Speakers at a roundtable unequivocally called for ensuring protein for everyone by making chicken and eggs affordable for all.
They also called the poultry producers to develop and produce delicious varieties of chicken in the country.
Speaking at the roundtable, Jugantor editor Saiful Alam said, “We have to reach chicken and eggs to the consumers maintaining the quality, price and taste.”
He said, “Broiler chicken is being produced in the country but its taste has not improved to the level of local chicken. People still prefer local chicken for its great taste.”
Pranab Saha, editor of DBC television, said, “We have to ensure protein for all by making chicken and eggs affordable.”
“There was propaganda against the poultry industry. The doctors also sometimes gave misleading information about eggs,” he said, claiming that there are differences between government data and actual production of egg, chicken and meat. Ibrahim Azad, Head of News of Dipto TV, requested the industry leaders to conduct research on tasty chicken meat.
Mashiur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), said the price of raw materials used in poultry feed has increased by 35 per cent from August 2020 to August 2021.
He said research on the taste of chicken is continuing in the country, in the meantime, Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) and Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) developed two different varieties of chicken from indigenous varieties.
“Egg and chicken production has dropped due to the corona pandemic. Production cost has gone up due to a rise in the price of poultry feed raw materials in the international market,” he added.
The roundtable was presided by Ajker Patrika editor professor Dr. Golam Rahman. Dr. Khaleda Islam, professor of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Dhaka, presented the keynote paper.
Daily Sun Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, senior journalist Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul and other journalists from mainstream newspapers and television channels were also present on the occasion.
The media gatekeepers also said that the industry should have long-term planning to feed the nation. As the sector has created huge employment and empowered rural women, the government should come forward to support the poultry industry.
The gatekeepers said it’s a good sign that the government has emphasized nutrition security besides food security.
Prof. Khaleda said, “Animal protein is better than plant protein. There are various myths and misconceptions about poultry egg and broiler meat which is an obstacle to increase animal protein intake.”
She said, “Although every adult person needs some 1 gram protein per kg of body weight, most of the Bangladeshis have had lesser than the standard. People suffer from different diseases due to protein deficiencies.” “In our country, child mortality up to one year age is higher due to the same reason. Adolescent boys and girls and pregnant mothers should consume more protein, especially animal protein to avoid sad incidences,” she said.
Ihtesham B. Shahjahan, president of Feed Industries Association (FIAB), said the poultry, dairy and fisheries industries have been moving forward, meeting the local demand and in some cases also earning foreign currency from exports.
Md. Ahsanuzzaman, Secretary, FIAB, underscored the need for exporting value-added products. Ahsanuzzaman claimed that after 2-3 months, India will not be interested in importing soybean meal from Bangladesh, it will rather export.