India: Poultry sector seeks ban on maize export
The poultry industry has sought a ban on the export of maize, a key raw material of the poultry feed, for stabilizing chicken and egg prices amid fresh price hike of different feeds in the international markets, according to Financial Express.
Industry owners said the poultry feed prices will go up further affecting the local eggs and meat supply if the government does not check maize export amid production fall in the global markets.
Breeders Association of Bangladesh (BAB) president Moshiur Rahman said a group of vested local traders is pushing the government to permit maize export when only fifty percent of our demand is being met by the locally-produced maize.
We need to import the rest 50% of maize from the international market to produce feed for the poultry birds, he added.
The present demand of maize in poultry industry is nearly 1.6 million metric tonnes per year. In last fiscal 2011-12, a total of 1.6 million tonnes of maize was produced in Bangladesh, Department of Agricultural Extension data showed.
The government should ensure smooth marketing facilities and check political unrest to ensure better prices for the maize growers instead of allowing export, Mr Moshiur said.
Maize is an essential raw material for producing poultry feeds in which nearly sixty percent of feed ingredient is available, millers said.
Feed Industry Association Bangladesh (FIAB) President Ihtehsham B. Shahjahan said prices of poultry feeds have already increased in last few months in the international markets.
If the government does not ban export of locally-produced maize, the poultry feed production cost will rise further hitting the poultry farmers in chicken and egg production, he said.
Managing Director of Aftab Bahumukhi Farms, Fazle Rahim Khan Shahriar said since major supplier India has started to control maize export due to its production fall for draughts and floods, there is possibility of further price hike of the poultry feed.
Mr Ihtehsham said according to law, maize export is prohibited unless the price is above US$600 per tonne. "However, ignoring the existing law, maize has been exported to Nepal in recent times at US$190 per tonne."
Bangladeshi maize is also being smuggled to neighboring India due to its high grade, he said seeking check on the smuggling to the neighbouring country.
Mr Shahriar, also the FIAB general secretary, said the poultry feed price of soya has been increased to Tk 55-60 per kilogram from Tk 33-35 per kg, meat & bone meal to Tk 50-55 from Tk 32 per kg, mustered oilcake to Tk 30-33 per kg from Tk 18 per kg, maize to Tk 23-24 from Tk 13 per kg, rice bran to Tk 22-23 per kg from Tk 14.
"If the government does not ban the locally-produced maize export, the poultry feeds will be costlier and the meat and eggs price will be affected further," he also told the FE.
The price of egg and chicken in the Bangladesh's local market has already gone up by nearly 40 per cent over the last one and a half years affecting the low-income people.
Saidur Rahman Babu, General Secretary of BAB said that 60% of poultry farms and 70% hatcheries and breeding farms were closed due to bird flu attack in 2007-2008 period.
"Many of the farmers have been trying to revive their production. But the fresh price hike of maize and other feeds in the local and international markets have hit the struggling poultry farmers," he added.
The poultry leaders said they were trying to recover from the previous losses from the bird-flu outbreak producing more day-old chicks and eggs.
The feed manufacturers said Bangladesh is now producing high quality feed at international standards. They are using superior quality nutrients and enzymes so that protein is absorbed in feed easily.
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