Turmoil pushes poultry into dire straits: 275 farms wind up business in Shariatpur

The poultry industry in the district has suffered a severe recession for the political turbulence, marked by hartals and blockades, the country has passed through for the last several months.
Unremitting losses for spiraling prices of feeds, checks and medicines have forced the owners of 275 poultry farms in the district to stop their operation.
The sale of chicken has also taken a nosedive, especially for lack of transport, sparking worry for a large number of people who made huge investment in the sector.
Officials at the District Livestock Department office said such catastrophic closure of the poultry units will further intensify the unemployment problem in the district.
The government should provide bailout to the affected farm owners to save the sector whose contribution to the rural economy is one of the largest, they opined.
The farm owners are blaming the country’s political disorder for the nonstop losses they have got to face.
Poultry farmers said the prices they were getting for their produced eggs and hens were very low and through those its not possible for them even to recover the production cost, which is a big concern for the sector.
There are around 613 small and big poultry farms in six upazilas of the district, which after meeting local demand of eggs and hens supply those outside.
They have also a substantial role in employment of the local youths.
The farm owners now look to start their business anew and make satisfactory profit from sale of the fowls and eggs.
But they fear if they do not get good prices, they will not be able to continue business and ultimately fail to repay the loans they took from banks to restart operation of the farms.
A farm owner named M Mukhlesur Rahman in sadar upazila said they had been experiencing losses owing to increased prices of chicks and feeds, for which he shut down his farm.
Another farm owner named Fatema Begum in Manohar Bazar area of the upazila said recent non-stop hartals and blockades caused price hike of medicines, chicks and feeds that are basic elements of the poultry industry.
The affected farm owners have urged the government to provide them with loan to enable them to restart business, through which they hope to recoup their losses.