Staff Reporter, Agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzak said the government is now laying highest emphasis on producing more livestock and poultry products as the country wants to be a self-sufficient protein producer.

“Earlier, we had laid emphasis on the self-sufficiency of cereal food production. As we have already achieved it, now we will focus on safe poultry and livestock productions in our present tenure,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony of the 11th International Poultry Show 2019 in Dhaka Thursday.

Dr. Razzak said for alleviating poverty, none other than poultry and livestock sector could play the vital role in the country. So, it is very imperative to provide more facilities to the country’s highly potential poultry sector for flourishing it further.

The 3-day 11th International Poultry Show has begun at the capital’s International Convention City, Bashundhara on Thursday. The show will end on March 9.

Presided over by the World Poultry Science Association-Bangladesh Branch (WPSA-BB) President Shamsul Arefin Khaled, Director General (DG) of the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) Dr Hiresh Chandra Bahawmik and DG of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) Dr Nathu Ram Sarker were present as the honorable guests.

Former Dean of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Dr ABM Abdullah presented a keynote on the “Poultry for better health” at the inaugural ceremony of the program.

Besides, Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) President Moshiur Rahman, WPSA-BB General Secretary Mahbub Hassan, WPSA global President Prof. Ning Yang spoke at the inauguration ceremony on Thursday.

Minister Dr Razzak said the local livestock and agri sector is facing challenge with higher bank interest rate. “As long as we need to enhance our poultry and livestock productions, this sector should get bank loan at less than 8.0 percent rate.”

“Sometimes the local poultry farmers face price volatility. For example, if an egg production price becomes higher than the market price, how they will sustain in business? So, the stakeholders should look after the market and management.”

In his keynote presentation, Dr ABM Abdullah said the poultry meat and eggs can play vital role in the country to fulfill protein deficiency. “There are some myth among the general people on the poultry meat and eggs. But those are very safe for the human body even for the patient with heart disease and hypertension.”

“It is reality that although the red meat including beef and mutton has the higher destructive element for the human body –cholesterol, the poultry meat and eggs do not have that. Every person can take eggs at least 1-2 daily without any hesitation.” Dr Abdullah said.

He also stated that poultry meat and eggs are the cheapest options for the people in Bangladesh rather than any other protein-based food like beef, mutton, pulses etc.

DG of DLS Dr Hiresh Ranjan Bhawmik said poultry is playing vital role in supplying protein to the people as it is the cheapest sources of animal protein.

BPICC President Mashiur Rahman said although the poultry industry has some Tk35,000 crore of investments and huge employment creations, it is facing some challenges. This industry will be doubled in the next one decade.

He urged the government to cut the taxes on maize and other poultry feed ingredients to facilitate the local industry’s development. The government should allow import of necessary vaccine for the poultry birds, he added.

Mr Mashiur also called for working together with the government for punishing the dishonest feed millers who produces toxic-food for the poultry farms.

WPSA-BB President Shamsul Arefin Khaled said it is imperative to flourish the local poultry industry for developing a wise and nutrient nation. “Once the Bangladeshi nationals were named as the Bangali with rice and fish, but now they should be branded as nation of rice-poultry meat-egg-fish.” Some 800 stalls of 500 companies from 22 countries across the globe are participating at the 3-day poultry show at International Convention Centre, Bashundhara in Dhaka.

The show is open for the general people from 9am to 7pm every day. The Minister Dr Razzak handed over “WPSA-BB Poultry Award” to Nushrat Jahan Nishat and “Paragaon Poultry Award” to Comrade Kumar Kobiraj at the inauguration ceremony.