Monday, 2 October, 2023

Edgy over eggs!

To eat or not to eat egg has become a daily quandary for people with limited income in recent days as the price of this essential commodity too has gone through the roof. Price of a dozen eggs which used to be Tk. 100 to 110 a couple of months ago had settled at Tk. 150 over the last month, but now it shot up to Tk. 160-170. In the meantime, the government has reportedly given the poultry farms tax rebate to the tune of 978 crore taka in the last financial year to keep prices of poultry products affordable and stable. But to no avail. Prices of both chicken and egg have seen a dramatic rise in recent times much to the agony of the low and middle income people.
For individuals who cannot afford one kilograms of beef at around Tk. 800, chicken and eggs are the last resort to fulfil their protein needs, given their relatively lower prices. Sadly, this alternative source of animal protein is now becoming untenable, taking a heavy toll on the people’s nutrition intake. Moreover, price hike is not limited only to chicken or eggs, almost all essential commodities have become dearer due to market manipulation, wrong policies and inadequate monitoring.
Big farms which supply bulk of the eggs are claiming that egg price has increased as their production cost has increased due to a sharp rise in the price of chicken feed. But whether the egg price hike was in proportionate with the feed price hike has not been specified.
Bangladesh Poultry Association recently alleged that big companies producing chicks, eggs, and broilers made an additional profit of around Tk. 520 crore from the market in just 15 days by triggering market volatility. According to them, like many other sectors, poultry production has too gone into the hands of a handful of big companies. They supply 2.5 crore pieces of eggs against the daily demand of 4.5 crore pieces of eggs in the country. The rest comes from marginal farmers. The government has recently conducted mobile court drives in different parts of the country to rein in egg price hike. But such sporadic drives hardly produce desired results. The authorities concerned should investigate whether the big companies involved in this sector are making exorbitant profits by artificially hiking the prices.