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Egg prices hikes again

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eggs

4 days prior, two pairs of brown farmed eggs were sold at Tk 38 in three kitchen markets across Dhaka. Yesterday they were selling for Tk 45.

Strangely, if anyone purchased a dozen eggs, they would have had to pay Tk 120. Yesterday, the same was going for Tk 130.

Consumers in Bangladesh are already facing a difficult time making ends meet for an increase in the prices of essential commodities.

And now eggs, a low-cost source of protein which almost every family tries to include in their diet every day, are eating away a bigger chunk of their budgets.

Between August 18 and August 24, the Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection (DNCRP) conducted raids on establishments involved in the egg trade across the country.

Only then did the prices begin to fall.

However, the relief was short-lived. Prices started increasing again from September 5.

Prices have been increasing over the last four days, confirmed Nurul Alam Shikdar, a retailer in the Pallabi extension area of Mirpur, apprehending that this would continue.

Farmers running large-scale operations alongside wholesalers reason it to be a gap in demand and supply.

They say many farmers suffered losses amid the pandemic lockdowns, when sales dropped while their chickens continued laying eggs. Many could not sustain their business at the time, resulting in an overall decrease in production.

The number of eggs on demand is not being produced every day, claimed Mohammad Amanat Ullah, president of Tejgaon’s egg merchants’ association.

He also claimed that there was no accurate estimate of how many eggs were needed and produced every day.

However, according to the Bangladesh Egg Producers Association, about 3.5 crore to 4 crore eggs are required daily to meet the national demand. Moreover, a large part of the eggs come from farms across the country.

Data from the Department of Livestock Services showed that 2,335 crore eggs were produced in Bangladesh in fiscal year 2021-22, with production more than tripling over the past decade.

With egg trucks not entering Dhaka during this time, a gap was inevitably created between demand and supply, which hiked prices, he said requesting anonymity.

Now, farms have actually reduced their egg output, which has become visible in this month’s price rise, he added.

It currently costs Tk 9.60 to produce an egg that is being sold at Tk 11.25 to the final consumer after being bought and sold three or four times, claimed Moshiur Rahman, managing director of Paragon Poultry.

According to a DNCRP report, major producers in Bangladesh colluded with each other to send the price of eggs to an unprecedented level in the middle of August.

Usually, wholesalers make a profit of 15 paisa to 20 paisa per piece but between August 9 and August 13, they made a profit of Tk 2.70 per egg, the report said.

As a result, the price of eggs shot up by Tk 30 to Tk 40 per dozen to Tk 160 at one point.

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Agri Biz

TCB Approved to Procure 1.10cr Litres of Edible Oil, 10,000 Metric Tons of Lentils

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The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) has given approval for the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to procure 1.10 crore litres of edible oil and 10,000 metric tons of lentils. The TCB will conduct these purchases as part of its open market sale (OMS) program.

In a meeting presided over by Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali on February 29, the CCGP approved two separate proposals presented by the commerce ministry on behalf of TCB.

According to the proposals, the TCB will import 1.10 crore litres of soybean oil through an open tender from City Edible Oil Ltd. The total cost of this procurement is Tk174.66 crore, with each litre priced at Tk165.25.

Additionally, the TCB will acquire 8,000 metric tons of lentils from Nabi Naba Food Limited, costing Tk83.12 crore, with each kilogram priced at Tk103.09.

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Rice Varieties and Prices Must Now be Printed on Bags, says Ministry of Food

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Rice Varieties and Prices Must Now be Printed on Bags, Declares Ministry

The Ministry of Food has issued a directive mandating the inclusion of selling prices of rice at mill gates and the specific rice varieties on bags. The move aims to curb potential price hikes and enhance transparency in the rice market. According to the announcement on Wednesday (21 February), rice-producing millers must display essential details such as mill name, district and upazila name, production date, mill gate price, and rice variety on bags before supplying for commercial purposes.

The ministry’s decision follows observations in various rice-producing districts, revealing the sale of rice from the same paddy type under different names and prices. The notice highlights the blame game among millers, wholesalers, and retailers during sudden price fluctuations, causing inconvenience for consumers in obtaining desired rice varieties at fair prices and leading to financial strain.

To enforce these guidelines, the ministry emphasizes that information on rice bags should not be handwritten with ink. Instead, rice-producing mill owners must ensure that all sacks/packets bear printed details as specified. Corporate bodies are also required to adhere to these guidelines, with the option to include maximum retail prices in addition to mill gate prices.

District administrators, upazila executive officers, and food controllers are instructed to confirm compliance during inspections. Any violation of these guidelines may result in necessary actions as per the provisions outlined in the “Production, Storage, Transfer, Transportation, Supply, Distribution and Marketing of Food Products (Prevention of Prejudicial Activity) Act, 2023.”

 

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Govt Initiatives Drive Lentil Cultivation, Targeting High Yields

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Around 54,101 tonnes of lentils are expected to be produced from 35,380 hectares of land in the division during the current Rabi season, officials said.

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set a production target of 32,411 tonnes of lentils from 20,620 hectares of land in four districts of its Rajshahi Agricultural Zone and 21,690 tonnes from 14,755 hectares of land in four other districts of the Bogura Zone.

DAE’s Additional Director Shamsul Wadud stated that all possible measures were taken to achieve the production target, providing farmers with newly developed high-yielding varieties of lentils. Small and marginalized farmers received seed and fertilizer support for lentil cultivation free of cost under the government’s agriculture incentive program.

Abul Kalam Azad, a farmer in Godagari Upazila, mentioned that he cultivates lentils to avoid irrigation water-related hassles for paddy. He cultivated lentils on six bighas of land this year without incurring extra irrigation costs. Farmers in the region find lentil cultivation appealing due to lower irrigation expenses and have witnessed abundant production in recent years.

Zakir Hossain, another farmer, highlighted that growers are increasingly interested in lentil cultivation due to its lower irrigation cost and consistently high yields in recent years. Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker noted that farmers have achieved better yields in cash crops due to the promotion of high-yielding varieties and modern management practices.

Efforts from government and non-government entities are encouraging farmers to cultivate water-saving crops like lentils in the Barind area to alleviate the growing pressure on underground water resources. Over 1,500 volunteers are engaged in promoting water resource management for less water-consuming crops as part of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project.

Farmers’ interest in lentil cultivation has grown as they have experienced lucrative market prices for the crop in recent years. IWRM Project Coordinator Jahangir Alam Khan explained that farmers in high Barind areas, facing high irrigation costs for paddy farming, find lentil cultivation appealing due to its lower irrigation requirements.

Dr. Jagadish Chandra Barman, Principal Scientific Officer at the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, emphasized the potential for significant lentil output in the Barind region. Cultivating lentils on around 80,000 hectares of fallow land after the harvest of transplanted Aman paddy could substantially contribute to reducing the country’s reliance on lentil imports.

The article concludes by highlighting the bright prospects of increasing lentil acreage, producing larger quantities with lower production costs, and reducing the pressure on lentil imports to meet domestic demand.

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