Duck meat exports have shown the potentiality as a new export item in line with the increasing demand among the expatriate Bangladeshis.
Bengal Meat – the only company in Bangladesh exporting 1,000-1,200 kilograms of ducks to the Maldives every year since 2018. Prior to that, the company has been exporting beef and mutton for a long time.
Bengal Meat collects the bird from various farms. It exports ducks after processing, which includes removing their feathers.
However, its Chief Executive Officer AFM Asif said that export figures are still very low.
The company’s commercial and export head AKM Syedul Haq Bhuyan said the company had faced some problems initially but successfully overcome them.
He said 200-300 kilogrammes of ducks are exported in each container. “Although the export figure is very small, we are exporting ducks and that is a positive sign,” he said.
Syedul also said the firm had not received any orders from foreign buyers yet.
“We are capable of supplying ducks if we get orders. As duck farms are growing in the country, exports will not be a problem if there is demand,” he explained.
He further said duck meat production depends on the season and increases in winter.
“Meat quality also remains good in winter. The demand for duck meat is low in other seasons. Demand falls dramatically in summer. We sell 20 tonnes of duck meat in winter in the local market.”
According to the Department of Livestock Services, ducks possess 16 per cent of the country’s total poultry production while chickens hold the remaining 84 per cent share.
In the last five years, duck production has increased by around 15 per cent. Also, the annual production growth is around 3 per cent.
There are 8,086 registered and 500-600 non-registered duck farms in the country. Farms rearing fewer than 1,000 ducks are not registered.
Registered farms are divided into three categories. Farms rearing 1,001-3,000 ducks belong to the first category while second and third category farms rear 3,001-5,000 and over 5,000 ducks respectively.
In 2015-16, 522.40 lakh ducks were produced. The figure increased to 597.17 lakh in fiscal year 2019-20.
Deputy Director (farms) of the Department of Livestock Services Dr ABM Khaleduzzaman said the number of duck farms and the demand for duck meat have gradually been increasing in the country.
Commercial farming has been increasing in different parts of the country over the last few years. Earlier ducks were being reared domestically. Duck rearing in winter is increasing in the lowlands or haors.
The native duck belongs to the categories of Indigenous Non-descript, Deshi White, Deshi Black, Nageshwari, Sylhet Mete, etc. Improved natives, such as BLRI 1 and BLRI 2, are developed by the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.
Exotic ducks, such as Khaki Campbell, Indian Runner, Jending, Muscovy, White Pekin, Cherry Valley and Thailand Black are also produced in the country.
Bird dealers at Kaptan Bazar and other markets in the capital say ducks mostly come from haor areas and northern districts, especially Kishoreganj, Netrokona, Sunamganj, Naogaon, Rangpur and Dinajpur.