Category Archives: Dairy, Meat, Cattle, Fish and Poultry Industry

Aftab Farms wins Asian Livestock Industry Award

Aftab Farms wins Asian Livestock Industry Award

Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Limited has won the prestigious Asian Livestock Industry Award-2009 (Emerging Integrator) in recognition for the outstanding contribution made to the Livestock Industry, said a press release.

The Asian Agribusiness Media Pte Ltd presents this award once in two years to the leading integrated Asian companies.

The award was presented by YB Datuk Seri Noh Bin Hj Omar, minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Malaysia at the opening ceremony of Livestock Asia Expo and Forum-2009, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia recently.

Govt to establish Aquaculture Food Safety Centre

Govt to establish Aquaculture Food Safety Centre

FE Report

The government has taken an initiative to set up an International Aquaculture Food Safety Centre, which experts believe will help Bangladesh earn more foreign exchange through exporting frozen food items.

Commerce Secretary Mr. Feroz Ahmed disclosed this Sunday in a programme in Khulna.

Joint Institute of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), a Joint initiative of US FDA and University of Maryland for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, arranged ‘Training of the Trainers’ programme on Good Aquaculture Practices in Bangladesh in the southwestern divisional city.

The commerce secretary informed that Fishery Products Business Promotion Council (FPBPC) under Ministry of Commerce has taken the move to establish the food safety centre.

It will be managed jointly by BSFF and JIFSAN under Public Private Partnership model as an affiliate of FPBPC. This Centre would help sustain the activities of the National Action Plan beyond the tenure of the current project.

S. M. Istiak, Chief (Programme) of Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation (BSFF) told the FE that such an initiative will help a lot to improve the image of Bangladesh frozen food products abroad.

JIFSAN is organising this training programme as a part of a National Action Plan to combat nitrofuran and other chemical hazards, establishing a credible traceability system and developing sustainable Codes of Conduct for the Shrimp industry. JIFSAN will hold a series of programme on Good Aquaculture Practices in Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, a delegation from US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) led by Mr. Brett Koonse and accompanied by Syed Mahmudul Huq, Chairman, Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation Thursday last met Commerce Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan at his office and explained the significance of the training programme. The Commerce Secretary Mr. Feroz Ahmed and former President of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) Abul Kalam Azad were also present at the meeting.

The Minister appreciated Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation initiative to establish institutional linkage between Industry, Academia and Government with international collaboration and hope that this would help Bangladesh produce and export shrimp and fish in a manner that would ensure food safety, environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

The US FDA team briefed the commerce minister that JIFSAN reached an understanding to organise a series of Trainers Programs on Good Aquaculture Practices in Bangladesh.

Increase of Hilsha production up to 300,000 tons planned

Increase of Hilsha production up to 300,000 tons planned

BSS, Dhaka

The government has undertaken an action plan to preserve the breeding places of hilsa across the country, targeting to increase its production up to about 300,000 tonnes during the current fiscal.

Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Sharful Alam while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday said the hilsha production stood up to around 2.98 lakh tonnes in 2008-09 from 1.99 lakh tonnes in 2002-03.

“Now the production of hilsha has to be raised to 300,000 tonnes in 2009-10 fiscal year to meet the growing demand for protein in the country,” Alam said.

The press conference was organized by the Department of Fisheries (DOF) on the eve of the 10-day (October 15 to 24) hilsha breeding place preservation drive.

The secretary said elaborate programme was also chalked out to implement the act on preserving the hilsha breeding places during the next ten days beginning today.

Nearly 65 percent matured hilsha is being caught by the fishermen during the August-October period every year, he said and stressed the need for its proper protection to raise production.

Sharful Alam said the government usually imposes ban on hilsha catch every year during this time along the coastal areas as about 70-80 per cent hilsha become matured and most of the spawns (eggs) are being released during the September-October breeding season. “Strict implementation of the hilsha ban act, especially for ten days, create awareness among the people not to catch gravid hilsha, preservation of its male and female and overall increase in its production,” he said.

The government, meanwhile, declared another hilsha sanctuary in the downstream of Padma in Shariatpur district, Alam said adding that hilsha now represents its stake with 12 percent in total annual supply of fishes to all consumers.

The press conference was told that the ban on hilsha catch would be strictly followed in four sanctuaries, 21 upazilas in seven coastal districts.

The sanctuaries are: Shaher Khali- Haitkhandi point under Mirsarai upazila in Chittagong district, north Kutubdia- Ghandamara under Kutubdia upazila in Chittagong district, north Tazumuddin-west Syed Awlia point under Tazumuddin upazila in Bhola district and 7,000 sq. kilometres Latachapali point under Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali district.

The 21 upazilas are: Lalmohan, Tazumuddin, Charfashion, Manpura, Dawlatkhan under Bhola district; Dasmina, Galachipa and Kalapara under Patuakhali district; Ramghati, Kamalnagar under Lakshipur, Subarnachar, Hatia and Companiganj under Noakhali district; Sonagaji under Feni dsitrict; Mirsarai, Sitakundu, Anwara, Bashkhali and Swandip under Chittagong district and Kutubdia and Maheshkhali under Cox’s bazaar district.

Officials of the Department of Fisheries, district administration, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Coast Guard and Bangladesh Police have been deployed in these areas to implement the programme.

According to the officials, as many as 500,000 fishermen directly and 20,00,000 people indirectly are involved with the hilsha fishing, transport and marketing in the country.

They said at least 60 percent of the total catch of hilsha around the globe is being done in Bangladesh, which commands the absolute ownership of this renewable natural resources.

The government expects that all sections of the people will come forward with a missionary zeal to protect Jhatka or immature hilshas from the wrath of illegal catchers in the greater national interest.

Local poultry vaccine in a year: BAPI

Local poultry vaccine in a year: BAPI

The country is going to produce much-needed poultry vaccine locally within a year, Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) announced the breakthrough in the animal health sector.

In a further significant advancement, Bangladesh’s rising pharmaceutical industry will take two more years to manufacture human vaccine.

Secretary-General of the association Abdul Muktadir came up with the announcement of the advances in the two fields at a dissemination seminar yesterday.

“Within one year we’ll be able to produce poultry vaccine and two more years will be needed to produce human vaccine on the local market,” Muktadir said.

Directorate of Drug Administration (DDA) organised the seminar titled ‘Fast Track Licensing for WHO Pre-qualified Vaccines Used in EPI’ at the Sheraton Hotel in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Health Minister Prof Dr AFM Ruhal Haque, WHO Bangladesh representative Dr Duangradee Sungkhobol and Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Society President Prof ABM Faroque, among others, spoke on the function chaired by director, DDA, Brig Gen Dr Ismail Hossain. DDA assistant director AA Salim Barami presented the keynote paper.

Muktadir said the country has to import both human and poultry vaccines to meet a huge local demand.

Speaking as chief guest, Health Minister Prof Dr AFM Ruhal Haque said the government has taken all necessary steps to enhance its drug-testing lab capacity to promote the local pharmaceuticals.

About fast-track registration, Salim Barami said this procedure is applicable to all imported pre-qualified vaccines that are used in national immunisation programme and supplied trough a UN agency or procured directly by the government.

“The vaccines currently used in EPI and the vaccines which will be used in future in EPI (procured from WHO pre-qualified list) will be eligible for fast-track registration,” he told the meet.

Faroque urged the DDA to ensure maintaining cold chain of any vaccine to ensure their efficacy.

“The success of any immunisation programme depends on administering effective vaccines. It is important to ensure vaccines are stored in optimal conditions to maintain their effectiveness,” he said.

Faroque, also teacher of pharmaceutical technology, said a cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities, which maintain a given temperature range.

Poultry farms boost Netrakona rural economy

Poultry farms boost Netrakona rural economy
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Netrakona

Poultry farming has given a significant boost to the rural economy with more than 2000 big, medium and small sized poultry farms creating jobs for hundreds of unemployed people in Netrakona.

Officials of the district livestock department said that Bangladesh Krishi Bank and other such financial institutions were providing loans under the government’s poverty alleviation programme to establish income-generating project like poultry farms.

The field level officials of the district livestock department have been extending due cooperation to the poultry farm owners while the veterinary doctors in mobile teams are rendering medicare service to improve the health of poultry birds.

Talking to the news agency, Aftab Ahmed, owner of a big poultry farm at Mukterpara, said Tk 550 to Tk 600 was needed for rearing a hybrid chicken, which laid 300 to 330 eggs a year. ‘I can easily earn a substantial amount of profit from my farm,’ he said.

Aftab also said he had received loan from a state-run bank to set up poultry farm, which ultimately brought about a positive change in his life, enabling him also to contribute in the economy through creating employment opportunities for a number of people in the area.

Khaleda Begum, a housewife and a small poultry farm owner in the remote village Shyampur under Mohnganj upazila of the district, said that Tk 1.50 was needed for feeding a chicken everyday.

She was inspired by other housewives in her area and also poultry farm owners as well as field-level workers of the livestock department to set up a poultry farm, which has already started becoming a profitable venture.

Big entrepreneurs said that many unemployed young men and women and marginal farmers in the district had started achieving tremendous success after setting up poultry farms.

According to them, poultry farming will further flourish if a big cold storage is established in the district by the government or under private initiative to preserve the eggs prior to marketing.

Expansion of livestock farming stressed

Expansion of livestock farming stressed
Bss, Rajshahi

Wide-ranging expansion of livestock farming is needed to remove the existing protein deficiency along with cutting the poverty rate in the country’s northwestern region.

The unemployment problem in the rural areas could be reduced to a greater extent through making the dairy farming popular in the grassroots level.

Dr Jalal Uddin, an associate professor and chairman of Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science of Rajshahi University, told BSS that the northwestern region has an enormous prospect of expanding the livestock sector through best uses of the existing natural resources.

In addition to meet the nutritional deficit especially meat and milk, the livestock rearing is very helpful for increasing soil nutrient, which is being declined gradually due to indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers.

Terming the sector as a neglected one he suggested a collective efforts of all extension and research organisations to attain the goal. “The sector needs a political will,” he added.

Dr Jalal opined that only cattle play an important role in agricultural operation side by side with providing valuable human nutritional foods like milk and meat, industrial raw materials like skin and manures, socio-economic security and income generation.

He, however, said most of the people suffer from malnutrition specially lacking animal protein like milk, meat and egg. In this context, he revealed that production of huge amount of meat through the indigenous beef-cattle improvement would supply low cost meat for people and it will ultimately recover them from malnutrition.

Production of good breed cattle from existing indigenous stock by applying artificial breeding technology particularly Shahiwal and local cattle cross breeding is very essential in this regard.

Poultry firms boost rural economy

Poultry firms boost rural economy

NETRAKONA, Oct 1 (BSS): Poultry farming has given a significant boost to the rural economy with more than 2000 big, medium and small sized poultry farms creating jobs for hundreds of unemployed people in the district.

Officials of the district Fisheries and Livestock Department said here today that Bangladesh Krishi Bank and other such financial institutions were providing loans under the government’s poverty alleviation programme to establish income-generating projects like poultry farms.

The field level officials of the department have been extending due cooperation to the poultry farm owners while the mobile teams of veterinary doctors are rendering medicare service to improve the health of poultry birds.

Talking to the news agency, Mr Aftab Ahmed, owner of a big poultry farm at Mukterpara area, said Tk 550 to 600 was needed for rearing a hybrid chicken, which lays 300 to 330 eggs a year. “I can easily earn a substantial amount of profit from my farm,” he said.

Ban on shrimp export to Europe to go

Ban on shrimp export to Europe to go

Bangladesh’s frozen food exporters have decided to withdraw their voluntary suspension of fresh water prawn exports to Europe from the last week of November next.

This was disclosed at a seminar on ‘Shrimp export from Bangladesh: prospects and challenges’ at a city hotel yesterday.

Four organisations, including the Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation, jointly organised the seminar in collaboration with the ministry of commerce and the ministry of fisheries.

The seminar was told that, with the introduction of antibiotic testing in 2004, Bangladesh received a significant number of rejections from the US and the EU and Japan due to nitrofuran, an antibiotic that is used to inhibit bacterial growth in food animal, and other contamination found in Bangladeshi shrimps.

The ministry of fisheries and livestock and the department of food meticulously attempted to address this issue by banning nitrofuran use in 2008 but more rejections occurred in 2009, which could have resulted in the blacklisting of Bangladesh shrimp products in Europe, it added.

Instead, there was a remarkable response by the Bangladeshi shrimp industry, which decided to impose a voluntary suspension on one kind of freshwater prawn exports to the EU market in order to evaluate and address this issue. But the decision created distress to the exporters and buyers of Bangladeshi frozen foods.

The overall industry earning was reduced to 13 per cent (US $469 million) this year (2008-2009) due to the voluntary export ban and global recession and some major environmental disasters like cyclone and Sidr.

Shrimp is the second largest foreign exchange earner after RMG.

‘We hope that by the end of the self-imposed ban, Bangladeshi frozen food exporters will earn more foreign currency and the government is ready to extend all kinds of cooperation, including setting up a high standard testing lab’, said commerce minister Faruk Khan while speaking at the inaugural function of the seminar as the chief guest.

However, the minister warned the shrimp industry that the government would not compromise on environmental distraction. ‘Environment and development have a natural clash, we have to overcome it for our great interest’, Faruk added.

Among others, secretary, ministry of commerce Feroz Ahmed, ambassador of the European Commission Stefan Frowein, Ambassador of the United States of America James F. Moriarty, President of Global Aquaculture Alliance Dr. George Chamberlain, DG of the Department of Fisheries Rafiqul Islam, Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation Chairman Syed Mahmudul Huq and President Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association Musa Mia addressed the seminar while Dr. Mahmudul Karim,  Technical Adviser, national working committee gave a presentation on the overall shrimp sector.

US Ambassador James F. Moriarty said that last year American consumers bought half of the shrimp production of Bangladesh, worth more than $100 million.

He said in order to expand markets for Bangladesh’s shrimp exports, producers here must adhere to international standards, particularly with regard to health, environment and labour standards. As the temporary suspension of trade with Europe illustrated, Bangladesh shrimp export must be safe and of a high quality. Consumers in the US and Europe also pay attention to the condition of workers who harvest and process products like shrimp, he added.

‘Bangladesh can overtake Vietnam in billion dollar global Pangas market’

‘Bangladesh can overtake Vietnam in billion dollar global Pangas market’

Munima Sultana

Bangladesh can grab a large slice of the billion dollar global Pangas market, as local farms are raising the fish much cheaper than their Vietnamese counterparts, farmers and officials said Sunday.

Vietnam has a 98 per cent stake in global Pangas export, shipping fillet and fish worth over billion dollars in Europe and America last year at a rate the Bangladeshi farmers said only they can match in the international market.

With shrimp becoming a luxury food in the recession-hit West, millions of fish lovers have now switched their liking to Pangas, triggering a 20-30 per cent growth in consumption in the European markets alone over the past 18 months.

“Pangas fish farming has become an established agro-processing industry in the country over the last decade,” said Mohammad Sazzad Hossain, a leader of Bangladesh fish farmer association.

“Yet, there has been no government initiative to explore export market for the fast booming farming sector. In contrast, Vietnam has moved aggressively and now enjoys a complete monopoly,” he said.

According to the Department of Fisheries, Bangladeshi farmers last year cultivated 2.25 million metric tonnes of Pangas — also known as catfish — against a nationwide demand of 2.9 million metric tonnes.

Farmers said after a massive growth in the 1990s and earlier this decade, production has stagnated in the last two years owing to low price regime as the fish is considered poor people’s protein source.

On an average farmers in the main Pangas production areas now spend Tk40 to raise one-kilogram Pangas fish, which is lower than the production cost in Vietnam.

“Yet, we have failed to cash in on our price advantages in the European market despite high demand. We lack hygiene and processing standards that are prerequisite for export,” Sazzad said.

“There is no integrated plan from the authorities to export the fish, which can inject a new momentum in the Pangas industry and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” he said.

Dr. MA Mazid, national consultant of UN Industries Development Organisation (UNIDO), said cultivation of Pangas has been a “big success story” of our agro sector in the past one decade.

“It can overtake shrimp as the leading frozen food export item, as research has shown Bangladeshi ponds and rivers are the most suitable place to raise Pangas,” Mazid said.

To reach that goal, he said some 4,000 Pangas farms in the country should first ensure quality of fish fries, proper dietary feeding and environment friendly cultivation — features seen as crucial for entry into the export market.

Farmers also admit that the Pangas cultivation suffers from a number of setbacks including non-availability of balanced food, excess land taxes and ban on import of some key raw materials.

“But most of these problems are created by the authorities. Unless they fix these setbacks, we can’t grow like the Vietnamese farms,” another farmer said.

A high official of Department of Fisheries said the government is aware of the export potential of Pangas, but the farmers should first come forward with an “integrated plan.”

Sazzad said Vietnam has already set a target to earn $ 4.0 billion from Pangas export in 2010, “yet we are now sleeping over our potentials.”

“We have recently sought incentives from the government to implement compliance standards demanded by the European Union. But so far we haven’t heard anything from the government.”

Barisal hilsa export earnings rise

Barisal hilsa export earnings rise

Unb, Barisal

Earnings from export of delicious hilsa fish have increased here three times, as the government has fixed its export price.

Abdul Hye, manager of Barisal fish landing centre of Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation said the earnings from hilsa export in August and September 2009 increased three times than that in the

corresponding period of the previous year.

He said export earnings have increased, as the government on April 12, 2008 fixed the minimum price of hilsa weighing between 600 grams

and one kg at US$ 6 per kg, that between 1 kg to 1.5 kg at US$8 and that weighing over 1.5 kg at US$ 12.

Belayet Hossain, assistant marketing officer of Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation in Barisal, said in the last two months 190.64 tonnes of hilsa fishes were exported from this centre which earned Tk 8.68 crore.

Hilsa season has just started and hilsa export earnings from this centre will exceed Tk 100 core, he hoped.

Indian importers stopped import on February 19, 2009, protesting the fixation of hilsa price by the Bangladesh government and demanding reduction in the price of the delicious fish.

But later Indian importers resumed hilsa import at the Bangladesh government fixed rate on June 29 to meet their local demand.

Zahiruddin Shikdar, a local hilsa trader, said due to pressure from the local consumers the Indian importers were compelled to resume hilsa import from Bangladesh at the government fixed rate.

After visiting local market it was found that standard size of hilsa weighing 600-1000 grams are being sold at local wholesale market at Tk 350-500.

Hilsa over 1000-1500 grams are being sold at Tk 500-750, while1500-2000 grams or over at Tk 750-1500 in the local market.

Ajit Das Monu, president of Bangladesh Non-frozen Fish Exporters Association, said plenty of hilsa are being netted but the fishermen and traders are facing storage and packaging problems due to acute shortage of ice and irregular electricity supply.

Frozen food exporters target Tk 10b earnings by 2013

Frozen food exporters target Tk 10b earnings by 2013

Bss, Chittagong

Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) has targeted Tk 10,000 crore from exports of frozen foods by 2013.

Frozen food exporters, mostly the members of the BFFEA, earned Tk 3,180.80 crore in fiscal year 2008-09, 20.83 percent lower than the previous year due to the global recession.

“But with the recovery trend of the global economy, the demand for frozen foods in the world market has started going up again,” said Mohammad Musa Mia, BFFEA president.

He is optimistic about the bright prospects of frozen food export and believes that the country can fetch Tk10,000 crore from this sector.

The main item of the frozen food is prawn, but the demand for shrimp in the global market is also on the rise.

Musa said the export earnings could be increased substantially by bringing the production and processing of the fish under the latest technology.

The demand for shrimp is increasing in global markets including the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and some Asian and Middle-eastern countries.

At present, farmers are producing prawn on 1.70 lakh hectares of land.

The sectoral trade body chief suggested the government bring more two lakh hectares of land under shrimp and prawn production in the coastal area.

To meet the increasing demand, he also suggested expansion of prawn production in Sylhet, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Jessore, Patuakhali and Barisal.

The farmers in Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Khulna are now the main producers of prawn and shrimp for export.

ACI to double poultry business capacities

ACI to double poultry business capacities
Staff Correspondent

ACI will double its poultry business capacities, especially the productions of infant chicks and poultry feeds.

One of the company’s partners hinted the expansion might move more than Tk 150 crore investment. India’s Godrej partners ACI in agribusiness.

‘We plan to inject funds of around $12-13 million along with our partner in fiscal year 2009-10 into the company [ACI Godrej Agrovet] to expand capacity,’ Godrej Agrovet’s managing director BS Yadav told reporters in Mumbai on Friday.

BS Yadav said the company planed to expand its animal feeds capacity from the present 1.2 lakh tonnes annual capacity to 2.5 lakh tonnes. This expanded capacities would go into operation within 6-months, he said.

‘We also intend to raise the production of chicks from 1-million per month to 2-million per month,’ added Yadav hinting time-frame for this in between 12-18-months.

ACI Godrej Agrovet Private Limited is a joint venture company formed by 50:50 stakes of ACI Limited of Bangladesh and Godrej Agrovet Limited of India.

The company went into operation at the end of the year 2004 with poultry feed. In 2007, it entered into fish feed, hatchery and breeding farm operations and last year, it diversified its product portfolios by introducing shrimp feeds and cattle feed.

With group turnover at Tk 736 crore, last year, ACI Limited, which is a major player in production and marketing of pharmaceuticals, textile chemicals and foods and operation of a chain of retail superstores, has plans to expand it all agribusiness portfolios extensively within next few years.

Prospects of diary farms brighter in northern districts

Prospects of diary farms brighter in northern districts

by Mamun Islam

RANGPUR, Bangladesh, Sept 18 (BSS) – The dairy sector, having huge prospects, can bring about a revolutionary change in the socio- economic condition of the poor by alleviating poverty and eradicating monga in poverty-prone greater Rangpur and Dinajpur districts.

For this, proper exploration of the prevailing prospects of dairy farm sector is must through setting up of related industries to usher in a new era for overall economic advancements to ensure smooth developments and building a digital Bangladesh.

Leaders of the Chambers of Commerce and Industries of these districts told BSS that enormous prospects are there in the dairy farm sector and asked all concerned for taking necessary steps towards this direction.

Thousands litres of milk are being produced daily in all eight districts including the monga-prone vast char areas and lack of adequate marketing facilities and milk processing industries are hindering desired growth of the sector.

Setting up of more dairy farms, milk processing and chilling factories could contribute a lot in changing the economic conditions of the common people and alleviating poverty and eradicating monga once for all, they added.

Presently, the private sector Rangpur Dairy (RD) Milk Processing Factory at Boldipukur near the Rangpur-Dhaka highway in Mithapukur upazila of Rangpur has created huge job opportunity for hundreds of abject poverty-stricken people to change their fates.

The factory authorities have taken up comprehensive steps with a view to supporting the poor through providing them cows on easy terms and conditions to produce milk at home for their financial well being.

While talking to BSS, Manager of RD Factory Ashraful Alam said hundreds of cows have so far been distributed among the poor of Shalaipur, Muradpur and adjoining villages in the upazila under a massive plan of distributing thousands of cows in future.

“We are planning for boosting dairy sector and we do not only think about business and trade but also want to make the poor people self-reliant through expanding their income- generating facilities through participatory business,” he added.

The beneficiaries have to pay the actual price of the cows by supplying milk to the factories for a certain period till the price of the cows is realized when the RD Factory authorities will transfer the ownership of the cows to them, he added.

“We took two cows with calves from RD Factory and they are giving sufficient milk a day to earn huge money daily,” said villagers Alam Mia and his wife like other successful beneficiaries who have changed their fates during the past couple of years.

“We have overcome monga in recent years very successfully through selling milk that we got from the cows to RD Factory though it was very difficult for us to earn livelihoods by selling labour though there is no monga now,” Amena Begum of village Shalaipur said.

While narrating about the economic impacts of the factory, its Managing Director Fakhruzzaman said that dairy farmers in the whole district are being benefited by selling milk to RD Factory side by side with the beneficiaries of the industry.

Dairy farmers, who were in distress and frustration in the district and were about to close their farms due to frequent loss even a few years back, are now getting profit by selling their produced milk to the RD Factory.

Officials told BSS that the RD Factory has been producing now a huge quantity of quality pasteurized milk and milk juice with fruit flavours and supplies the products to the northern districts and capital city of Dhaka as the business was growing faster.

“We have a comprehensive plan to turn the RD Factory into one of the biggest milk processing industries of the country through involving over 30,000 people of Rangpur and its adjoining districts in the region in near future,” they added.

We are producing butter and sweets as quality RD products by setting up necessary infrastructures using quality equipments and machineries and we could do better if there were gas supply and smooth electricity here,” they said.

They said that the overall production costs of all products could be reduced by and large and even up to fifty per cent if there were supply of natural gas and uninterrupted power supply though we frequently incur losses due to power scarcity.

Appreciating the successes of the factory so far, local experts said that it is the first ever industry in Rangpur set up with the Equity Entrepreneur Fund of Bangladesh Bank and the factory has been operating very successfully.

Similar industries along with other ones could be set up in greater Rangpur and Dinajpur including the monga-prone vast areas to usher in a new era in economic development of the whole region by attracting the local and foreign investors, they said.

HSBC to raise biggest fund for poultry

HSBC to raise biggest fund for poultry
Sajjadur Rahman

Eighteen banks have agreed to arrange Tk 180 crore syndicated loan for Kazi Grand Parents Limited (KGPL), a concern of Kazi Farms Group, to raise its capital for expansion of product lines.

The group, founded in 1996, is now the largest player of Bangladesh’s poultry industry.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is the lead arranger of the loan, the biggest-ever poultry sector financing.

“The loan has already been raised. Only documentation remains pending,” Mahbub-ur Rahman, head of corporate affairs of HSBC, told The Daily Star yesterday.

Rahman said the deal is expected to be inked after Eid.

Industry insiders say the Tk 7,000-Tk 8,000 crore industry is expanding rapidly on an increased demand for the protein source. Chicken is now replacing fish and other meat.

Big players, such as Kazi Farms, CP Bangladesh, Aftab and Paragon entered the market in the past few years.

Kazi Farms Group’s market share is 25 percent for the day-old chicks (DOC) and 20 percent for broiler feed.

But no company has the capacity to produce “poultry grandparents” that breed flocks for the production of broiler parents hatching eggs and DOC.

Production of such grandparents is now under KGPL’s business expansion plan. The company exported hatching eggs and day-old chicks in 2004.

“Poultry sector has flourished here, in terms of technology and expansion. It has bright prospects,” said Mahbub-ur Rahman of HSBC.

Managing Director Helal Ahmed Chowdhury of Pubali Bank, a participant in the KGPL syndication financing, is also upbeat on poultry business.

Kazi Farms Group Managing Director Kazi Zahedul Hasan, however, said he does not want to comment on the project now.

The group has over 50 breeding farms, hatcheries, feed mills and sales offices across the country.

It is also the Bangladesh franchisee of Cobb-Vantress USA for the Cobb 500 broiler. The group is also the distributor for Hy-line brown and white layers in Bangladesh.

RDRS to produce additional 6,000 tonnes Tilapia fish in rice fields in 10 N-dists

RDRS to produce additional 6,000 tonnes Tilapia fish in rice fields in 10 N-dists

by Mamun Islam

RANGPUR, Bangladesh, Sept 3 (BSS) – Rangpur-Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) has launched a massive project of producing quality fingerlings and GIFT Tilapia fish in ice fields this season to bring economic self-reliance and improve the livelihood of common people.

After bringing targeted 21,000 farmers of 10 northern districts under the three-year term project to be completed by June, 2011, they will produce six crore GIFT Tilapia fingerlings and 6,000 tonnes additional Tilapia fish worth Taka six crore, experts said here today.

RDRS in collaboration with 12 partner organisations has been implementing the project in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts involving 10,000 farmers this year.

The project, Funded by Department of International Development (DFID), the UK-based Natural Resources International Ltd, is also being implemented simultaneously by twelve coalition partners in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Director (Resources & Environment) of RDRS and Team Leader of the “Enhancing impacts of decentralized (fish) seed production (EIDSP)” Dr Syed Shamsuzzaman and Head of Agriculture of RDRS MG Neogi and experts today narrated the project to BSS.

They said that the poor and low- income group people, small and marginal farmers, women and socially excluded group could increase their annual household incomes and fish consumptions by culturing fish in their rice fields in South Asia.

Besides, Dr Zaman narrated various aspects, ways and possible impacts of the project in Rajshahi division of Bangladesh, West Bengal and Nepal at a recent inception workshop on EIDSP project organised by RDRS here before launching the project.

Regional Director for Bangladesh and South Asia of World Fish Centre Alan C Brooks, Professor of the University of Stirling in the UK Dr David Little, Project Coordinator of EIDSP Sattyanarayan Roy, Head of Organisation Development of Practical Action Dr Faruk-Ul-Islam, Dr Madhav Shrestha from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science of Nepal, Dr Mahfuzul Haque from Bangladesh University of Agriculture and Kuddus Ansary from Onestop Aqua Shop in India attended.

Citing various complexities and adverse impacts of the ongoing global climate changes at alarming rates, Dr Zaman and Neogi said the things have been changed a lot over the past decades and fish production has been reduced by and large side by side with disappearances of the indigenous species of fishes.

Most of the rivers, water bodies, flood plains, ponds, beels and haors are being dried up and crops being cultivated on their beds using pesticides and insecticides that have further accelerated extinction of the indigenous species of sweet water fishes.

Besides, fish production is being hampered due to non- availability of quality fish fingerlings in the rural areas of Rajshahi division including greater Rangpur, Dinajpur and Barind regions, they said.

As a result, popularizing of the proven technology of farming fingerlings in rice fields using natural waters during the crop farming seasons thrice a year could help make supply of quality fingerlings, especially of Tilapia and common variety carp fishes.

A total of 60,000 fingerling producers will be developed in greater Rangpur and Dinajpur alone to raise the number of fish producers to up to six lakh in the region and more 1,000 farmers in Nepal and West Bengal after completion of the project by June, 2011 next, they said.

This project will remove barriers and help expedite expansion of fish culture by producing fingerlings in rice eco-systems and seasonal ponds, flood plains and ditches to help the poor getting access to quality fingerlings, increased incomes and better livelihoods.

The experts asked all stakeholders to make the system for producing fingerlings and fish culture in rice fields and tiny water bodies popular to get the desired results in these countries to further scale-up the project in the international arena.

They told that hundreds of people have been successfully earning better profits, meeting their nutritional demands by farming GIFT Tilapia in their rice fields and the process still continues in northern Bangladesh this season.

The poor farmers having only 5 to10 decimal rice field can stock 10 to15 GIFT Tilapia brood and to produce healthy fingerlings in the poverty- prone region and make money through producing healthy fingerlings in their tiny rice fields.

During March to April when Boro rice is in the fields, farmers’ stock GIFT Tilapia broods in tiny ditches of rice fields or house hold ditches having some water feed them with household rice bran only, officials in the District Fisheries Office (DFO) here said.

Within 2-3 months, the farmers produce GIFT Tilapia fingerlings that continue till November and sell those to neighbours and Fingerling Traders, the experts said.

The poorer families and their children are now eating Tilapia fishes regularly to meet their nutritional deficiency side by side earning extra incomes from alternative sources to improve livelihoods from their tiny rice fields to eradicate poverty.

Farmers Hafiza Begum of village Mirpara in Panchagarh, Sumitra Rani of Dharmopur Adhikaripara and Keshob Chandra of Kostor in Thakurgaon, Abdul Haque of Dakshin Dhononjoy in Kurigram and Alema Begum of Khejurtola village in Nilphamari narrated BSS about their successes in producing fingerlings and fish this season.

“We are very happy to get excellent profits by producing and selling GIFT Tilapia fingerlings and fishes by cultivating in our tiny rice fields, household ponds, flood plains and other water bodies,” they said adding that their children are also eating fish daily.