22 Jun 2024, 12:48

Rising production makes Rajshahi self-reliant in milk, meat

By Md Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, June 22, 2024 (BSS)- Gradually rising milk in dairy farms everywhere in the district, particularly in char and village areas, has made the district self-reliant in milk and meat.

According the district livestock office, 5.5 lakh tones of milk were produced against the demand of 5.8 lakh tones last year. This year, 5.8 lakh tonnes were produced and the number of milk-giving cows is around three lakh.

Char (shoal) areas under Godagari, Paba and Bagha Upazilas have become the suitable and profitable places for rearing and fattening domestic animals, including cattle, buffalos and sheep, at present.

Talking to BSS here Friday, Shafiqul Islam, owner of a cattle farm at Char Khidirpur Under Paba Upazila, said they have gradually been enhancing cattle rearing as a result of rising milk and meat prices for the last couple of years.

Production of animal proteins, particularly milk, meat and eggs, has been enhanced significantly everywhere in the division as a result of need-based and time-fitting initiatives taken by the government.
Production of milk was 4.44 lakh tonnes followed by meat 3.41 lakh tonnes and 85.09 crore eggs in 2009-2010 financial year (FY). But, the three figures hiked to 29.69 lakh tonnes, 17.52 lakh tonnes and 450.77 crore respectively in 2021-2022 FY.

 Dr Abdul Hai Sarker, Divisional Director of the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), told BSS that they are working relentlessly with the vision of ensuring safe, adequate and quality animal proteins to all.

 Fulfilling existing demands of animal proteins through boosting production and productivity and value addition of animal proteins is their mission.

 Dr Sarker said many upazilas, including Shahzadpur, Sadar, Ullapara and Belkuchi in Sirajganj, Santhia, Bera, Faridpur and Bhangura in Pabna, Gabtoli and Sherpur in Bogura, Paba and Boalia in Rajshahi, Punchbibi in Joypurhat, Shibganj in Chapainawabganj and Sadar and Gurudaspur in Natore, have become milk-growing.

 Besides, Santhia, Bera and Ishwardi upazilas in Pabna, Shahjadpur and Ullapara in Sirajganj, Sherpur, Gabtoli and Dhunat in Bogura, Shibganj and Gomostapur in Chapainawabganj, Akkelpur and Khetlal in Joypurhat and Godagari in Rajshahi are now being detected as meat-growing ones.
In the division consisting of eight districts, there are 146 milk chilling plants, 890 milk processing factories, 14 milk processing plants, 39 feed meal factories, 50 feed premix and two meat processing plants.
Apart from this, there are more than 77.90 lakh cattle, 1.21 lakh buffalos, 80.55 lakh goats, 12.20 lakh sheep, 7.25 crore chicken, 94.22 lakh ducks, 27.62 lakh pigeons, 4.03 lakh koel and 1.29 lakh turkey.
On behalf of the Livestock and Dairy Development Project, around 1.33 lakh marginalized farmers were given incentives worth around Taka 151.55 crore.

 In addition to imparting training to 62,862 farmers, 18,660 others were given vaccines and 42,896 deworming tablets.

 Many of the marginalized households have improved their living and livelihood conditions through rearing sheep in the region, including its vast Barind tract, during the 15 years.

 Abdul Mannan, 53, of Mollapara village under Godagari upazila has become self-reliant through sheep farming.

He said the sheep farming has eradicated his poverty and enhanced his dignity in the society. He gets money, meat and milk from it regularly.

 Habiba Khatun, wife of Abdul Kuddus, a farmer of Rajabari in Godagari upazila, has become an icon in the field of sheep farming.

 In addition to beef fattening, the venture of goat fattening has become popular as many marginalized families have become self-reliant in the region, including its vast Barind tract.

 Apart from commercial farming, many of the villagers are seen rearing different species of goat, including black Bengal, either in house or homestead areas in their native way.

 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.

 Ashraful Islam has become an icon in his locality in terms of attaining economic emancipation side by side with boosting his level of confidence through duck farming for the last couple of years.

 A resident of Buzrukula village in Bagmara upazila of the district, he has around 1,500 ducks, including around 1,000 egg-laying ones, in his farm at present generating the path of earning around Taka 15 lakh yearly on an average.

Professor Jalal Uddin Sarder, who teaches at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Rajshahi University, stressed the need for uplifting the livestock sector for food security, self-employment and poverty reduction.


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