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

Training for the fish cultivators begins in Gaibandha

Training for the fish cultivators begins in Gaibandha

GAIBANDHA, Dec 27 (BSS): A 4-day training for the fish cultivators at the initiative of department of fisheries has begun at the conference room of Sundarganj Upazila Parishad of the district on Monday.

District fisheries officer Khirod Kumar Paul formally inaugurated the training in the morning as the chief guest and district fisheries resources survey officer Golam Jilani was present as the special guest.

The fish cultivators would be imparted training on paddy fish culture, carp nursery and mixed fish culture (Galda) so that they could change their lots by cultivating fishes in the pond and other water bodies.

A total of 154 fish cultivators of 15 unions of the upazila are participating in the training in two batches under the project of fish culture extension in union level.


Pran makes it big in dairy business

Pran makes it big in dairy business

Top Right: A woman sells milk to a representative of Pran, the country's largest agro-processor. Bottom: A man offloads milk containers from a small truck at Pran's milk collection centre in Pabna. Photo: PRAN

Sohel Parvez

MOHAMMAD Noufel Ali pours five litres of milk into a cooling tank and gives his passbook to a young man who records purchases from milkmen in Pabna. Noufel, shrouded in a towel against the morning cold, comes out to a small yard, clearing the way for his elderly neighbour Iman Paramanik.

Paramanik also came to deliver milk to the collection centre set up by the country’s largest agro-processor Pran in Dodalia village in Chatmohar upazila in the district. It is one of the 20 centres in 20 villages in the upazila.

“The centre has saved my working hours. Now I do not need to wait hours at the market to get a buyer,” said Noufel who rears two milk-cows.

“I can come anytime of the day to deliver milk and get payment each weekend,” said the 50-year Noufel, from village Dodalia in Chatmohar upazila of Pabna, 235 kms north of the capital Dhaka.

Every morning and afternoon, Noufel, Paramanik, Zahidul and other farmers or their family members come to the centre to deliver milk, contrary to their tradition of going to the nearby markets or depending on middlemen called Ghosh to sell their produce.

This new trend of directly selling to a chilling centre has gained popularity over the past year after Pran established 20 chilling centres in 20 villages of the upazila with a vision to revolutionise milk production in an initiative that Bangladesh sees for the first time.

Dubbed as Pran Dairy Hub, the initiative of setting up collection points to encourage cattle farming and boost milk output has already started bearing fruit.

Milk collection by Pran has doubled in just one year. Establishment of chilling centres by the processor near the farmers has also created a new zeal for cattle farming.

Many farmers have started buying cows and the existing producers seem keen to expand.

Paramanik and Zahidul signed up in cattle farming after Pran set up collection centres in their village.

Ishak of nearby Bhadra area, increased the size of his farm, while another farmer Mohammad Asaduzzaman changed his decision to quit farming.

“I stopped selling cows after Pran set up a collection centre in our village. We used to sell milk to middlemen who gave us Tk 18-20 a litre. But my income from the similar volume of milk has more than doubled,” said a 25-year old Asaduzzaman who owns 10 cows.

He said he now earns Tk 17,000 a week by selling milk directly to the collection centre of Pran at Bhadra.

“I have taken farming as permanent business after Pran set up collection centres,” he said.

This timely initiative of Pran comes when Bangladesh suffers from a shortfall of domestic milk production due to low productivity per cow of 200-250 litres during a 10-month lactation period.

Industry analysts linked low milk yield to a slow pace in replacement of local cows with the genetically improved ones, a lack of breeding and veterinary services and inadequate investment in feed and fodder development.

In the past decade, production of milk has increased gradually every year because of efforts of farmers and processors to feed the growing demand for milk thanks to economic growth and rise in people’s per capita income.

During fiscal 2009-10, domestic production of milk grew 32 percent to 2.36 million tonnes (2,360 million litres) from 1.78 million tonnes in 2001-02, according to Department of Livestock Services (DLS).

However, a huge deficit still forces Bangladesh to import thousands of tonnes of milk powder every year.

In the fiscal 2009-10, total milk shortfall was 10.96 million tonnes, according to DLS.

To reduce the deficit in local milk production, Pran began to organise farmers and set up collection centres in villages of Chatmohar in the middle of last year under its initiative of establishing dairy hubs.

DeLaval and Tetra Pak, which have technical know how and technology on milk production and processing, extended support to Pran.

In line with the target, the processor started providing various extension services to farmers including veterinary care, animal husbandry, dairy housing, quality feed and breed improvement through artificial insemination (AI).

Pran workers give tips to farmers on better housing and feeding management of cows free of cost. It includes keeping cows untied, ensuring light and passage of wind through the shed, always keeping the water jar full to allow cows a drink anytime.

Other services include de-worming and periodical vaccination by maintaining health cards for each cow in its intervention area.

To support farmers to get proper feed for cows, Pran also provides balanced feed prepared at its factory at cost price along with seeds of fodder and training to prepare silage to feed cattle in rainy days.

By importing semen from the US, it also gives AI services to farmers at cost price with the aim to improve existing breeds of cows to scale up milk yield.

In addition, establishment of chilling centres at farmers’ doorsteps has cut dominance of middlemen in milk collection allowing producers to get better prices.

Pran’s support has helped boost farmers’ income by increasing milk production per cow and thus boosted its milk collection from the area to 17,000 litres daily from 8,000 litres before.

With the successes at Chatmohar, Pran now plans to set up similar dairy hubs all over the country with the vision of making Bangladesh a milk surplus country by 2020.

By that year, Pran, which now processes 100,000 litres of milk daily, wants to establish 60 dairy hubs. A second hub has already been set up at Gurudaspur of Natore, another northern district.

The third and fourth are likely to be set up in Rangpur and Sirajganj.

All the hubs will see replication of Chatmohar model where full time veterinary doctors, extension workers along with field supervisors and 20 chilling centres will be accessible by local dairy farmers.

“Here is the sector in Bangladesh which is waiting to be exploited. The dairy sector has immense potential here, but it still remains neglected,” said Chief Executive Officer of Pran-RFL Group Amjad Khan Chowdhury.

Sayef Nasir, country director of Tetra Pak, said the initiative of developing dairy hub would help reduce Bangladesh’s milk import dependence.

“It is also important from the viewpoint of rising prices of milk globally. Population growth and increased consumption in China is a factor behind the spike in prices of milk,” he said.

Nasir said the way forward for Bangladesh is to boost milk output through various efforts including upgrading local breeds of cows with foreign breeds that have higher milk productivity.

“Dairy development has got longer term and wider implications from the perspective of poverty reduction and job creation in the country,” he added.

That is what Pran chief Amjad Chowdhury aims to do.

“The only answer to lift people out of poverty is job. Creating jobs in urban areas is expensive due to higher living cost. Cattle farming can help create more jobs in rural areas and reduce pressure of jobseekers in urban areas,” he said.

“If people get fair price of their produce, they will be better off,” Chowdhury said.

The Pran-RFL Group employs over 30,000 people.

“We want farmers to treat dairy as business instead of treating farming as usual,” said Chowdhury.

He said the establishment of dairy hubs, where Pran gives intensive focus, will allow the processor to get more milk.

But the benefits of increased milk production and expansion of cattle farming will go beyond Pran and the whole country will be benefited, observed Chowdhury.

“Cattle farming also offers scope of producing biogas and bio-fertiliser. From cow dung, skin and hide to meat all are useful which makes dairy a profitable investment.”

Chowdhury said Pran invests crores of taka in establishing dairy hubs as part of its responsibility to the nation.

“Yes, it (dairy hub) is going to take my money. But once it starts, it will fly,” said Chowdhury, who dreams of turning Bangladesh into a milk surplus country.

“This sector is highly neglected, although its development is very much needed for Bangladesh. If I can contribute to developing the domestic dairy sector, it will be my ultimate satisfaction,” Chowdhury said.

$32m surplus earnings from shrimp exports in 5 months

$32m surplus earnings from shrimp exports in 5 months

DHAKA, Dec 11 (BSS) – The country earned US$ 32 million surpass earnings from shrimp exports during the five months of the current fiscal leaving aside the financial constraints facing the European countries, the major destinations for Bangladesh’s shrimp export.

Bangladesh maintained the positive growth in the export earnings during the period at a time when the country’s competitors such as India and Vietnam could not perform up to the mark, thanks to the government steps for export promotion.

Bangladesh earned US$240.19 against the target of US$208m during the period registering 15 per cent growth, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) latest data.

“We got good price of shrimps in the global market. Country’s export performance is good compared to our competitors India and Vietnam,” M Kazi Shanewaz, President of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA), told BSS today.

Shanewaz said the association has targeted Taka 6,000 crore earnings from frozen food exports this fiscal.

The export earnings could be increased to a large extent subject to adoption of modern technology both in fish production and processing, he added.

Referring to the natural disasters including cyclone Aila, the BFFEA chief said shrimp producers incurred huge loss of money due to the natural calamities.

The sector needs government support to offset the loss of exporters and increase production for maintaining steady growth in the years to come.

The EU is the largest market for the country’s frozen fish, followed by the USA.

Bangladesh registered a 40 percent rise in export earnings from frozen foods mainly shrimp to $625 million in fiscal 2010-11 from $445 million in the previous year, according to the EPB.

Project for boosting fish production and poverty eradication

Project for boosting fish production and poverty eradication

GAIBANDHA, Nov 28 (BSS) – A project entitled ‘Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Security for the People of Economically Depressed Areas’ is being implemented by the fisheries department at 135 upazilas in 23 districts of the country.

The aim of the project designed for four years from July 2010 is to enhance fish production in the country to meet the growing demand of the nutrition of the people through utilizing the existing water bodies of the country.

Besides, it helps local fishermen to involve in alternative income generating activities for passing their hardships without economical troubles during the lean period and dry season.

A total of 80,000 poor men including fishermen would be brought under the project and they would be provided with fish fries, bicycles, big pots, financial support and other assets like goat and sheep, sources said.

On November 24, an awareness workshop organized by the department was held in the conference room of district fisheries officer of the town here.

The function was held with acting DFO Khirod Kumar Paul in the chair while project director (PD) M Nazrul Islam attended the function and addressed it as the chief guest.

The function was also addressed, among others, by senior Palashbari Upazila fisheries officer Aftab Hossain and Sadullapur upazila fisheries officer Abu Bakar Siddique.

The speakers in their speeches urged all to culture fish in modern method and to protect the indigenous fish spices including mother fishes to increase its production through establishing fish sanctuaries in the nearby water bodies.

All the upazila fisheries officers and 60 members of community base organization and fishermen participated in the workshop.

EU stops mandatory test of Bangladeshi frozen fish

EU stops mandatory test of Bangladeshi frozen fish
Star Business Report

Bangladesh has got rid of a mandatory EU screening for exporting frozen fish after the country made progress in its residue monitoring system.

Earlier the European Union used to test 20 percent of frozen fish consignments from Bangladesh to keep its exporters under a continuous pressure to improve compliance.

The decision was posted in the official journal of the European Union on November 16.

The lifting of the restriction, which was slapped two years ago, will cut delays in export and reduce costs.

“It will bring about changes in the negative mindset about our products abroad and increase confidence about our laboratory capability,” said Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas at the seminar. “Demands for our fisheries will rise,” he said.

The Department of Fisheries, and EU-United Nations Industrial Development Organisation co-organised the event at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, focusing on emerging food safety issues and compliance.

The EU relaxed its rule after an audit team of the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Commission visited Bangladesh in March-April.

“The results of that inspection confirmed considerable improvements in that third country, particularly in the implementation of analytical methods used for residue monitoring and traceability of animals and products,” said Official Journal of the European Union.

“Based on the results of that inspection, it appears unnecessary that Member States continue to ensure additional sampling and analytical tests on consignments of crustaceans imported from Bangladesh,” it said.

At the programme, participants said there has been progress in various areas of fisheries sector to ensure production and processing of safe shrimp over the past several years.

With registration of 190,000 shrimp farms, implementation of traceability has become easier. The number of laboratories and testing machines has increased. At the same time, the government has also framed laws on fish feed and hatcheries.

“But we have to continue our efforts to sustain our achievement,” said the minister, stressing the need for steps to control the use of illegal chemicals, pesticides and feeds, stop anti-biotic contamination, and poor processing at factories.

The sector that employs more than 10 lakh people fetched $625 million in exports in fiscal 2010-11.

During July-October export earnings rose 21 percent to $208 million, according to Export Promotion Bureau data.

S Humayun Kabir, director of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, termed the EU waiver a great achievement.

He said the association has set a target of $1.5 billion from export of shrimp and fisheries by 2015.

Kabir, however, feared damage of cultured shrimp due to virus infection that causes millions of dollars in losses, putting many farmers in debt.

“The future sustainability depends on the future of disease management,” he said.

Fisheries Secretary Ujjwal Bikash Dutta, and Counsellor and Head of Cooperation of EC delegation to Bangladesh Milko Van Gool also spoke.

Cattle purchase through online from next year

Cattle purchase through online from next year

DHAKA, Nov 5 (BSS) – Online trading entrepreneurs are planing to introduce online buying and selling of sacrificial animals from next year during Eid-ul Azha as they are encouraged by increasing income from their existing e-business.

“We are going to add buy and sale of cattle and cattle heads from next year because of increasing trend of online trading of various goods through digital devices,” Marketing Director of FSB (Future Solution of Business) Sadequa Hassan Sejuti told BSS today.

She said people can buy and sale their sacrificial animals from their home by online through e-commerce at the advent of Eid-ul-Azha next year.

FSB, a youth group that initiated e-commerce in the country first, has already clinched this year United Nations World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) for creating outstanding digital contents for rural people.

It earned about Tk 200,000 a month by selling goods through online trading.

“We are expecting more earning as the number of registered customers are increasing every month,” Sejuti said adding at present we have 17000 customers who are purchasing goods from us through online trading.

Sejuti said farmers who are interested to sell cattle can upload pictures of cows and goats to our websites with prices and carrying cost next year.

People can make order for their sacrificial animal their credit cards through the website and will get home delivery of their chosen animal with fair prices.

In one hand the online trading of sacrificial animals will reduce the cattle prices as there will be no middleman on the other hand it will reduces hassles of busy city dwellers by getting rid of go to the cattle market and carrying animals to their home.

As the money will be transacted by online banking through e- commerce, it will be safe for the cattle traders.

FSB takes various kinds of products from producers specially under privileged women and girls all around Bangladesh and then opens up national and international markets for them through online by their website – amar desh amar gram, Sejuti said.

Another owner e-commerce sits Shahriar Hassan Simanto who earned Tk. 50,000 per month by selling goods including electronic items also said this year they are evaluating cattle markets and talking with the farmers and cattle traders to initiate online cattle trading in next year.

“We are making a list of interested farmers this year who show interest to sell their cattle directly to buyers through our Web sites,” he said.

The e-commerce has already been used to sell vegetable in fair prices to the dwellers of the capital through online.

During the last Ekushey Boi Mela, the FSB sold books through their website creating a virtual book fair.

IT experts termed the initiative of purchasing products through online as a major landmark in line with the present government’s pledge to build digital Bangladesh as it would bring fruits of digital devices to the doorsteps of the common people.

5-yr project aims to increase milk, meat production

5-yr project aims to increase milk, meat production
Author / Source : BSS

DHAKA, Oct 23:  The government has initiated a project to increase meat and milk productions in the country by developing crossbreed buffalo in suitable areas including the coastal belt. The five-year programme is designed to develop a new type of buffalo population, which will be an outcome of cross between superior breed and native buffalo.

With implementation of the programme, the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), is expecting significant increase in both milk and meat production.

According to DLS officials, the project would help increase the annul milk production to 2.33 lakh tonnes from current 1.80 lakh tonnes. The meat production would subsequently increase to 26,000 tonnes from 18,000.

The current annul milk production is around 2.5 million tonnes, of which 98 per cent comes from cows. The annual demand is around 12.5 million tonnes, leaving a huge amount to be met every year from import, official sources said.

The officials said the country’s buffalo population, mostly in the costal belt and low-laying areas, is considered as the second largest source of milk and meat after cattle. According to DLS, there are 1.26 million buffalo heads in the country.

The officials said that the native buffalo produces only 600- 1000 litters milk in a lactation period of 275 days whereas the new breed would give 1500 to 2000 litters for the same period.

Describing the development process, project director Dr Manzur Kader at the DLS said initially the native buffalo would be crossed with the high-yielding Indian buffalo breed Murrah to improve the genetic potential of the native ones.

He said 10 Murrah bulls and 40 thousand doses semen of Murrah breed would be imported from India and Pakistan for this purpose.

The Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) is working with the DLS to implement the Taka 34-crore project by 2014.

Director General of the BLRI Dr Shahidul Haq told the BSS that breeding, feeding and disease diagnostic techniques would be developed and disseminated to about 2,340 rural farmers through forming farmers’ community in 117 villages of 39 upazilas of the districts to make the project effective.

He said the project would also help create employment opportunities of 2,340 unemployed farmers besides the increase in milk and meat production. Initially, the program will be implemented in 14 different districts including Dhaka Sirajgong, Rangpur, Jamalpur, Tangail, Mymensingh, Feni, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Chittagong, Mowlavi Bazar, Patuakhali, Bhola and Bagerhat. The districts are chosen on basis of their favourable geographic condition for buffaloes.