A well-known dairy farm in Magura is on the verge of closure due to lack of sufficient funds.
The 3.5-acre farm at Sarangodia village in Sreepur upazila of the district is situated by the side of the Kumar river.
Owner of the farm Md Akmal Hossain of the village, who also owns a travel agency in Dhaka, said he built the farm in 2008 for the benefit of the jobless locals.
Caretaker Harun-ur-Rashid said 60 workers used to remain busy all day long preparing various types of sweetmeats, matha, ghee, curd, rasamalai and packet milk. The products were sent to many other districts of the country.
Ananda Kumar Biswas, who looks after the cattle, said there were 450 cattle in the farm, while there are only 30 cattle now.
Manager Abdur Rahman told this correspondent that IFIC bank sanctioned a loan but did not issue the money, so the owner of the farm could not release the equipment imported from China due to fund shortage. Consequently, the farm is on the verge of closure. If the government takes initiative in sanctioning a loan a good number of jobless people will get their jobs back.
Owner Akmal said IFIC bank is responsible for the closure. “IFIC sanctioned a loan of Tk 5 crore which I spent on the farm. Later, they sanctioned Tk 14 crore loan, based on which I paid an advance to a Chinese company for high quality equipment. But the bank cancelled the loan and I could not release the equipment from the company. Thus, I incurred huge loss,” adding that he has invested Tk 25 crore on the farm so far.
There are three sheds for cattle, office room, store room and lots of equipment along with refrigerators. If the government supports him financially he will be able to run the farm again, Akmal said.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Sreepur Ahsan Ullah Sharif told this correspondent that he joined there recently. "I will visit the farm as soon as possible and take necessary steps in this regard," he said.