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Cattle and dairy farm industry of Bangladesh


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Hi-tech dairy farm in Munshiganj shows bright prospect

A human being requires 250 millilitres of milk daily. But, at the moment, as per production, we’re getting 165 millilitres. According to the Livestock Department, of the total demand for milk in the country, 64.68 per cent was produced in the fiscal year 2018-19. A large part of the demand is not being met. As a result, powder milk is being imported from abroad. So it is evident that there is potentially a huge market for milk in our country. On the other hand, the demand for safe organic food is increasing day by day. Consumers want assurance of safe milk. Given these factors, a large number of entrepreneurs are thinking about the potential of this sector. The Dutch Dairy Farm, set up on 102 bighas (33.71 acre) of land at Satgharia village in Louhajang upazila of Munshiganj, is a consequence of such innovative thought for development of local dairy industry. I had been thinking about going to the farm for a year. One morning in last December, I arrived there. Just as I thought, it looked like what I had seen in the Netherlands, Belgium and also in England. It has been truly fascinating. It is exactly how the industry should be planned and what it should look like. Started only one and a half years ago, the farm has already shown good output.

Once upon a time, when we heard the word ‘cow farm’, the sight of cows lining up in a rural farm always came to mind. I was wondering when we will use machines to collect milk in our country’s dairy farms. Dutch Dairy Farm seems to point out the change. They understood that an international standard cow farm can be developed by maintaining certain rules and using modern technology. Although it is not new to the audience of ‘Hridoye Mati O Manush’. Surely you remember the De Marke dairy farm in the Netherlands, or the latest cow farms in countries including England, Belgium and South Korea. You must have seen these modern farms in programmes of ‘Hridoye Mati O Manush’.

On May 5 of 2018, 75 cows arrived from Sydney, Australia, at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on a chartered plane of Malaysian Airlines. Cows arrived in chartered aircraft before too, but in terms of number, this was a unique example. This farm started its journey maintaining an international standard with those 75 cows. More cows were added later. Now, the farm has more than 1200 cows. Dear readers, many of you have seen the smart farm of livestock. Specifically, you have seen the farms using IoT (Internet of Things) monitored by organizations called Digi Cow and Sunflower Limited. Information is easily received from a bolus in the belly or a chip on the neck of a cow to a mobile phone. One can get all the information related to the cow from any place. The use of the Internet of Things on this farm is another exception. In a few steps, the bolus is applied to the belly (stomach) of the cow. As a result, any physical changes of the cow can be easily read. The information is more accurate. This keeps the cows healthy, reduces costs and brings more profit.

Mohammad Gias Ahmed, director of Dutch Dairy Farm, looks after the farm. He has been involved with the dairy farm business for almost two decades. After studying in agriculture in the UK and the USA, he received training in the Netherlands. He showed me the entire farm. He said that there are more 1200 cows, both local and foreign, at the farm. There is a cow mattress on the floor of the cowshed. It looks like a carpet. As a result, cows do not feel pain while moving. It is comfortable for sleeping too. Here, hardly any disease occurs. The humidity, temperature and air are automatically controlled in the cowsheds. There are also modern fans to give cool air to the cows. Gias Ahmed said that each cow in the farm is given sufficient solid food, grass and water. In the farm, cow feed is made from a mixture of nutritious items, maintaining 100 per cent quality. The grass is cut with automatic machines. Ideal feed is made by mixing raw corn with other ingredients.

There is a misconception that foreign cows will not survive in the weather of this country. Gias said that he has proved the notion wrong. Foreign cows cannot provide enough milk – is another misconception. You will be surprised to know that almost all the 600 cows here give milk. Each cow gives milk from 35 to 45 litres. If any cow’s milk providing rate is dropped to 20 litres, then that cow is excluded. There is an ultramodern milking parlour. Milk can be collected from 12 cows at a time there. They are collecting an average of 15,000 litres of milk a day. Milk Vita, Rosh Sweets and Confectionery and several other enterprises of Dhaka collect milk from this farm.

At another shed, there are huge bulls. Those are for ‘fattening’. The animals are raised in this shed for meat. I had a conversation with Asif Mridha, manager of the farm. He said they have further plans to enter the international beef market.

For the last 10 years, I have been giving you glimpses of such developments in agriculture. Agriculture is becoming part of modern and smart trade of the big entrepreneurs. Our agriculture today is truly trade and investment-oriented. It is now the time to shape agriculture in the light of international quality. It is precisely from this realization that enterprises such as the ABA Group have started doing agriculture. This is quite promising. It has many possibilities as well as surprises awaiting Bangladesh’s agriculture production sector. Especially in view of the fourth industrial revolution, the connection of information and communication technology is very much needed in any production sector. This new agricultural initiative has set a precedent for success in this regard. I believe that there will be more and more world-class enterprises in agriculture. Through this, farming will get better, marking a new era of safe food production.

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Ban animal, meat imports from India, Myanmar: Traders

United News of Bangladesh. Dhaka | Published: 19:53, Jul 11,2020

Meat traders on Saturday placed a five-point demand including banning the imports of cattle, buffalo and meat from India and Myanmar for the sake of domestic animal husbandry.

Bangladesh Meat Traders Association and Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Merchant Association jointly organised a programme in this connection in the capital.

Their other demands included stopping extra charges collection at Gabtali cattle market, stopping oppression by lease holders and reducing the rent; completing waste and water treatment plant CETP soon as these are main obstacle for the leather industry’s development and export; training for meat workers helping meat traders association for the sake of good export earnings; and fixing rate of the raw hides of the sacrifices.

BMTA president Farid Ahmed said that India and Myanmar earned around Tk 60,000 crore in every year by cattle smuggling.  

Farid Ahmed said they can sell a kg meat at Tk 300 if the government and rich people gift cows, buffaloes, goats and lambs from their Jakat funds to poor farmers, widows and unemployed youths.

BMTA secretary general Rabiul Alam, DMMMA acting president Abdus Salam, its secretary Shamim Ahmed Quraisi, Bangladesh Animal Waste Collection Owners Association general secretary Sohel Ahmed and Bangladesh Dairy Farm Owners Association secretary Sah Imran also present there.

https://www.newagebd.net/article/110887/ban-animal-meat-imports-from-india-myanmar-traders

 

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12:00 AM, August 12, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:04 AM, August 12, 2020

The animal waste that is earning crores for many

omasum.jpg?itok=IzOB63tz&c=d8860750c2698

Photo: Rajib Raihan

Omasum, a compact spherical organ of cattle that most don't bother with, is actually raking in crores for 12 businesses in Bangladesh.

Each year, the organ, which is widely consumed in China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, fetches more than Tk 250 crore in export receipts.

But this year, the ongoing pandemic has changed the scenario, said Abdur Razzak, manager of Vivid Group, which makes about Tk 40 lakh in profit by sending frozen omasums.

Omasum of more than 1 kilogram normally cost Tk 350.

Before preservation, they are cleaned and salted. The exporters then wash off the salt and get rid of the unnecessary parts and freeze those in small packets for sending abroad.

 

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/the-animal-waste-earning-crores-many-1943641

 

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12:00 AM, January 10, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:32 AM, January 10, 2021

Bangladesh gets its first fully-automated dairy farm

Kongkon Karmaker

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As the cowsheds were designed using a Swedish model, the animals feel more comfortable in these sheds. Photo: Star

Eon Group has established the country's first automated dairy farm in a village of Badarganj upazila in Rangpur.

The state-of-the-art facility will mainly produce pasteurised milk alongside other milk-based products such as ghee, curd and ice cream.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim inaugurated the farm as chief guest yesterday.

He expressed deep satisfaction over the facility, which will retail products under a Barakah brand.

The dairy farm was built on 50 acres of land in Shantoshpur village at the end of 2019.

The same year, Eon Group imported 225 pregnant Holstein Friesian cows from Australia which are now being reared at the farm.

The cows started producing milk in December last year.

During a visit to the site on Saturday, this correspondent found the cows in several large sheds separated by gender and age.

A milk processing plant was also installed at the farm, which employs 45 people.

Dr AKM Serajul Haq, an adviser to the farm, said all aspects of the facility were fully automated, from preparing the fodder to packaging the milk.

"We are not using our hands at all in the process. The control machine runs all the steps for producing safe milk while cutting expenses," he said.

Besides, IOT sensors have been set up on every cow to monitor their health, food intake, application of drugs and breeding as well.

The cowsheds were designed using a Swedish model. "Cows feels more comfortable in these sheds and if they are comfortable, milk production will be high," Haq added.

A dairy farm expert from the Netherlands was also appointed.

The farm's processing unit can separate the harmful antibiotics and aflatoxin from the milk, which will be available in 500ml and 1,000ml packs in the market.

"We are going to produce other milk-oriented products, sans milk powder, which will be marketed soon," he said.

At present, the company's daily production target is around 2,000 litres. However, they have been working on a plan to produce 10,000 litres of milk per day.

Momin Ud Dowlah, chief executive officer of Eon Group, termed it a revolutionary step in dairy farming.

Around Tk, 4,000 crores are spent each year to import milk, especially the powdered one. If entrepreneurs across the country come forward, Bangladesh will be a milk exporting country and it is possible to earn huge profits from just this sector, he added.

In the last couple of years, annual milk production has gone up 10 times in the country.

There are 15,00,000 dairy farms across the country. Of them, just six were of a large scale, said Abdul Jabbar Sikdar, director-general of the Department of Livestock Services.

"Per capita milk consumption in the country rose to 175ml, around 4.5ml higher. Such a farm of a high scale would create an opportunity for locals," he added.

Rownak Mahmud, secretary to the ministry, as a special guest, urged all ministry officials in the region to extend their support for the sector. 

 

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/bangladesh-gets-its-first-fully-automated-dairy-farm-2025157

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https://www.tbsnews.net/dropped/industry/no-end-sight-cattle-farmers-woes-290272#.YR30cMRTiek.facebook

Shawkat Ali

19 August, 2021, 12:00 pm

Last modified: 19 August, 2021, 01:15 pm

No end in sight to cattle farmers’ woes

Many are struggling because of unsold livestock, high costs of cattle feed, saturation of local market from frozen meat imports, and bank loan repayments

graph.jpg?itok=P7lTeXAn&timestamp=162935

The sale of sacrificial animals during Eid-ul-Adha saw a significant dip this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, burdening cattle farmers from across the country with 29 lakh unsold livestock.

But these farmers' woes are far from over as they are facing significant difficulties in selling their livestock to butchers – who are generally uninterested in buying larger and more expensive cows bred specifically for ritual sacrifice, insiders have said.

Moreover, frozen meat imports amounted to 2,500 tonnes this July, an increase from Bangladesh's monthly average volume of 1,000-1,500 tonnes, according to Chattogram port sources. As frozen meat is relatively cheaper, many hotels and restaurants prefer it to local cattle meat.

According to the Department of Livestock, Bangladesh had 1.19 crore cattle – cows, goats, sheep and buffaloes – ready for sacrifice this year. But only around 90 lakh animals were sacrificed at the last Eid.

Many cattle farmers are now financially struggling because of unsold livestock worth Tk29,000 crore, high costs of cattle feed, saturation of the local market with frozen meat imports, and bank loan repayments, the Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association (BDFA) has said.

The BDFA also claimed that cattle farmers are facing additional pressure after the smuggling of cows from India and Myanmar to Bangladesh resumed following the Eid celebrations. The influx of smuggled cows is making it difficult for local farmers to sell their cattle to butchers.

BDFA President Imran Hossain told The Business Standard, "If farmers cannot sell their cattle, worth around 29,000 crore, they will not get back their investment. This in turn will prevent them from reinvesting the money into their businesses.

"The whole situation has left cattle farmers financially vulnerable, and many are planning to shut down their farms."

He continued, "We are advising farm owners to sell their cattle to butchers. But if the butchers become uninterested in buying the cattle, the farmers will have nowhere to turn to.

"We are facing a double dilemma. Hotels and restaurants prefer imported frozen meat because those are relatively cheaper, and the import volume has gone up after the Eid. Meanwhile, the illegal influx of cattle through the border has made it a challenge to sell livestock to butchers."

Echoing similar views, Omar Faruk, owner of Babu Cattle Agro in Manikganj, said, "I took 60 cows to Dhaka for sale during the Eid, but had to return with 50. Butchers are not interested in buying large cows, and offer much lower prices.

"I am trying to sell my livestock despite these hurdles because I am financially struggling to bear the high cost of cattle feed. The bank is also pressuring me to pay back the loans I took out from it."

Cattle farmers are worried about becoming penniless if the influx of cattle from India and Myanmar does not stop, and imports of frozen meat are not halted. They say that such issues are preventing them from selling their livestock to butchers.

To this end, the BFDA has already sent letters to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and various ministries and departments concerned, including the Department of Livestock, requesting the authorities concerned to take effective steps to halt frozen meat imports and smuggling of cattle in the border regions.

The BFDA also sought support from the government in selling off the livestock of the financially struggling farmers as soon as possible.

When his attention was drawn to the issue, Dr Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director, Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh and economist, said, "It is true that the sale of sacrificial animals dipped in the last Eid-al-Adha.

"But the demand for meat will exist throughout the year. So, cattle farmers can sell to the butchers to resolve their problems."

Dr Mansur, however, emphasised the need for curbing the smuggling of cows at the border, otherwise the local cattle farmers could face losses.

According to the Department of Livestock, Bangladesh currently has 6.98 lakh dairy farms across the country. 

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