Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury has urged the scientists to carry out extensive research work on local poultry for their further development in order to ensure better production of meat and egg.
"The poultry scientists should to carry out extensive research on two of our native poultry flocks like the Chittagong-based Yasin Poultry Breed and the short-leg or pigeon-leg poultry breed as both breeds are popular for producing more meat and eggs," she said.
The minister said this while addressing as the chief guest at the opening ceremony of a three-day 10th International Poultry show and seminar began at Bashundhara International Convention Centre in Dhaka on Thursday.
The minister also urged the stakeholders of the World's Poultry Science Association and the local poultry farmers to work relentlessly for increasing the production of the poultry meat and eggs as per the international standard the country is lag behind in consumption of per capita meat and eggs.
World's Poultry Science Association -Bangladesh Brach (WPSA-BB) organized the 10th International Poultry Show with its President Shamsul Arefin Khaled in the chair.
State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Narayan Chandra Chanda spoke as the special guest while Director General of the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) Dr Ainul Haque attended the inaugural function as the Guest of Honour.
The agriculture minister said although Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971 but the WPSA has begun its activities locally in 1997 when the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power. Now the poultry sector has turned to an emerging sector, she added.
WPSA-BB General Secretary Md Sirajul Haque gave the welcome address while Former Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Bangladesh Agricultural University and Advisor of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Dr Sattar Mondol presented the keynote paper at the inaugural session.
After the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, all those subsequent governments didn't take any initiative for development of the poultry sector as they have no vision to make the country self-sufficient in food production, Matia observed.
In the wake of the Avian Influenza outbreak or Bird Flu in 2007, then Caretaker Government also had taken 'destructive measures' in the name of protecting the poultry sector, said Matia and adding the outbreak control measures were faulty and those caused a huge loss to national economy because of the mass culling of the birds.
Culling of poultry flocks within one-kilometer of radius of flu had also caused a major damage to affected firms and enormous loss to small farmers.
On an average, Bangladesh people consume 3.63 kg of poultry meat per year.
Experts say there is a scope to increase chicken production by three times domestically. Similarly, the egg production can also be increased by 61 per cent. The per capita availability of egg is 41 per year while the requirement is 104 eggs.
A total of 195 poultry companies from 20 countries are showcasing their products and services at the show.