Homogeneous policies to ensure cheaper egg, meat
Homogenous policy supports throughout the agriculture sector, instead of providing advantages to just growing crops, can substantially bring down egg and meat prices for end-consumers, said entrepreneurs.
Animal farming and fishing should be provided similar advantages, demanded members of a Standing Committee on Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on its first meeting yesterday.
For instance, poultry, cattle, fish and shrimp farms have to pay electricity bills at a rate higher than that paid by crop growers, they said.
If the rate was the same for all, the former could reduce production and operating costs, making it possible to meet the need for protein at affordable prices, they added.
The government should provide utilities at a special rate to livestock farms, said FBCCI President Jashim Uddin.
To become a developed country by 2041, Bangladesh needs to reach exports to $300 billion, which may appear tough solely relying on garments, he said.
Here the government should provide appropriate support for increasing fish, shrimp and meat exports, he said.
Poultry, cattle, fish and shrimp farms have to pay electricity bills at a rate higher than that paid by crop growers. The rate should be same for all, the FBCCI committee says
On the recent price instability of eggs in the market, he blamed a few unscrupulous traders, urging that they be identified to protect the sector's image.
Uddin also advised the committee to work on logistics and supply chains to ensure fair prices for marginal farmers.
Earlier, Salahuddin Alamgir, director-in-charge of the FBCCI standing committee and vice-president of the FBCCI, said banks should allot 5 per cent of their loan disbursements targeting the livestock sector, just as they do for crop growers.
He also demanded to fix the per dollar exchange rate at Tk 100 specifically for the import of livestock and recommended introducing insurance policies of low premiums to protect farmers.
Moshiur Rahman, chairman of the committee and executive member of the Feed Industries Association Bangladesh, called for strengthening the inter-ministerial coordination of government agencies.
"Both the livestock department and BSTI (Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution) monitor different categories of farms," he said.
"Farmers have to suffer due to a lack of coordination and different sets of standards of the two organisations," he mentioned.
Rahman also stressed on proper waste management to ensure compliance with the country's laws.