24 May 2024, 12:08

Goat rearing elevates fortunes of marginalized families in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI, May 24, 2024 (BSS) - The venture of goat fattening has become
popular as many marginalized families have elevated their fortunes in the
region, including its vast Barind tract, side by side with beef and lamb

Besides commercial farming, like the previous couple of years, many of the
grassroots villagers are seen rearing different species of goat, including
black Bengal, either in house or homestead areas in their native way.

According to the Official sources of the Department of Livestock Services,
around 5.30 lakh goats have been fattened and reared in farms and houses
ahead of the Eid-ul-Adha in the district.

Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), a state-owned anti-poverty
organisation, has been extending financial and technical support to the
farmers in association with various non-government development organisations,
including Sataful Bangladesh (SB).

Sohel Rana and his wife Rima Khatun, are both graduates of Daulatpur village
under Bagmara upazila, have started goat rearing ventures at their house,
failing to get a government job around five years back.

Since then, they used to rear goats and sell them in sacrificial animal
markets before Eid and the couple became self-reliant.

Two years back, they found a goat fattening farm adjacent to their house.

Talking to BSS here on Saturday, Sohel Rana said they fattened around 30
goats after purchasing kids at Taka 1.80 lakh in the current year. They sold
eight of those at Taka 1.70 lakh and the rest are expected to be sold at
around Taka 4.25 lakh.

He said many rural families have been rearing and fattening goats
commercially and earning huge profits every year. Some poor and marginalized
people, including women, have achieved tremendous success in the sector.

For the last couple of years, many villagers have been seen fattening their
goats using natural methods. They use only straw, molasses, oilcake, gram,
black-gram, green grass and wheat bran as feed instead of any steroid tablets
or injection.

Executive Director of Sataful Bangladesh Nazim Uddin Mollah said they are
providing financial and technical assistance to the village-level
entrepreneurs towards establishing goat farms and many of the beneficiaries
have become self-reliant.
District Livestock Officer Dr Zulfikar Muhammad Akhter Hossain said there is
an immense prospect of rearing and fattening goats.

There are more than 100 goat fattening farms in the district. Besides, the
farming families reared two to five goats in houses.

In the current year, around 5.26 lakh goats were reared in the district, up
by around one lakh than the previous year.

Dr Zulfikar Akhter said substantial and sustainable boosting of the rearing
of goats, including black Bengal, has been playing a vital role towards
meeting protein demands coupled with promoting income generation and
improving the living and livelihood conditions of rural people.

Farming has also been playing vital roles towards creating earning
opportunities and reducing poverty, besides meeting the protein demand of
rural people.

He said the climate of the region is favorable for rearing Black Bengal
goats. The unemployment problem can be solved and the poverty of the rural
people can be reduced easily by farming Black Bengal goats.

The 'Black Bengal' is one of the top five meat producing breeds in the world.
Its child production capacity is high, the meat is delicious, the skin is of
international quality, its life expectancy in the region's climate is high
and it is a tool for poverty alleviation.

The existing seven public sector farms in different parts of the country,
including one in Rajshahi, have been renovated with modern facilities on
behalf of the project.

Sheds have been built as per the ideal standard. The farms have been
modernized by setting up offices, accommodation, godown, road,
electrification, drainage, dipping bath, composting, shed, boundary wall and
deep tube-well.

Dr Zulfikar Akhter said they are also setting up exhibition farms side by
side by creating skilled manpower and public awareness of goat rearing,
coupled with supplying good quality goats from seven government goat
development farms to the farmers at the upazila level.

Prof Jalal Uddin Sarder of the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
in Rajshahi University said there are immense prospects of increasing export
of goat meat by adopting artificial insemination programmes and increasing
input support to medium-scale farmers, which will ease unemployment, meet
nutritional needs, achieve economic independence and earn foreign currency.

Substantial and sustainable boosting the rearing of black Bengal goats can be
the best way of meeting protein demands coupled with promoting income
generation and improving living and livelihood conditions of rural people.

Prof Jalal Sarder said farming of Black Bengal goats has a vital role to play
towards creating earning opportunities and reducing poverty besides meeting
the protein demand of rural people.

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