Farmers are leaving the market for raw animal feed in syndicates


Beef prices have skyrocketed over the past few years and are now beyond the reach of the middle class. The price of eggs and chicken has also increased. Syndicates are always blamed when the price of a product goes up. However, when the price of animal meat (beef, chicken, eggs, farmed fish and milk) increases in the market, marginal farmers are the first to bear the brunt of the abnormal cost of animal feed.

Farmers claim that few animal feed manufacturing companies in the country are increasing the price of animal feed as per their wish. Those concerned in the sector say that the price of animal feed in the country has increased by 54 percent in the last one year. In the span of six years, which has increased by 137.19 percent. Not being able to make a profit by selling products, many marginal farmers have closed their business.

Analyzing the data of the last few years proves that the complaints of marginal farmers are not baseless. Over the years, the prices of corn and soybeans, the main ingredients used in the production of feed for poultry, cattle and fish sectors, have gradually decreased in the world market. Even in the country, the production of maize has increased this year, the price is also low.

According to the data, one kilogram of animal feed contains more than 90 percent corn and soybeans. Compared to the last few years, the price of maize has decreased by Rs 6-8 per kg this year. Maize is being sold at Tk 28 to Tk 30 per kg. The price of imported soybean meal (Soyamil) has also decreased. Some domestic companies are also selling soybeans at lower prices than before.

According to the Integrated Dairy Research Network (IDRN), the price of animal feed in the country has increased by 54 percent in the last one year. In a few years, the cost of animal feed has doubled in the country.

Animal feed prices in Bangladesh are unusually high compared to neighboring countries India and Pakistan. 36 to 47 rupees per kg of layer chicken feed in India, 38 to 40 rupees in Pakistan. But it is being sold in Bangladesh at 57 to 59 taka.

Currently, the number of feed mills registered by the Department of Livestock in the country is 294. Of these, only a dozen feedmills occupy the animal feed market. Many small feed mills have been closed in the syndicate of these factories.

Unusual prices compared to India-Pakistan

According to the data, the price of animal feed in Bangladesh is abnormally higher than in neighboring countries India and Pakistan. 36 to 47 rupees per kg of layer chicken feed in India, 38 to 40 rupees in Pakistan. But it is being sold in Bangladesh at 57 to 59 taka.

Farmers are leaving the market for raw animal feed in syndicates

The price of chicken and eggs has increased due to the increase in the price of feed

In the case of price increase, the arrow of complaint is repeatedly directed towards the syndicate. However, no government agency has any clear information about how much the price should be. The companies claim that the production cost of one kg of broiler chicken feed is 63 and a half rupees. Out of this only the cost of raw material is shown as 55 taka 73 paisa per kg. After that, it is sold to the farmer for 72 and a half rupees, including packaging, transportation, process loss, company profit and dealer-seller’s commission.

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However, the Bangladesh Poultry Association (BPA) calls Shubhankar’s evasion of this cost calculation. A few days ago, this organization submitted an account of the price of poultry feed to the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission. There they claimed that the cost of raw material per kg of broiler chicken feed is 45 rupees maximum. After that, the total cost of the company along with other expenses for food production is Rs. 50. A reasonable price should be 61 taka 75 paise, taking into account the profit and marketing cost.

In this regard, BPA president Suman Howladar told Jago News, ‘There is no secret ingredient in poultry feed, the cost of which cannot be calculated. We have seen that one kg of broiler chicken feed costs 61 rupees till market. Now the price of 50 kg of feed in the market is 3 thousand 600 taka. That is, the price per kg is 72 taka. According to this, the companies are making additional profit of 11 rupees per kg.

Companies are making more profit in layer feed. One kg of layer feed costs Tk 45 but is being sold at Tk 58. An additional Rs 13 per kg is being extorted from the farmers.

He said, ‘Companies are making more profit in layer feed. One kg of layer feed costs Tk 45 but is being sold at Tk 58. An additional 13 rupees per kg is being taken from the farmers.’

Suman Howladar also said, ‘The cost shown by the companies is based on the retail market price of raw materials. But companies are buying thousands of tons of raw materials at once, reducing costs even further.’

There is also discomfort in the prices of livestock and fish feed

There are also several complaints about food prices in the livestock and fisheries sectors. The sector stakeholders say that the companies are making abnormal profits in the price of these feeds like poultry. Various farmers’ organizations, including the Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association (BDFA), have earlier demanded a reduction in feed prices. According to BDFA, the average price of six major animal feed products in the country has increased by 137.19 percent in a span of six years.

Farmers are leaving the market for raw animal feed in syndicates

Many farmers are going out of business due to abnormal price of fodder

Rational pricing initiatives
The National Directorate of Consumer Rights had received various information and complaints about such discrepancies in prices of poultry, cattle and fish feed. Finally, this organization requested the Ministry of Commerce to determine the reasonable price of feed. The Ministry then issued instructions to the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission.

The Commissioner’s Deputy Chief (Trade Policy) Mahmudul Hasan is looking after this work on behalf of the Commission. However, the survey has not been completed yet. Mahmudul Hasan told Jago News, ‘Work is being done in this regard under the guidance of the Ministry of Commerce. The final report will be submitted to the ministry in a few weeks. That’s why nothing can be informed about this now.’

Although there are several government institutions to determine, monitor and control the price of human food, there is no one to stop the animal food price syndicate. Although this work belongs to the Directorate of Livestock, the institution cannot be said to be very effective.

However, a source of the Trade and Tariff Commission has hinted that inconsistencies have been found in the feed prices in this report. According to sources, the observation of the Tariff Commission has shown that the price of feed in Bangladesh is unusually high compared to neighboring countries. In order to protect the domestic industry, the government has given this sector tariff concessions. Which has a negative impact on the overall sector.

According to the report, feed prices are increasing despite excessive protection. 75 to 89 percent of the poultry, livestock and fisheries sectors spend on feed. But importing such feed will reduce the price a lot.

Animal feed under the syndicate
As always, smallholder farmers blame syndicates of producers for increasing feed prices. They claim that these institutions increase the price of food from time to time. Small farmers are in danger. That’s why they want the government’s intervention in fixing the price.

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Farmers and related parties say that powerful feed syndicates are leading the manipulation of price increase. Although there are many companies, more than 80 percent of the entire market is controlled by a few companies. Virtually everyone is hostage to them. They sometimes create artificial crises by hoarding animal food. Then increase the price as you wish. Once the price goes up, it doesn’t go down. After Corona, the price of feed has been increased on the pretext of increasing the price of raw materials in the world market, but it has not been adjusted yet. However, the price of raw materials has decreased a lot in the world market.

They say that although there are several government institutions to determine, monitor and control the price of human food, there is no one to stop the price syndicate of animal food. Although this work belongs to the Department of Livestock, the institution cannot be called very effective.

Due to increase in feed prices, prices of common animal feed ingredients in the country have also increased. Prices of wheat husk, paddy husk, lentil husk, mustard husk, gram husk, mung husk, straw, rice husk have also been negatively affected.

Mumin Haque, a farmer of Akkelpur in Jaipurhat, said, ‘The farm has to be closed due to the price of food. Some companies only match the feed in the market. One company raises the price first, followed by all other companies. In 2020, the price of a bag of feed was 1 thousand 850 to 1 thousand 900 taka. Now its price is three and a half thousand rupees. At such price of feed, many farmers like me have given up now.’

What do the experts say?
Regarding the price of feed, the chief scientific officer and head of the animal production research department of the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute. Biplab Kumar Roy told Jago News, ‘Actually we should see what is the rational price of feed. Because the price of feed is not supposed to be that much.’

The chief scientific officer of that department. deleted. Parveen Mostari has worked on costs in animal production. He told Jago News, ‘In one word, the price of feed in this country is very high. It is not compatible for farmers. There are feed syndicates in this country. There are vicious cycles. That is why we are now talking about forcing the farmers to feed grass instead of grain food. Farmers are unable to survive due to high feed prices. It is at an unbearable level.’

Parveen Mostari said, ‘Now the biggest obstacle in rearing cattle is the price of this feed. As feed prices rise, so does the cost of conventional animal feed. As a result, many marginal farmers are becoming destitute.

Feedmill authorities are reluctant to talk
To talk about these issues, this reporter of Jago News contacted several officials of some big feed producing companies. However, they refused to comment on the matter. Some of them hung up their mobile phones after hearing the question. Some hung up on other excuses and never picked up the phone again.

An official of a feed manufacturing company, on condition of anonymity, said, ‘Although the main ingredients of poultry feed are maize and soybeans, there are other ingredients such as rice bran, canula meal, wheat flour, salt. Their prices have increased. The ingredients are more or less depending on the quality of the food. Most of these materials are import dependent. In addition, the price of the dollar has increased. That is why the price of feed is not going down.’

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