‘Govt plans to form farmer groups to boost livestock sector’
The government plans to form 5,500 farmer groups and invest on them to give a boost to the country's livestock sector, speakers said at a workshop today.
The groups will help livestock farmers to become more productive, provide them with better access to markets and improve their resilience to climate change and other risks, they said.
The groups will be formed across 61 districts and will include dairy cattle, dairy buffalo, beef, goats, sheep and poultry, they added.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Department of Livestock Services and the fisheries and livestock ministry jointly organised the event in Dhaka today and made the announcement.
"Producer groups present a key opportunity to drive transformation of the livestock sector in Bangladesh," FAO Representative in Bangladesh Robert D Simpson said at the workshop.
"They empower their members economically and socially and create sustainable rural employment through business models that are resilient to economic and environmental shocks."
He added: "Producer groups are also of great benefit to women and youth who make highly valuable contributions to the groups they belong to and lead."
With the right training and investment opportunities, producer groups can fulfil their potential, generate more wealth and produce more nutritious food while reducing their carbon footprint, Simpson said.
In both developed and developing countries, livestock contributes from between 20 to 40 per cent of agriculture, supporting 1.3 billion people worldwide.
Around 34 per cent of global food protein supply comes from livestock, FAO said in a statement.
FAO's Livestock and Dairy Development Project (LDDP), funded by the World Bank, is working with the Department of Livestock Services to establish and mobilise the farmer groups, which will receive technical and financial support.
The LDDP is also working to create a national management strategy for the livestock sector, supporting livestock farmer field schools and assisting in drafting national policy.
SM Rezaul Karim, fisheries and livestock minister, and Monjur Mohammad Shahjada, director general of the Department of Livestock Services, also attended the workshop.