Egg production falls, demand rises

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Bangladesh has recently witnessed a slight decline in egg production due to adverse weather conditions, but faced a concurrent surge in consumer demand.

According to the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), the chicken farms generally produce a bit more than 40 million eggs. The number is slightly higher if the data of the livestock department is taken into account.

However, the recent adverse weather conditions affected the farms and led to a bit decline in egg production. The big farms roughly produce six million eggs a day, while the small ones around 33 million eggs in total. Collectively, the egg production has dipped below the 40-million mark.

On the other hand, there is a strong demand for eggs in the market as the consumers turned to eggs due to the escalating price of fish and meat.

Kazi Zahin Hasan, director of Kazi Farms Group, said the egg production decreased due to weather related issues, but the market demand has surged, causing slight fluctuations in the price.

He voiced concern over their business, saying that continued market instability may dissuade the big investors from the egg production sector. It would put the entire sector in jeopardy and disrupt the supply of protein to the people.

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When a commodity faces supply shortage, the authorities bridge the gap through imports. But importing eggs is prohibited here in the sense that it requires prior approval of the livestock department to bring eggs from abroad.

Six importers submitted applications to the commerce ministry in November last year, seeking permission to import 510 million eggs. The commerce ministry turned to the livestock ministry for its view, but the approval was not granted eventually. Hence, the price shot up in the local market.

Hasibul Hasan, a private jobholder of Khilgaon in Dhaka, said due to the high price of fish and meat, he resorted to eggs to meet protein requirements. But it too became pricier.

“I used to have meals with eggs, lentil soup, and smashed potatoes for several days a week. But the eggs are now pricier, and the potatoes cost Tk 40 to 45 per kg,” he added.

The decrease in egg consumption is also reflected in the Household Income and Expenditure Survey - 2022. It showed that per capita daily egg consumption has decreased from 13.58 grams in 2016 to 12.7 grams now.