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21 July, 2018 12:40:58 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 July, 2018 11:42:27 AM

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High feed prices hamper fattening of cows

ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
High feed prices hamper fattening of cows

A recent hike in prices of cattle feed and other essentials have forced farmers to refrain from fattening of cows. They are rearing other sacrificial animals for this year’s Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest festivals of Muslims.

According to sources, at least 4.23 lakh fewer cows and 10.07 lakh fewer goats and sheep have been reared this year compared to the the previous year across the country.

Farmers explain their lack of enthusiasm for raising sacrificial animals under the fattening programme because of cattle coming from neighbouring countries like Myanmar, India and Bhutan before Eid-ul-Azha celebrations.

They also claim that they have to bear huge losses every year due to a plentiful supply of cattle from neighbouring countries despite high demands for the local breed in the sacrificial market.

Mahmudur Rahman, a cattle farmer at Katuli in Delduar upazila of Tangail district, said: “I generally rear three to five animals every year to earn some extra money during Eid-ul-Azha. But this year, I don’t have any cow because the price of their feed is very high.”

“I am raising two oxen to earn some extra bucks this year. It is very tough to rear sacrificial animals as the prices of their feed are very high,” said Julekha Begum of Chuhali upazila in Sirajganj district.

According to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), about 1.10 crore sacrificial animals are needed in the country for this year’s Eid-ul-Azha.

According to DLS sources, a total of 11,588,923 cattle are being prepared for this year’s Eid-ul-Azha under the cow-fattening programme in 442,991 commercial farms across the country.

Dr ABM Khaleduzzaman, assistant director (farm) of DLS, said: “A total of 2,814,248

cattle, 96,392 buffaloes, 15,37,997 goats, 288,422 sheep and 31,923 other animals like camel and dumba are ready for sacrificial purposes under the fattening program for Eid-ul-Azha in commercial farms.” He also said that other than these, 1,546,360 aged and non-productive cows and buffaloes, along with 5,273,581 goats and sheep, are also being readied for Eid.

“Last year, 10,421,956 cattle were slaughtered on Eid-ul-Azha. There will be a surplus rather than a shortfall in supply. Apart from commercial farms, many household farmers also raise cattle, goats and sheep, keeping Eid-ul-Azha in mind and the number would be twice than that supplied by the cattle farmers,” he added.  

A meeting of ministers was held on July 12, where it was decided that the security of the border areas will be tightened to prevent smugglers from bringing in cattle from neighbouring countries.

The DLS official said: “A directive has already been given to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to strengthen its monitoring system to stop smuggles in this regard.”

“We want to ensure the interest of local farmers so that they can make a profit by selling their animals. We are now ready to meet the local demand from our own production. Bangladesh is already self-sufficient in meat production,” he noted.

“The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and other concerned agencies have taken action against the use of cattle-fattening steroids and feed, which are harmful to human health,” he stated.

“Our field-level DLS officials, local administration, police and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority are continuously monitoring the cow-fattening programme. They advised the farmers not to use any steroid or hormone for fattening up cows. Mobile courts are also being conducted on a regular basis across the country to ensure steroid- and hormone-free healthy cows,” he added. About 50 per cent of raw hides bought last year are yet to be sold because of a volatile market. Bangladesh Tannery Association (BTA) general secretary Md Shakahwatullh said: “China is our biggest market. But they are offering Tk. 20-25 less per square feet. So, we are in a problem now.”

IK/SI

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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