Journey through Bangladesh
The Potentials of Duck Farming
Ahmed Humayun Kabir Topu
DUCK farming in Pabna could be a potential solution to the area's unemployed youth. This revelation has dawned on the local people in light of a recent case study of three young men who, starting with an investment of Tk. 15 thousand only two years ago, is now dreaming of becoming crorepatis from their duck farm.
Three unemployed young boys, namely Firoz Hossain (25), Gulzar Hossain Lal (23) and Abdul Awal (24) used to be childhood friends. They were born in 'Char Gobindapur' village of Dulai union in Sujanagar upazila under Pabna district. The three friends had started a duck farm with 200 ducks in 2007, two years ago. Now, there are over three thousand ducks in their farm. According to the sources, these three boys had appeared for SSC examinations in 2001, but failed in English. As a result, they could not continue their education and had no sources of income.
They managed to gather Tk. 15 thousand between themselves to launch their duck farming business in 2007. The initiation of their business faced many hurdles, since they did not get any family support and had to face a lot of criticism from the locals. But their confidence enabled them to power through against the odds. Within 6 months, they had earned approximately Tk. 75 thousand selling eggs. Since then, they have had no reason to look back. They slowly expanded their business to 1000 ducks within the first year. They named their firm: Rajlakkhi Swan Farm. In 2008, they earned about Tk. 8 lakh and constructed a tin-shed hatchery at the cost of Tk. 3 lakh. Although young, they had the wisdom of proper businessmen, and decided to invest even the remaining Tk. 5 lakh in their firm.
Firoz informed Star Insight that there are now three thousand swans of different varieties in their firm, including Camble, Khaki Camble, Belgian, and Korean. He added that they have been able to employ 8 additional workers at the farm. With the 3,000 ducks laying at least 2800 eggs every day, this has become one of the largest duck's egg producing firms in this region. The owners of the farm said that the profit earned from a large duck farm is quite handsome, since average production cost is quite low. “Each swan gives at least 300 eggs in a year, which we are currently selling at the price of Tk. 6 each. When a duck is too old to lay eggs, it can be sold for Tk. 100 to 150,” Md. Firoz Hossain commented.
The farm has been established in the 'Gaznar Bill' area. The swans of the farm swim in Gaznar Bill and collect food from the water body, so feeding costs are very low. Furthermore, disease-related risks in swan farming are lower compared to poultry farming. A swan firm can be very profitable venture if there is proper monitoring of operations and if vaccines and other medicines are applied on time.
The owners have complained of a lack of assistance to their entrepreneurial sprite, from the government and non-government agencies. According to the owners, finance is not the only concern. Technical caliber is a major constraint in this business and entrepreneurs in this sector need technical assistance. Duck farming, given its requirement of a small start-up capital and ease of doing business, can be a possible solution to the unemployment problem of the area.