Bangladesh has become self-sufficient in production of meat and egg, the two best sources of good-quality protein and micronutrients.
But the country lags behind in milk production compared with demand.
Meat and egg production surged 496 percent and 198 percent respectively in a decade between fiscals 2009-10 and 2018-19, according to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS).
Meat production, led by chicken, is now higher than the demand. Egg production has risen to the same level as demand.
Though the production of milk has increased 319 percent to nearly 100 lakh tonnes in almost 10 years, it is still lower than the present demand of over 152 lakh tonnes.
Analysts termed the development a success of the country. Consistent economic growth, consumers’ rising purchasing power and engagement of young-educated people have helped the country become self-sufficient in livestock.
“Rising purchasing power and development of commercial livestock farming have been helping the sector to grow significantly,” said AKM Ataur Rahman, a livestock economist of DLS.
According to him, the ongoing artificial insemination programme of the DLS has contributed to the increase in milk and meat production.
He also said the department provides necessary medical support to improve animal health.
Researches on feed nutrition and prevention of diseases have encouraged young people to come into the dairy farming sector, said Jahangir Alam Khan, former director general of the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.
He claimed that livestock did not face any serious disease in the last several years.
“Young entrepreneurs have been setting up dairy farms by taking bank loans at 5 percent interest,” he added.
However, Kazi Ali Toufique, research director of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, said he did not find any remarkable contribution of the DLS in the sector’s development.
DLS officials cannot provide the services needed by the dairy farmers, said Toufique, who has been conducting research on livestock economy.
Jahangir Alam Khan
Former director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute
The government’s policy and financial supports have helped the sector grow tremendously. There were lots of research work for developing the livestock, including disease control.
Kazi Ali Toufique
Research director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
Credit goes to the young entrepreneurs who have invested their money and labour in developing the sector. Plan to bring livestock under insurance coverage will further boost up the sector.