But farmers incurring loss
Mahfuja Mukul: Milk helps to keep the body healthy by meeting the nutritional needs of the body. According to nutritionists, people of all ages should drink milk regularly for a healthy body. Milk should be an essential part of human diet for healthy living. In order to meet the nutritional needs of the people of the country, the production of healthy food milk has also increased with time. In the last 11 years, milk production in the country has increased almost four and a half times.
Officials of the Department of Livestock said that to ensure sustainable production of milk, far-reaching initiatives have been taken to develop cattle breeds, develop market management of milk and milk products, ensure quality control and accessibility and develop milk drinking habits.
Milk production in the fiscal year 2021-22 was 130.74 lakh metric tons, which is four and a half times more than in the fiscal year 2010-2011. As a result, the availability per person per day has increased to 208.61 ml. Expansion of artificial breeding technology, breed development and productivity enhancement and numerical growth of dairy stock have been key drivers in increasing milk production over the past decade. Stakeholders say that the contribution of the livestock sector to Bangladesh’s economic prosperity, food and nutrition security, self-employment and above all, poverty alleviation is undeniable. Through continuous efforts of the government, Bangladesh has achieved self-sufficiency in meat and egg production and promising progress has been made in milk production. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the contribution of the livestock sector to the GDP at constant prices is 1.44 percent, the growth rate is 3.80 percent and the size of the GDP at current prices is Tk 50,301 crores. The contribution of livestock sector to agricultural GDP is 13.10 percent (BBS, 2021).
Increase in per capita income and purchasing power and easy availability of animal meat has led to drastic changes in dietary habits. As a result, there has been an expansion of commercial enterprises including the expansion of the market for animal products. Dairy and small ruminant (goat/sheep) farms have increased by 3.4 times in the last one decade respectively. During the mentioned period there has been a lot of improvement in farm size, production management and investment situation, which has played a key role in increasing farm production. Besides, milk and meat processing plants have been established to meet the demand of processed products.
40 percent of the world’s milk is produced in Asia. India is the largest milk producing country in the world. It is followed by USA, China, Pakistan, Brazil and Russia. However, there is no significant position of Bangladesh in this list.
It is known that big companies store and process milk scientifically so that it does not get spoiled. But due to lack of awareness and lack of management at the farm level, proper storage of milk is not possible. Due to lack of machinery, sometimes milk does not reach the companies. Milk producing companies in the country can use 10-15 percent milk. All the remaining milk is sold in the local market. As a result, it is not possible to meet the needs of people across the country. To solve these problems departmental processing plants have been taken for the milk production process.
Honoring 41 successful dairy farmers
On the occasion of World Milk Day on June 1, the Department of Animal Husbandry has taken up various programs across the country. On this occasion, ‘World Dairy Day Celebration and Dairy Icon Celebration’ program has been organized at Krishibid Institution in collaboration with ‘Livestock and Dairy Development Project’ (LDDP). In the event, 41 successful farmers and entrepreneurs of the country’s dairy sector will be honored in four categories.
Organized for the second time in the country, the sector-wise number of awards are 20 in the dairy farm category, eight in the animal feed processing category, nine in the milk-meat processing category and four in the farm mechanization category. The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock formulated a policy at the outset to select successful farmers. The field administration of the Department of Livestock and the district administration of 61 districts covered by the LDDP project were involved in this activity. Information on Dairy Icon Celebration is being widely disseminated through district and upazila livestock offices, project offices and website.
The organizers said that with the approval of the cabinet department, a district election committee consisting of seven members was formed under the chairmanship of the concerned district commissioner, including the Chamber of Commerce and farmers’ organizations. The committees forward the information of the best farmers and entrepreneurs of their respective districts to the Directorate of Livestock. A seven-member central selection committee headed by an additional secretary scrutinizes the list information received from the district level and finalizes the ranking list of the institutions. Out of this, 41 selected farmers and entrepreneurs are being awarded. Each prize is worth one lakh rupees. Along with that every organization will be given crest and certificate. A rally is being organized centrally on the occasion of the day.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of the day, ‘School Milk Feeding’ program will be conducted in 10 primary schools of Dhaka with the help of private entrepreneurs. In this regard, the companies that came forward for cooperation are – Milkvita, Pran Dairy, Akiz Dairy, Brack Dairy and Rangpur Dairy. Senior officers of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Department of Livestock and Projects and scientists-researchers, entrepreneurs, farmers and media persons of the livestock sector will attend the day-long event.
Apart from Dhaka, various programs have been taken on the occasion of World Milk Day 2023 in 61 districts covered by the project. Programs such as feeding of selected primary school-orphanage children, quiz competitions, essay and painting competitions, rallies, meetings, prize distribution etc. are being conducted. A pictorial report on selected icons on the occasion of ‘World Dairy Day 2023 Celebration’ and ‘Dairy Icon 2022 Celebration’ has been published in book form.
When asked about the overall situation, Fisheries and Livestock Minister S MRezaul Karim told that the contemporary policies of the current government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and government-private joint ventures under state sponsorship have brought incredible changes in the country’s livestock sector. Along with achieving self-sufficiency in meat and eggs, there have been great advances in milk production and the multi-purpose use of milk. To ensure sustainable production of milk, the Department of Livestock under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is working with far-reaching initiatives to develop cattle breeds through artificial breeding, improve market management of milk and milk products, ensure quality control and availability and develop milk drinking habits. Milk production has increased four and a half times in the last 11 years.
He said expansion of artificial breeding technology, breed development and increase in productivity and numerical growth of dairy stock have played a major role in increasing milk production. Under the livestock and dairy development project implemented by the Department of Livestock, various initiatives such as organizing farmers to form producer groups, managing farmers’ schools, establishing village milk collections, and creating dairy hubs are playing an important role in increasing milk production in the country.
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