Some 19 Live Bird Markets (LBMs) will be upgraded in major cities in a couple of months to provide hygienic poultry products to consumers, minimising the risk of spread of avian influenza or bird flu.
Of the 19 LBMs, eight will be upgraded in Dhaka and 11 in other major cities, including five divisional cities and Bogra and Cox's Bazar.
The renovation works of five LBMs in Dhaka have already been completed.
The move, symbolic in nature, is expected to yield positive benefits by creating awareness among poultry traders and consumers about advantages of maintaining bio-security in LBMs.
It also calls for government initiative to replicate models of these upgraded LBMs in all over the country to provide people access to safe food and minimise the risk of spread of avian influenza from the LBMs, a major source of spreading bird flu.
This was shared at a programme organised to inaugurate an upgraded LBM market at New Market in the capital yesterday.
“This is about healthy life that we can try to provide to consumers,” said Ad Spijkers, FAO representative in Bangladesh, adding that clean markets would help reduce the chance of spreading disease to customers, other markets and poultry farms.
Sunil Chandra Gain, director general of the Department of Livestock Services, and Denise Rollins, USAID mission director in Bangladesh, were also present.
LBMs are being renovated under a USAID funded project on improved bio-security and hygiene production. FAO in collaboration with the Department of Livestock Services run the project.
Under the $575,000 project, infrastructure of the newly opened market has been developed, while cleaning and disinfections equipment and commodities have also been provided to reduce any chance of spreading disease to consumers, other market and poultry farms.
LBM workers such as cleaners have also been provided training to wash, clean and disinfect the markets regularly, organisers said.
The renovation of LBMs is part of the initiative to prevent possible transmission of highly contagious disease such as avian influenza, outbreak of which caused a huge loss of poultry industry in the months since March 2007.
Referring to the improved market, the FAO representative said the project is a pilot one, hence upgraded LBMs could not be set up in all over the country.
“We cannot do it everywhere. So upgradation of markets should be the part of government initiative to improve hygiene condition,” he said.