Fodder crisis hits cattle rearing in flood-affected Lalmonirhat
Cattle rearing in flood-affected areas of Lalmonirhat is severely affected for lack of green fodder due to rising floodwaters in Teesta and Dharla rivers for the last one week.
Floodwaters have destroyed green fodder at nearly 80 villages in the two rivers basin areas in five upazilas of the district, the Lalmonirhat District Livestock Officer Dr Saidur Rahman told the correspondent.
“Cattle farming is the main source of income for char farmers but this is being severely affected currently,” the official said according to our local correspondent.
Many cattle farmers in the villages are now resorting to selling their cattle at low prices as they are failing to manage fodder for their cattle.
“I had four cows but two days ago I had to sell one of them at a really low price,” 52-year-old Nazir Hossain, a flood-affected farmer at Teesta river basin of Gobordhan village in Aditmari upazila, told The Daily Star.
“I also sold eight ducks and 12 hens at a low price due to floodwater everywhere,” he said.
“We have no money for buying hay, oilcake or wheat bran at high prices from the market. So, we are having to depend on green fodder for rearing cattle,” said Aftab Uddin, 62, another resident of the same village.
He also sold two of his five cows three days ago. “We, ourselves, are subsisting on dry food like cheera, gur, muri and others. Bur we are facing difficulty in collecting fodder for our cattle,” he said.
“The floodwaters washed away my haystack and damaged grass fields in the area. I used to get around six to seven litres of milk daily from two cows just a month back but now I only get two litres of milk on an average," said Mazidul Islam, 58, a resident of Gaddimari village in Hatibandha upazila.
“Milk production has decreased due to lack of fodder in river basin areas in the district,” he said.
“Now it is very difficult to collect green fodder as all grass fields are inundated and it takes a long time to reach the areas with green fodder,” said Manowara Begum,38, a cattle farmer at Dharla river basin’s Bongram village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila.
“It has now become difficult to rear six cows and I think I will sell three of them,” she said.