'We are seeing an atmosphere in the village where people are determined to generate income from bull fattening'
More than 12,500 people in rural areas—mostly women—of Rajshahi are now passing busy days rearing domestic cattle to sell at the local cattle markets ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
Consumers are now positively aware about a cows' quality. Farmers, consumers, and businessmen, are now all aware of the harmful effects of fattening cows by use of steroids or other harmful chemicals.
So, even though the farmers have replaced their traditional domestic cattle-rearing process with modern and commercially potential ones, they are using Urea Molasses Straw technology (a mixture of water, urea, molasses, and straw), which is organic, and results in rapid beef fattening.
They are also availing loans from different public and private commercial banks for purchasing bulls, and are repaying within due time.
A group of local farmers formed Medium and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Premtaly village with an intention of making their bull fattening business profitable, and sustainable.
The initiative was taken to disseminate the best learning and practices to others, so as to elevate their socio-economic condition, and promote women empowerment through boosting the sector that can meet the country’s protein deficiency.
“I, myself, prepare the straw, grass, and other fodders for my cows regularly. I am working hard to improve my economic condition though cattle rearing,” said a local cattle farmer, Anjuman Ara Begum, 43, while talking to BSS at her home in Gogram village of Godagari upazila.
Her neighbour Abdus Sattar, 53, also narrated his success story with four bulls. At least 43 other families in the locality are organically fattening cattle to get the best out of the lucrative sacrificial cattle market.
“We are seeing an atmosphere in the village where people are determined to generate income from bull fattening,” he added.
Like Premtaly, around 12,500 rural people are operating more than 425 cattle fattening MSEs in 17 upazilas of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Natore, and Pabna districts, said Kollyan Kumar Fouzder, divisional deputy director of the Department of Livestock Services.
He added that the producers have adopted new and improved skills, practices, and technologies in cattle fattening, which is contributing to enhanced production, and productivity.
All the line departments have become proactive towards supporting market actors especially Local Service Providers (LSPs), and Service Providers Associations (SPAs) by dint of their complementary roles in extension services.
In practice, the LSPs provide training, advice, and input to the producers, and earn an average of Tk4000 per month. Routinely, they extend different modern technology to the producers through setting demonstration pilots in the locality.
They organize community meeting for generating public awareness about quality inputs.
In all the MSE areas, service contracts were established to provide the regular necessary services, and inputs to the farmers. SPA has a good collaboration, and linkage with line departments, and private companies. As a result, a win-win business model has been developed among them.
District Livestock Officer Humayun Kabir told BSS that the venture promotes various value-addition activities of bull fattening,l which reflected a sustainable economic change for the poorest people, particularly women.
Many of the rural families have been rearing, and fattening bulls commercially, and earning huge profits every year. In the wake of an expansion of modern technology, the animal husbandry sector is flourishing in the area, boosting the local economy by reducing the import of sacrificial animals from India, he added.
Meanwhile, sacrificial animals are being brought to the various cattle markets including city hat, Nawhata, Baneshwar, Rajabari, Mohishalbari, Damkura, and Chowbaria for the upcoming Eid festival.