Staff Correspondent: The government is thinking about selling meat, eggs and milk to the poor and underprivileged at subsidized prices under government programs as these foods have gone beyond the affordability of the poor and low-income people.
The Department of Livestock Services will meet with the producers of these food products this week to decide how to implement this program and send it to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock for approval.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is self-sufficient in fish, meat and egg production. It is also on the way to self-sufficiency in milk production. Despite the COVID pandemic and the global recession, there is no shortage in the supply of these food products compared to the demand.
In the 2021-22 fiscal year, 92.65 lakh metric tons of meat, 130.74 lakh tons of milk and 2,335.35 crore eggs were produced in the country. Besides, excluding Hilsa, 46.21 lakh tons of fish have been produced in this fiscal year.
The production of milk, meat and eggs has increased by five, eight and four times respectively in the last one era.
Officials at the Department of Livestock Services said that the production target for milk has been fixed at 140.10 lakh tons, meat at 86.90 lakh tons and eggs have been fixed at 2,315.53 crores in the current fiscal year.
Besides, the Department of Fisheries has set the target of more fish production this year than the last financial year. The target for fish production was 46.64 lakh tonnes in the last fiscal year.
It is known that to meet the protein food, one has to consume at least 250 ml of milk, 120 grams of meat and 104 eggs per year. As per the production capacity, a person now has the opportunity to consume 147 grams of meat per day and 136 eggs per year. Due to the low production of milk, not all people have the opportunity to drink milk as per demand.
On the other hand, although the daily per capita demand for fish consumption is 60 grams, the country is producing much more than that.
Kh. Mahbubul Haque, director general (DG) of the Department of Fisheries, said that the target of fish production in the last fiscal year has been much higher than that. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, 74,042 tons of fish and fish products were exported to more than 50 countries and earned Tk 5,191.75 crores.
“We have discussed the issue of selling meat, eggs, and milk at “subsidized prices” to low-income people. We will sit with the producers this week. Their views will be taken on how to implement it. We will take a decision and inform the ministry about the issue on how it can be implemented. We want to reach the protein food products at low prices to the poor,” said Dr. Monjur Mohammad Shahjada, director general (DG) of the Department of Livestock Services.
Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Dr. Nahid Rashid said the ministry will certainly try to implement if the Department of Livestock Services proposes in this regard.
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