Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Dairy industry seeks greater policy support

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Dhaka, Economy by Sherpa Hossainy on June 20, 2011

Published in The Independent on June 20, 2011

Read the article on Independent website

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Bangladesh’s dairy industry owners on Sunday urged for greater policy support from the government with proper incentives to help the country become self-sufficient in dairy production.

They were speaking at a seminar titled “Dairy industry development requirements: budget reaction”, organised by Community-based Dairy Veterinary Foundation (CDVF), at Bangaldesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) auditorium in Dhaka. Md Abdur Razzak, minister for food and disaster management, was present as the chief guest.

The minister said: “The dairy industry has a great role to play in eradicating poverty and it has the potential to ensure the people’s nutritional needs. It doesn’t require too much land, which is very scarce in our country.”

He said food security has three aspects — availability of food, access to food and nutrition. Almost 40 per cent of the people live under the poverty-line in Bangladesh and 35 per cent of them are malnourished.

In the past 46 years, rise in calorie intake in Bangladesh was 15 per cent, while in the same period China and Vietnam recorded 102 and 50 per cent growth respectively.

Razzak said that the farmers are not getting the proper price for the milk they produce as there is a lack of marketing and processing facilities.

He also stressed on the need for improving the quality of livestock feed and asked for greater initiative from the Livestock Department.

He said dairy industry is also a part of agriculture; hence the inequity in receiving budget allocation and other facilities has to be addressed.

“Agricultural sectors get loan on two per cent interest, but dairy industries have to pay eight per cent. The rate has to be equal or at least brought down to a reasonable level,” Razzak said.

The minister recommended extensive research to invent alternative livestock feed and said farmers has to shift from rice to corn, which is the best and cheapest livestock feed.

“Bangladesh’s climate is highly suitable for growing corn. We also have to protest in international forums against the use of bio-fuel, which is mainly produced from corn, as it is making corn costlier,” he said.

Md Shamsuddin, chair of CDVF, in his keynote paper recommended some steps for the government such as: recognising dairy as a separate sector in GDP, increasing livestock feed supply and providing cash incentives for dairy industries, and ensuring vaccination for livestock.

Shamsuddin also urged the authorities to establish a dairy development council and said that there should be separate budget allocation for livestock research.

Shamsuddin said that in order to be self-sufficient in milk production by 2021 Bangladesh has to produce 17,900,000 tonnes of milk, and to meet the customer demand against a 7 per cent growth rate the industry has to grow by more than 10 per cent. Currently the growth rate of livestock is less than four per cent.

Dairy industry’s contribution in GDP is 2.67 per cent, while the budget allocation for the sector is only 0.27 per cent. Bangladesh currently has a yearly dairy production of 2,686,000 tonnes against a demand of 7,227,000 tonnes.

The country imports 51,500 tonnes of powdered milk, equivalent to 640,000 tonnes of milk.

Wais Kabir, executive chairman of BARC, and MA Sattar Mandal, vice chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University, were also present.

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One Response

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  1. crimit said, on July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

    hi


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