An association of farmers on Sunday demanded introduction of sales of animal feeds at subsidised rates to help the country’s dairy industry survive the current crisis.
The Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association (BDFA) raised a set of demands including subsidy to dairy farms for electricity consumption, introduction of renting farmland and declaring a 20-year tax holiday for the sector.
Placing the 10-point demand at a press conference at the National Press Club, the association president, Imran Hossain, said the increase in price of animal feeds has made it difficult for the farmers to run their business sustainably.
He pointed out that the price of wheat bran now stands at Tk 31 per kilogram compared to Tk 24 a kg a year ago.
“During the Civid-19 crisis, when the farmers are passing a tough time, such hike of dairy feeds will result in closure of many farms,” he argued.
In such a situation, the association leaders said, the government should utilise the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) for selling dairy feeds at subsidised rates to support the farmers.
Bangladesh has in recent years attained almost self-sufficiency in meat after India imposed a ban on the export of cattle heads. However, price fluctuations during the Eid festival reportedly made the farmers frustrated.
In view of business sustainability, the association leaders also demanded a complete ban on the import of meat to protect the domestic industry until it reaches a competitive stage.
The association’s general secretary Shah Emran and vice-president Ali Azam Rahman Shibly were also present at the press conference.
There are about 1.2 million dairy farmers (registered and unregistered) in Bangladesh.