It is encouraging to note that the country has achieved significant progress in rearing domestic animals reducing dependence on the import of meat and leaving many countries behind in the race for autarky in meat.
According to World Food and Agriculture Organization, Bangladesh now occupies 12th position in the world in terms of cattle rearing. The number of cows reared in Bangladesh this year is more than 24 million.
Reportedly, the number of cattle farms in the country has been increasing at an average rate of 15 per cent to 20 per cent per annum. We have come to know that after India stopped exporting cattle to Bangladesh in 2014, the government encouraged rearing cows and goats to meet the demand for meat in the country. Also the government has integrated a number of initiatives to identify the barriers and fix them to increase meat production.
In order to make our livestock industry
export-worthy and export-friendly, authorities concerned
need to assist the local industry in
ensuring better management
However, comparing to most of the meat exporting countries, still cattle production is costly due to higher cost of animal feed in Bangladesh. The country cannot afford to sell meat at the price at which neighbouring countries export it as our production costs are higher. As a result, most of the Middle Eastern nations import meat from countries like India and Myanmar. Therefore, in order to take a hold in the price competition, necessary measures should be taken to control the prices of cattle feed.
It needs no emphasising that in order to make our livestock industry export-worthy and export-friendly, authorities concerned need to assist the local industry in ensuring better management practices. Also the government should devise initiatives to establish some areas as industrial zones where the bio-security and other international practices will be ensured.
No doubt, it will help give the global market a positive message about Bangladesh’s livestock industry and boost meat export.