The government has undertaken an initiative to set up modern farms in 50 upazilas of the country to meet dairy deficit.
Despite the potential, milk production in the country is not as expected as farmers do not have knowledge about improved breeds of cows and modern methods of keeping cows.
As a result, the demand did not meet with the milk produced in the country. In this situation, there is a shortage of milk.
As part of the government move, the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives has taken the initiative to set up modern farms in 50 upazilas of the country. The target is to produce around 4,50,000 liters of milk from these farms.
The officials said that if the project is implemented, it will not only meet the demand for milk, but will also play a major role in creating employment.
Five thousand people will be directly benefited by this project, they said, adding that direct participation of two thousand women in economic activities will also be ensured.
A planning commission official said the project titled “Expansion of Dairy Cooperative Activities in Dairy Deficit Upazila” has already been proposed to the Planning Commission.
The cost of its implementation has been estimated at Tk 156.88 crore. A meeting of the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) was held on February 11 last year after receiving proposals from the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, he mentioned.
The commission has recommended the project be presented at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), they added.
According to the project proposal, cow rearing is a significant occupation in agricultural Bangladesh. Cow rearing has officially spread in different parts of the country. But these farms use more native breeds of cows, which have less milk production capacity.
Although farms have been set up, due to lack of improved breeds of cows and lack of knowledge about modern methods of rearing cows, the quantity of milk produced in the country is less than required.
The ministry thinks that it is possible to increase milk production by raising improved breeds of cows through proper management, necessary training and medical services. That is why the Department of Cooperatives has taken initiative to build modern cattle farms in 50 upazilas.
Sharifa Khan, a member of the Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions Division of the Planning Commission in charge of the project, said that if implemented, the project would raise improved breeds of cows, increase milk production, create employment opportunities for rural people, ensure women's participation in economic activities and improve nutrition. For this reason, the project has been approved, she mentioned.
The main activities of the project are: 100 production oriented cooperative societies will be formed in 50 milk deficit upazilas of 36 districts in eight divisions of the country.
Under this, farms will be set up, where 10,600 cows will be raised permanently by developing cow breeds through Hallstone and Friesian breeds.
Besides, five thousand people will be trained as farmers and rural entrepreneurs. Under the project, direct and indirect employment opportunities based on animal husbandry will be created in 50 upazilas and assistance will be provided for vaccination and artificial insemination of cattle. Apart from this, five ‘Bakna’ centers will be set up and a database will also be created.
This project of the Cooperative Department will be implemented in 50 upazilas of 36 districts of eight divisions of the country. Areas of Dhaka division include Kaliakair of Gazipur district, Manikganj Sadar, Kalukhali of Rajbari district, Alfadanga of Faridpur district, Kashiani of Gopalganj district, Vedarganj and Naria of Shariatpur district, Shibchar of Madaripur district and Pakundia and Mithamin upazilas of Kishoreganj district.
The upazilas of Chattogram division are: Kutubdia and Chakaria upazilas of Cox's Bazar, Senbagh of Noakhali, Manoharganj, Burichang and Debidwar of Comilla district, Brahmanbaria Sadar and Faridganj upazila of Chandpur.
The upazilas of Mymensingh division are: Tarakanda upazila of Mymensingh district, Mohanganj and Khaliajuri upazilas of Netrokona and Melandah upazila of Jamalpur. Among the Barisal division only Babuganj and Muladi upazilas of Barisal district are under the project.
The proposed upazilas of Khulna division are: Dighalia and Paikgachha upazilas of Khulna district, Shyamnagar of Satkhira district, Monirampur, Bagharpara and Chougachha upazilas of Jessore, Magura Sadar, Lohagarh of Narail, Daulatpur of Kushtia, Jhenaidah Sadar and Kaliganj upazilas.
The upazilas of Rangpur division are: Mithapukur of Rangpur district, Syedpur of Nilphamari district, Fulbari of Kurigram, Sadar upazila of Thakurgaon and Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat district.
The upazilas of Rajshahi division are: Chatmohar of Pabna district, Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila, Patnitala of Naogaon and Tanore upazila of Rajshahi.
The upazilas of Sylhet division are: South Surma of Sylhet district, Madhabpur of Habiganj, Shantiganj of Sunamganj and Kulaura upazila of Moulvibazar.