An ostrich farm in Nawabganj upazila of Dinajpur, owned by Malaysian resident, Arjuman Ara Begum, has created quite a hype. It is likely the first ever farm in Bangladesh established for trade purposes.
She brought ostriches all the way from South Africa and eventually built an ostrich farm which draws in a great many exuberant visitors from all over the country every day.
Arjuman's Eco Agro Farm in Malipara village is on one hectare of land belonging to her paternal family. The ostrich farm stretches across almost half of that area. There are a total of 15 ostriches on this farm aged five months, their weights ranging from 50kg to 60kg.
In 2014, Arjuman of Tarpanghat village in Dinajpur, settled in Malaysia with her entire family. When she visited Nepal she saw an ostrich farm there and grew a fascination towards it, intending to built one of her own someday.
“I returned home and started researching on the Internet regarding ostrich farms. Eventually, I managed to procure 20 ostrich chicks via a Bangladeshi importer from South Africa.
“After returning to Bangladesh, I built an ostrich farm in Malipara village in October 2016. Two of the ostrich chicks died on the farm but the rest survived, and now there are 15 on my farm,” she added.
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The ostrich farm in Nawabganj, Dinajpur currently has 15 ostriches, all aged five months and weighing between 50kg and 60kg Halim Al Raji/Dhaka Tribune
Speaking of her experience so far, Arjuman added: “I have crossed the hurdles of the initial stages of building the farm and now I am doing quite well. A month back, a team from South Africa visited my farm and they encouraged me on my venture, saying that the conditions in Bangladesh are favourable for raising ostriches.”
The caretakers of the farm and local sources said this is the first ever venture of its kind in Nawabganj.
“Ostriches are gentle-natured birds that are fully mature at two years of age. They live on simple vegetation such as spinach and feed. They need to be showered and walked once in a while,” local sources said.
Ostriches tend to lay 60 to 70 eggs in a year and grow up to weigh as much as 150 to 200kg. If ostriches are nurtured properly, the demand for beef will significantly reduce in the country. Similarly, the inflow of foreign currency will rise when ostrich feather, meat, and bones are exported.
Livestock Officer Dr Nasirul Islam said: “I am not aware of any other ostrich farm in Bangladesh. But she [Arjuman] has built a private ostrich farm and brought in ostrich chicks.
“With adequate care, these ostriches will bring in tremendous success. We, at the upazila livestock department, are aiding her in any way possible. We hope this farm can remain prosperous” he added.