Dairy sector faces existence challenge
Farmers incurring loss for high feed cost
Mahfuja Mukul: Dairy sector stakeholders say that if marketing is not ensured by increasing production, it will be difficult to sustain small and marginal dairy farmers. This can have a negative impact on milk production, disrupting the journey to self-sufficiency in milk. At the same time, if production cost is not reined in, this sector may face losses.
The potential of the dairy industry is gradually advancing. Milk production is increasing every year after overcoming various challenges. But the farmers are stumbling over marketing hurdles. Inadequate milk processing or storage facilities at the marginal stage and lack of capacity to diversify products pose challenges to farmers. Added to this is the problem of transportation. Due to these reasons, the marginal farmers are often deprived of the fair price.
Due to the corona epidemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the prices of food products have increased all over the world. At the same time, the price of beef has increased. This increase in the price of cow-fodder is now a new cause of headache for farmers. Because there is already a shortage of grazing land, there is no quality grass. In this situation, the increase in the price of cow food is a “wound on the neck” for the farmers.
On the other hand, some say that the government needs to have proper guidelines for the proper use of produced milk. At the same time, strict control of the government is necessary in the matter of importing powdered milk from abroad.
However, it is being said by the government that there are various steps for the sustainable development of the dairy sector. Among these, the government has undertaken a project to create a supply chain from milk production to dairy hubs for processing. The project named ‘Livestock and Dairy Development Project (LDDP)’ will cost Tk 4,280 crore. The project has given hope to the dairy farmers in the context of the current challenges in the sector. They said that the successful implementation of this project will take the dairy sector a long way.
About 3,333 milk producer groups will be created under LDDP project. Each will have 20 to 40 farms. 400 milk collection centers will be set up across the country to maintain quality. Out of this 175 will have milk cooling system.
Milk is said to be the best food in the world. It has no match in terms of nutritional value. Lactose present in milk is helpful in enhancing human body structure, development and intelligence. Milk can also play a key role in protecting human health. Cow’s milk contains amino acids, various vitamins, minerals such as chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, iodine and selenium.
In the composition of cow’s milk, water is 86.5 percent, lactose is 4.8 percent, fat is 4.5 percent, protein is 3.5 percent and vitamins and minerals are 0.7 percent.
Milk production and demand of country
There is still a shortage in milk production in the country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an adult needs 250 milliliters of milk per day. In contrast, the people of Bangladesh are getting 208 milliliters. In the country, the annual milk production deficit is 25 lakh 94 thousand tons.
With a total population of 17.17 crores, according to the calculations of the Department of Livestock, the annual demand for milk in the country is 1 crore 56 lakh 68 thousand tons. In the last financial year 2021-22, the production was 1 crore 3 million 74 thousand tons. Although the production of milk in the country is continuously increasing every year. In the financial year 2006-07, the production of milk in the country was only 22 lakh 80 thousand tons.
According to the information of the Department of Livestock, milk production was 26 lakh 50 thousand tons in the financial year 2007-08. But in the next two years, production declined again. 22 lakh 90 thousand and 23 lakh 70 thousand tons of milk were produced in 2008-09 and 2010-11 financial years. Then in the four years till 2014-15 financial year milk production was 34 lakh 60 thousand tons, 50 lakh 70 thousand tons, 60 lakh 92 thousand tons and 69 lakh 70 thousand tons respectively.
In the fiscal year 2015-16, milk production in the country was 72 lakh 75 thousand tons. In the financial year 2016-17 it was 92 lakh 83 thousand tons, in the financial year 2017-18 94 lakh 1 thousand tons, in the financial year 2018-19 99 lakh 23 thousand tons, in the financial year 2019-20 one crore 6 lakh 80 thousand tons, in 2020-21 the production was one crore 8 lakh 65 thousand tons and in the financial year 2021-22 one crore 19 lakh 85 thousand tons of milk is produced.
Not the sector has been facing hardship due to the high price of cow feed. The farm owners have to close their farms due to the high feed price and lacking of government patronization.
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