April 12, 2024, 5:12 pm

Fodder price hike hits dairy farmers in North

  • Update Time : Tuesday, January 2, 2024
  • 37 Time View
The photo shows the view of a dairy farm located in Shahzadpur in Sirajganj district. -Daily Sky Photo

Russia-Ukraine war blamed for short supply of fodders’ raw materials

 SIRAJUL ISLAM SHISHIR:

Dairy farm owners in the northern region especially in Sirajganj, Pabna and Bogura are now facing trouble due to frequent rising of fodder prices.

Farmers blamed Russia-Ukraine war behind the declination of raw material supply that hits fodder production in the country. It is being apprehended that, many farms may be closed shortly, if such trend of fodder price soaring continues.

Sirajganj, Pabna and Bogura district of the northern region are famous for dairy farms. Large portion of processed milk are supplied to Dhaka and different places from Milk Vita, one of the largest pasteurized milk processing units of the country, located at Baghabari in Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj district. The largest plant of the Milk Vita was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Captain M Monsur Ali on February 1 in 1975.

But, farmers of the region are now at dire straits due to abnormally price hike of cattle feeds caused by short supply of fodders’ raw materials centering the Russia-Ukraine war. As a result, farmers fear to face losses in future.

According to the sources of Livestock Department, there are about 1 million cattle in 13,400 dairy farms in Sirajganj. Of them, around 14,000 are bulls. Those will be fattened with the aim to sale in upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. Besides, there are over 1 million cattle in different farms of Pabna and Bogura district. In this circumstance, huge quantity of cattle feeds is needed here daily. But, most of the farm owners can’t purchase fodders especially mustard cake (Khail), husk and straw due to frequent price hike.

During a spot visit to different areas in the region, The Daily Sky correspondent found that, grasses are being provided to the cattle instead of grain feeds. Consequently, farmers are facing problem in growing and rearing of their cattle.

Abdul Gafur, owner of a dairy farm at Potazia village in Shahzadpur upazila said, “I have a dairy farm, where there are about 200 cows. The milk of my farm is supplied to Milk Vita. But, milk production has now dropped due to fodder crisis. I can’t purchase sufficient amount of fodders from market for high prices. Now, I am thinking to change my profession with a view to get rid from the clutch of price hike.”

During a visit to different markets, this correspondent came to know that, feed traders are involved in realizing additional prices from the farm owners on different excuses. Fodder producing companies and trader syndicate are blamed for such situation.

Insiders said, a sack of wheat husk with 37 kg weight is now being sold at Tk 1650. But it was sold at Tk 1300 few months ago. Similarly, a sack of 40 kg weight paddy husk is now being sold between Tk 500 and Tk 550 against the price at Tk 250 few months ago. A sack of oil cake (mustard) with 74 kg weight is now being sold between Tk 3200 and Tk 3500 against the previous rate at Tk 2800. The prices of other fodders including straw and high quality grasses have increased three times compared to the previous period.

Nozir Ali, a farm owner of Sonatola village in Bogura district said, “Milk production of my farm has decreased nowadays as I can’t provide necessary feeds to my cattle. On the other hand, the price of milk has remained same like two years back.”

Bachchu Sheikh, a farmer of Bera in Pabna district said, “Carrying dairy farms has now become difficult due to soaring of cattle feeds. Now, we have no way to survive without closing the farms.”

Habibur Rahman, District Livestock Officer (DLO/Addl Charge) in Sirajganj said, “We are advising the farm owners to feed raw grasses to their cattle instead of grain feeds. Besides, we are monitoring the market prices in which no feed trader syndicate can amass money from the cattle farmers in illegal means.”

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