The BDFA urges the government to force the companies to buy fresh milk from the farmers in the crisis moment to save the local dairy sector
The pandemic of deadly coronavirus hit local dairy farmers hard, said the Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association (BDFA).
"For last seven days, we could not sell even 60% milk we produced. As a result, dairy farmers, especially marginal ones, are passing very tough time to survive," said Mohammad Imran Hossain, president of the association.
If the situation prolongs, the local dairy sector may collapse, he fears.
The president came up with the statements while addressing a video conference at the BDFA office at Mohammadpur in the capital on Wednesday.
General Secretary of the association Shah Emran, Vice President Ali Azam Rahman Shibli were present.
The president said that they used to sell 84% of their produced milk to localities and sweetshops. "But the decision of shutting down markets including sweetshop amid coronavirus spread decreased our sales badly," he said.
"About 12,000,000-15,000,000 liters milk worth Tk57 crore remain unsold every day," he added.
As milk is perishable item and farmers have no technology to preserve it, everyday they are incurring huge losses, says Mohammad Imran.
The loss was not affordable at all for the marginal farmers, he adds.
To tackle the adverse situation the BDFA sought immediate support from the government.
It says the country has three milk processing companies having capacity to preserve milk for processing milk into milk powder.
The BDFA urged the government to force the companies to buy fresh milk from the farmers in the crisis moment to save the local dairy sector.
Currently, they collect very little amount of milk from the farmers, it says.
Otherwise, 50% dairy firms, the BDFA fears, will fail to survive and be forced to shut down.
Curently, the country has 350,000 dairy firms and about 12,000,000 people are directly or indirectly involved in the sector.
Local firms meet about 70% of the total demand of milk.