to shut their farms after losses in past one year, Khaled claimed. Egg production could not make expected growth due to bird flu epidemic as well, he added.
Currently, 38 million eggs are produced commercially on an average daily, according to the BPICC. The Department of Livestock Services put the number at over 47 million, including domestic production.
Egg production increased to 15.52 billion in 2017-18 fiscal year from 5.65 billion a decade ago.
The target of egg production this fiscal year is 16.65 billion. In the first quarter from July to September, Bangladesh produced 4.33 billion eggs.
The egg trade was worth Tk 104.52 billion in 2016-17, with the price at Tk 7 per egg.
The BPICC hopes egg trade will flourish to the tune of around Tk 116.55 this fiscal year.
Its President Moshiur Rahman said eggs should be advertised like rice, sugar, milk, flour and other products, but it is impossible for them to carry the advertising cost from the money they make. He urged the information ministry to step forward to help them out with advertisements.
The livestock departments Director General Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik assured the poultry farmers of measures to end their problems.
The government was considering small loans on low interests for the poultry farmers, he said.
Prof Md Shawkat Ali of the Department of Poultry Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, and Shamsunnahar Nahid, head of nutrition at BIRDEM, presented the keynote paper.
Nahid said people should not pay heed to misconceptions about egg as scientific researches have found it good for the heart, brain and bones.
Egg can also help people shed weight. She advised all to consume whole eggs, not the white or yellow part only.
Different other events, including a procession in Dhaka, were organised across the country to mark the day.
BPICC distributed 30,0000 free boiled eggs among the working people at different points in the capital. The association also gave 15,000 eggs to orphanages.