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Poultry Industry in Dire Straits

by 5m Editor
25 February 2008, at 9:40am

BANGLADESH - Fowls and eggs have dropped off the household menu due to heightened incidence of bird flu. Many restaurants, especially the wayside food vending shops are suspected to be selling curry made of cheaply bought off sick chicken to poor consumers.

Due to their initial denial mode, the authorities failed to take timely precautions. The spread of avian flu has overtaken the livestock department's containment measures. Thus we face a fully blown crisis.

There are a few ways in which we have been hard hit: first, the rather affordable source of protein in a market boiling over with highly priced mutton, beef and fish, the nutrient intake among the poor and middle income groups has touched a new low. More seriously, in the last one year, the poultry industry has sustained losses of at least Tk 4100 crore owing to outbreak of avian influenza, on and off -- thanks to poor surveillance and monitoring.

This has had ominous ramifications on the rural economy in particular and the national economy in general. As it is, livestock took a severe battering from two successive floods followed by cyclone Sidr last year. As though that was not enough of a blow to the rural economy we now encounter the fallout of bird flu. Poultry industry has been a fast developing sector with bank loans and micro-credits funneled into it fostering a whole range of medium and small enterprises. Millions of people are dependent on the poultry industry, either by employment or through wholesale and retail networks.

Source: TheDailyStar

5m Editor