Faridpur dairy farmers are struggling to survive as the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak has thrown their businesses into disarray Dhaka Tribune
Experts recommended immediate cash incentives for farmers and urged processing companies to turn their dairy produce into powdered milk to keep the sector afloat
The ongoing countrywide lockdown has made things worse for the milk producers in Faridpur who have already been suffering from poor sales due to a slump in local consumption.
According to local sources, the shutdown has left them staring at huge financial losses as a large amount of milk going unsold each day. In some areas, the price of milk is cheaper than water while farmers are also finding it hard to procure cattle feed.
Experts recommended immediate cash incentives for farmers and urged processing companies to turn their dairy produce into powdered milk to keep the sector afloat.
On the other hand, noted milk processing companies also claimed to be in trouble as the market has shrunk due to the shutdown.
Sources said cattle rearing is the main source of income for thousands of families in the remote char areas in the district.
Some locals said most of the people in eight unions of three upazilas in char areas earn their living from the sale of cow milk.
But they do not get the fair price of milk now, they claimed.
Ziaur Rahman Lincon and his brother Zillur Rahman, owners of Madhumoti Dairy Farm in Faridpur’s Boalmari, gave a vivid picture of the current plight of dairy farmers. They have cut in half the food for his livestock.
They also said the farmers are facing many different problems. Earlier, they used to supply milk mostly to sweet shops. Those shops are now closed.
They added the tried to sell some milk in some other shops in urban areas but the price has dropped by almost a third.
On top of that, it is now harder to get grains used as cattle feed while access to veterinarians has also been lost, they further said.
The farmers called for immediate help in order to stay in business.
According to the District Livestock Department, Faridpur produces around 20,000 litres of milk per day.
Owners of about five thousand farms in nine upazilas in the district are facing a serious problem as they are unable to sell milk to their clients.
Faridpur Livestock Officer Dr Nurullah Ahsan said meanwhile, they have made 10 teams who will collect milk from the farmers and sell it in the market in fair price.