Large poultry companies have been accused of creating an artificial crisis in the market by decreasing the supply of one-day aged chicken to marginal poultry farmers.
This has resulted in a volatile situation in the market, with the price of chicken rising by at least Tk 100 since last month.
The main players in the market are Kazi Farms Ltd, Paragon Poultry Ltd, Nourish Poultry & Hatchery Ltd, Provita Hatcheries Ltd, Peoples Poultry & Hatchery Ltd, and others, he added.
Records show that the price of one-day chicken was Tk 35-43 per piece in the last week of January and Tk 45-53 per piece in the first week of February, but it increased to Tk 60 per piece in the last week of February. The price of chicken saw a significant jump in the first week of March.
Witnessing the higher price of chicken, many farmers tried to rear chicken, but breeder companies are not supplying one-day chicken to marginal farmers, Hawladar added. This has resulted in marginal farmers not rearing chickens and keeping their sheds empty.
Mesbah Murphey, a poultry farmer from Joypurhat, told Daily Sun that he cannot run his 4,500 chicken shed due to a crisis of one-day chicken.
He said, "One-day chicken is not available at the farmer's level while representatives of breeder companies are demanding Tk 80 per piece of one-day broiler chicken. How could we meet the production cost after purchasing one-day chicken at a very high price?" Two weeks earlier, the price was Tk 60 per piece. The production cost of one-day chicken is Tk 30 per piece, while the large farms claim the production cost is Tk 35 per piece, according to Hawladar. He said the demand for one-day chicken in the country is 1.80 crore while the breeders' companies are producing 1.20 crore chicks currently.
The production of marginal farmers has declined to almost nil as large companies are creating different crises in the sector to control the market and benefit, he said.
Oliullah, the owner of Antor Poultry from Subarnochar of Noakhali, told Daily Sun that he purchased one-day chicken at Tk 60 per piece 20 days earlier, but breeder companies are not supplying one-day chicken now. "Some breeder company's representatives are asking a much higher price for one-day chicken," he said.