The export of quality poultry and fish feed and its supply to the local market is allegedly being affected due to the stringent standardisation policy and regulation.
Its complex certification procedure is also making the way for sub-standard feed production and supply in the local market, insiders alleged on Saturday.
They stressed the need for transferring of the Certification Marks (CM) licencing authority from Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), which issues all licences and certificates to the poultry sector.
Poultry and fish feed producers said that they have to face complex procedure and needed to pay Tk 5.0 million to Tk 40 million as fees for taking CM licence from the (BSTI) for each of their nearly 100 types of feed items.
They also sought simplification of the procedure for obtaining CM licence at reduced fees for the growing poultry and fish feed industry in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the fisheries and livestock ministry last month wrote to the industries secretary to waive the mandatory CM licencing from the BSTI as the DLS is now capable enough to issue the standardisation certificate.
The livestock ministry claimed that as it is looking after all the policy and regulatory issues relating to the country’s poultry and livestock industries, it should have the authority of feed production and standardisation certificates too.
It also claimed that the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) has recently set up a quality control (QC) lab at Savar in Dhaka with an investment of nearly Tk 1.05 billion for testing all the livestock products including the feeds.
However, the industries ministry is yet to give any feedback to the livestock ministry, resulting in delays of standardisation of the feeds, produced by different local companies.
Industry insiders said few hundreds of local poultry, fish and livestock feed producing companies were reluctant to take the CM licence from the BSTI as it is a very complex and costly process.
Under a SRO in 2018, the Industries Ministry has added the poultry and fish feeds in the lists of mandatory CM licence to be attained from the BSTI.
Currently, the poultry and fish feed manufacturers produce nearly 100 types of feeds in their factories across the country. Some of the medium to large companies have more than one factories at different areas in the country.
Those companies need to take CM licence for each of their factories and for each of the 100 items separately. So, many small, medium and even big companies are not taking the certificate from the BSTI, industry insiders said.
President of World Poultry Science Association-Bangladesh Branch Abu Lutfe Fazle Rahim Khan told the FE that they were in trouble with the present policy on taking the CM licence from the BSTI as this complex and costly procedure affecting the country’s quality feed production and exports.
“I have some poultry and fisheries feed export orders from India. But the certification and other government policy issues are affecting my shipments,” Mr Rahim, also Managing Director of the Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Limited said.
“There are hundreds of small, medium and large poultry and fish feed industries, mostly infant, across the country. They are struggling for continuing their productions. In addition, the complex policy with huge payment for getting certificates is a big blow for them,” he added.
He said: “The local poultry and fish feed producers make nearly 100 items of feeds. They need to take CM licence for each of the production plants and each of the items separately. It is not only costly, also a complex procedure.”
He urged the government to bring the CM licencing under the lone regulatory authority-the fisheries and livestock ministry – to avoid the present hassles and complexities of taking the certificate from the BSTI.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) president Mashiur Rahman said that it was very tough to take CM licence from the BSTI for each of their feed items and for each of the productions plants.
BSTI director (CM) Sajjadul Bari said that they were working on the request.
“We’ve prepared our observation and sent it to our DG, who will examine send to the line ministry. The inter-ministerial authorities or the government will take the decision on it,” he added.