Manikganj turkey farmer has eyes on French market

After years of success in farming turkey in the Philippines, an expatriate Bangladeshi has set up a farm at his village home in Manikganj with an aim to export the poultry to markets in France.  

With that goal in mind, Mohammed Abul Kalam Azad imported 500 Converter Commercial Hybrid turkey chicks from France in 2017 and started rearing the birds at his farm in Baliakhora village of Ghior upazila, reports our Manikganj correspondent.

In April this year, Azad imported a new batch of the same breed and has been raising the chicks at his farm named Brothers Turkey Valley and Medicine. He hopes that each bird, weighing about nine kilogrammes now, will grow up to 35kg and be ready for export to France by October this year.

Asked why he was targeting particularly France for the export of the poultry, Azad said turkey meat is in high demand in the country as it is considered highly nutritional for its high protein and low-fat count with no cholesterol.

Due to the good demand, it will be profitable to sell the meat in French markets where it is sold at around 9 EUR per kilogramme, he said, adding that turkey farming for local markets can also be profitable as the meat currently sells here for Tk 300 to Tk 350 per kg.

Azad, who has a masters degree in physics from Dhaka University, has been working as a manager at a buying house in the Philippines in 2000, when he was inspired to rear turkey after visiting several successful turkey farms in the neighbourhood there.

That year, he started with 21 birds and found success in the following year when he set up a full-fledged farm for rearing the Converter Commercial Hybrid turkey chicks that he imported from France.  

The farm soon started exporting the poultry and in recognition of the achievement, it received awards and accolades each year, said Azad.

Azad said he was the sole importer of turkey in Bangladesh till date and hoped to contribute to the country’s economy in future by earning foreign currency through the export of turkey meat.

Dr Mahbubul Islam Tuku, livestock officer in Manikganj, said turkey meat is safe for human consumption and the number of turkey farms is on the rise in the district.


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