If I were a big award organiser, I would have presented a big national prize to Kazi Zahedul Hasan, the owner and the Ceo of the Kazi Farms. Over the last decade, his company’s stake in the country’s poultry food sector grew up to more than 40 percent. But what is so remarkable is it has kept the prices of poultry chicken below 120 taka per kilogram for five consecutive years. The price of eggs has also fallen if you adjust their values to annual inflation.
As a regular visitor to my village and countless of villages in Bangladesh, I have seen how villagers love eating poultry chicken. When a newly wed daughter and her husband visit her parents home, it is the poultry curry that celebrates the occasion. When a village elder dies, his children holds the funeral feast for 1,000 people with poultry chicken. In fact, rice, poultry chicken and daal is the standard menu for Fateha Feast.
The Eid Al Fitr is also the biggest celebration to eat poultry. Shab-e-Barat feast must have a poultry course. And wedding and circumcision parties of poor and lower middle class people are big poultry affairs. And all were possible because the price of poultry chicken has been historically low and their meat is as delicious as those of the open yard raised deshi chicken. Thanks to their popularity, every rural Haat now has four to five poultry chicken shops.
Just think about the consequences if we didn’t have a poultry revolution. Beef meat would have been sold at 1,500 taka per kilogram, goat would have been sold at 2,500 taka per kilogram and a deshi chicken somewhere around 2,000 taka. It would also hit the prices of fish across the country. The minimum prices of a one kilogram Hilsha would be sold at 1,500 taka and Pangus at 300 taka.
Kazi Zahedul Hasan is a Harvard trained businessman. But at least unlike many of his compatriots, he did not cash in on his super monopoly stake in the poultry sector. In the post 2000s, he has been perhaps the best friend of the country’s tens of millions of poor with his contribution being more consequential than that of many of our globe trotting charity bosses.