Helping the Poultry Industry Keep Bangladesh Healthy, a Policy Co-creation Workshop in Dhaka
“Many poultry producers know how to handle chickens safely, and they have a good attitude towards safe poultry production, but in reality, they don’t do it. They use too many antibiotics and don’t remove sick chickens from the flock. There’s moral hazard here – farms overuse growth promoters and boost their profits, but the overall system grows weaker and less resilient.” Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman Khan, from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), said as he summarized his research team’s learnings at a recent event in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Dr. Khan co-leads a project designed to help policymakers address unsafe chicken production, processing, and sales. On July 19, 2023, the project team held a policy co-creation workshop on “Safe Poultry Value Chain Development Strategies in Bangladesh” at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Farmgate, Dhaka. USAID and Purdue University’s LASER Pulse program sponsored the research, which works with local stakeholders to co-design solutions and translate them into policy and practice.
During his opening remarks, Texas State University’s Dr. Madan M Dey, who serves as Co-PI for the project (along with TSU’s Dr. Pratheesh Omana Sudhakarn and BAU’s Dr. Khan) summarized their team’s purpose:
“We set out to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of safe chicken handling and to identify the factors that either create the moral hazard problem or improve the resilience capacity of the system. This project will lead directly to training programs and materials for chicken producers and value chain actors so that we promote safe chicken production and consumption in Bangladesh.’ The team met with 805 informants, including 412 poultry producers across seven regions of Bangladesh.
The event culminated in a policy co-creation session chaired by the former director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI), Dr. Jahangir Alam Khan. The 140 participants from various universities, research institutes, government offices, and media interacted with a panel and gave their responses and recommendations for policy. The session lasted for 2 hours.
Farmers and different value chain actors explained the problems they face during production and marketing and they gave their views on why moral hazards happen. They also suggested mitigation strategies to the policymakers.
Government officials also discussed laws and issues around implementation, transparency, and accountability. In the end, participants handed over several policy directions to the government for consideration. Since this event, the research team has continued with training and writing a final research report, which is forthcoming.