Prices of both chicken eggs and meat have hit 12-year low due to the countrywide shutdown that caused a supply disruption as well as a fall in demand.
Such low prices were forcing hundreds of small and medium scale farmers to shut their businesses during this pandemic period, said insiders.
According to Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), farm egg and broiler chicken prices in April fell to the level of 2008 when a bird flue outbreak brought a disaster for the industry.
During the current situation, farm eggs were selling at Tk 4.0 to 4.8 a piece at farm level in Bogura, Sirajganj, Tangail, Gazipur, Savar, Dhamrai, Keraniganj, Brahmanbaria, Cumilla and other places of the country against production cost of Tk 6.0-6.5 a piece.
The price of farm egg was Tk 7.0-Tk 8.0 a piece before beginning of the shutdown in March last.
Broiler chicken prices fell to Tk 55-Tk 70 a kilogram (kg) at farm level in different districts against production cost of Tk 118 to 128 a kg depending on districts, according to the BPICC.
However, eggs were selling at Tk 6.8 -7.0 a piece at city retail markets, which is 28-30 per cent lower than that of a month back.
Broiler chicken was selling at Tk 115-125 a kg in the capital which is 10-12 per cent lower than that of one month back.
Shaheen Kadir, owner of a poultry farm at Bangalpur in Dhamrai in Dhaka, told the FE that the
prices of broiler declined to the lowest ever since he started his business in 2015.
He said broiler chicken was sold only at Tk 68 a kg on Saturday.
"I usually rear 10,000 birds a month and sell 300-350 birds a day," he also said.
He mentioned he was counting Tk 8,000 to 9,000 loss a day for now.
"But I'm helpless, as I had purchased the day-old chickens before beginning of the shutdown, so I cannot shut the farm for now," added Mr Kadir.
Shohrab Uddin, a poultry farmer at Kalindi in Keraniganj, said prices of farm eggs declined to Tk 4.4 (white) and to Tk 4.8 (red) in his locality against the production cost of Tk 6.0 to Tk 6.5 per piece.
Mr Shohrab has 2,000 of layer birds for which he needs food worth Tk 3,000 -3,500 a day. He mentioned he can now buy food for the birds by selling 1,200-1,300 eggs a day.
Shohrab added he already witnessed a Tk 0.15 million loss in the last four weeks due to the shutdown that caused a severe fall in demand.