Acute fodder crisis has threatened cattle rearing in Pabna and Sirajganj, the largest cattle producing districts in the country.
Nur Islam of Chotopathail village in Pabna's Santhia upazila said he has been feeding straw instead of fresh grass to his cattle for the last one month as all the grass fields in the village went under water due to rain and flood.
Meanwhile, more than 12 lakh cows have been eating dry food instead of fresh grass for the last couple of months due to the flood and incessant rain, causing immense sufferings to the cattle farmers in the districts, said local people.
“I had 12 bighas of grazing field for my 50 cows but the entire field went under water. Now I have to buy dry fodder that is a huge burden for me,” said dairy farm owner Md Nabiul Islam of Nukali village in Sirajganj's Shahzadpur upazila.
Nabiul sold six cows a week ago and now he is very worried that milk production will decrease.
Most of the cattle farmers in the two districts buy straw as the key fodder from different districts at double the price.
Cattle feed trader Md Shajahan Ali said each maund of straw is sold at Tk 300 to Tk 330 although it was sold for Tk 160 to Tk 180 last year.
“Due to the flood, there is not enough dry cattle feed in Pabna and Sirajganj. We are buying straw from Naogaon, Rajshahi and Natore at double the price,” Shajahan said.
Jahangir Sheikh of Chhoto Pathail village in Santhia upazila said there are 10 cows in his dairy farm. He has to buy three to four maunds of straw every week.
“Due to the high price of straw, I am in dire crises to maintain the farm,” Jahangir said, adding that he sold two cows last week due to the crises of cattle feed.
Dairy farmers said due to high price of fodder, they are selling their domestic animals.