Vol. 4 Num 264 Tue. February 24, 2004  

Tap global poultry trade as no bird flu in Bangladesh
Food minister tells industry people

Food Minister Abdullah Al Noman yesterday called upon the poultry industry people to look for an opportunity to fill in a global vacuum created by the ban on chicken from a number of flu-affected countries.

"Bangladesh is environment-friendly for poultry and free from bird flu," he said assuring all-out support from the government for developing the sector.

The Food Minister was addressing a function on "Increasing Use of Broiler Meat" organised by Bangladesh Poultry Industries Co-ordination Committee (BPICC) at the National Press Club.

State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ukil Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan, Convenor of the BPICC Moshiur Rahman, Director General of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute Dr Kazi Emdadul Huq and member of the BPICC Kaiser Rahman also addressed the meet.

Presenting a paper on "Chicken Meat for Good Health", poultry consultant Rafiqul Huq informed that chicken consumption in the country increased from about 53 thousand metric tons in 1997 to nearly 2.73 lakh metric tons in 2002.

There is no alternative to chicken meat in daily diet due to low cholesterol, high protein value and low price, Huq pointed out.

With the present growing trend, the poultry sector, which now employs about 5 million people, will create employment for an additional 3.5 million.

Food Minister Noman in his address said there is vast potential for the export of chicken meat if the quality could be improved.

"This agricultural sub-sector can largely contribute to poverty alleviation," Noman said, urging the poultry-farm owners to concentrate more on improving the sector.

The State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock, Ukil Abdus Sattar, reaffirmed the present government's interest in protecting and patronising the sector.

He mentioned the ban on import of parent stock and other poultry items from the affected and their neighbouring countries to safeguard the local poultry farms.

Bhuiyan said that a monitoring cell had been set up by the livestock ministry to collect information regarding the situation from remote areas of all the districts.

The poultry businessmen will bring out a rally on Thursday morning to make the people aware about the non-existence of 'bird flu' in the country and to promote the use of broiler meat and chicken eggs in daily diets.