‘The price of animal feed has risen by 24% on an average’
The dairy farmers of Chittagong region are gravely concerned as prices of animal feed have gone up in recent times.
The farmers said the dairy and cattle raising business has now turned out to be a losing concern due to abnormal hike of feed prices.
Against this backdrop, farmers have urged the government to take necessary steps to rein in the runaway prices of the animal feed.
Rate of Hike
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Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Malik Mohammad Omar, organizing secretary of Chittagong Divisional Dairy Farmers Association, said that the price hike of animal feed is the main problem faced by the farmers.
Omar said: “A farmer has to spend 70% of his total cost for purchasing the animal feed. The stockists are to blame for the abnormal price hike.”
“The marginal farmers are hit hard by the price hike. You cannot stop feeding the cows since the nutrition deficiency will cause death of the high-producing dairy cows.”
“Granular feed is a must for a high-producing dairy cow. Every day, a dairy farmer has to spend Tk300-350 as feed cost for a high-producing dairy cow. The price of animal feed has risen by 24% on an average. A slight increase in feed prices becomes a burden for the farmers,” Omar added.
“Previously, I had to spend Tk300 per day for a 20-kg lactating cow. But now I have to spend Tk370 per day for a cow as feed cost,” said Shahed Ayatullah Khan, joint secretary of Chittagong Dairy Farm Association, while talking to Dhaka Tribune.
He said: “The farmers are already in a tight spot due to Covid-19 pandemic. The price hike of feed will create an additional pressure on the farmers.”
“In the long run, farmers will feel discouraged in rearing cattle and the country’s self-sufficiency on meat and milk will be reduced,” said Shahed, adding that the government should intensify market monitoring in order to keep the feed prices in check.
According to the District Livestock office, there are around 3,500 registered and unregistered dairy farmers in Chittagong.