There is a syndicate in the egg market which has the power of raising the price of eggs dramatically overnight, and if the syndicate cannot be broken, egg prices will go out of control, said AHM Shafiquzzaman, director general of the Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection.
While addressing a seminar organised by the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association at the Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital Wednesday, he said some giant companies control the poultry business at all stages, from hatching chicks, to making poultry feed, to producing meat and egg.
The government is helpless when all the controls remain in their hands, he continued.
"Last August, the price of an egg was raised by Tk5 citing the fuel price hike. We then came to the field and found evidence of artificial price hikes."
As the directorate launched drives against market manipulation and an announcement of egg imports came, the price of eggs dropped automatically within just three days, said Shafiquzzaman.
"However, marginal farmers did not see any benefit from the price increase at all."
The directorate chief said the Bangladesh Competition Commission sued the manipulators. "Even the commerce ministry also reported against them but we need to ensure the demolition of the syndicate. Otherwise, there will be no result."
Stating that the current price of eggs is high due to higher feed prices and other costs, he added that taxes on feed should be revisited.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association President Sumon Hawlader said the complete solution can come with the establishment of a board for the poultry sector. He also called for effective steps to break the syndicate at any cost. "Otherwise, the people and farmers will lose."