Marginal dairy farmers yesterday urged the government to give them easy bank loans and establish chilling plants in remote areas of Bangladesh to boost milk preservation.
“Shortage of chilling centres are causing deterioration in the quality of milk produced in remote areas,” said Amena Begum, a marginal dairy farmer of Rowmari upazila in Kurigram.
Amena was one of the marginal farmers who spoke at a discussion jointly organised by Oxfam and Bangladesh Dairy Development Forum at Brac Centre Inn in the capital.
The annual milk production grew four times in the last one decade to 99 lakh tonnes at present while meat production from livestock increased seven times, analysts said citing data of the Department of Livestock Services.
“If the trend continues, Bangladesh will be self-sufficient in milk production by 2025,” they added.
Local producers meet two-thirds of the country’s demand for milk and educated youths run half of Bangladesh’s nearly 100,000 commercial dairy farms, they said.
The farmers also urged the government to increase tariff on import of powdered milk in bulk quantity so that local producers do not face uneven competition.
They also wanted the government to ensure fair prices for milk.