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Rajshahi marginal dairy farmers need marketing scope

WT24 Desk

Marginal and medium dairy farmers in the city and its outskirts need proper milk marketing scope for making their business profitable and sustainable together with boosting the dairy sector, Agencies report.

“I have to face embarrassing situation frequently when I failed to sell my regular produced milk,” said Golam Rahid, a dairy farmer of Assam Colony area in the city, while talking to BSS here.

He started his business after purchasing a cow at a cost of Taka 10,000 in 1990. Now, he has 15 cows producing 120 liters of milk every day. Amidst arrangement of high yielding and high breeding cows, milk production has been enhanced to a great extent. He sells the milk going at the local’s doorsteps as there is no any specific selling point in the city.

Golam Rahid said dairy farming has now become expensive in the wake of price-hiking of cow’s feed items, medicines and other requisite inputs.

After struggling for survival many frustrated farmers closed their business due to financial hardship. But, their cow-sheds and other infrastructures remained empty till now in intact condition. Mainly, they abandoned their business due to lack of marketing facilities incurring huge financial loss. Some others are now operating their business with multiple problems.

Artificial insemination of cows is gaining popularity in the region following significant achievement in improving the breeding system. Artificial insemination is a process of collecting sperm cells from a male animal and manually depositing them into the reproductive tract of a female. By Dint of cross breeding the cows are giving milk ten times more than the previous record, added Golam Rahid.

“Basically, I was bound to shut down my business due to various reasons including lack of marketing scope,” said Zuber Mian, also a dairy farmer, who shut down his venture around six months back.

Masudul Haque, another dairy farmer, said there were more than 30,000 small and marginal dairy farms in the region around 20 years back but the number has been reduced to limited ones at present.

But the region has an enormous opportunity to meet up existing protein deficiency of the local people through boosting the sector.

“I had established a dairy farm with 15/16 milking cows in 2010, but now have been suffering a lot,” said Masudul Haque, adding that there are a good number of selling points in many areas across the country so why not in Rajshahi.

For our survival, we need a business-friendly atmosphere where all requisite facilities will be available, he appealed. Dr Zulfikar Akhter Hossain, Additional District Livestock Officer, said there are 617 dairy farms having around 1.5 cows in the district. Annual milk production here is around 2.4 lakh metric tons.

He, however, says number of dairy farm isn’t being increased due to lack of selling facility.

Dr Hemayetul Islam, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer of Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Rajshahi University, opined substantial and sustainable promotion of dairy farming is very important for removing the existing protein deficiency of the people along with decreasing the poverty rate in the region.

The unemployment problem in the rural areas could be reduced to a great extent through making the dairy farming popular at the grassroots level.  Moreover, the dairy sector can play a vital role in alleviating poverty in the region.

So, administration including local government entities should come forward to establish selling points to encourage many entrepreneurs to invest in the sector, he said.

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