Fodder crisis forcing flood hit farmers in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat to sell livestock for cheap
Floodwaters in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat have damaged huge amounts of hay, which would have been used as fodder for livestock.
The floodwaters have also inundated grasslands. According to Kurigram District Livestock Officer Abdul Hai Sarkar, it takes about two months for new grass to grow after the floodwaters recede.
All this has resulted in a severe shortage of fodder in flood-hit Kurigram and Lalmonirhat, forcing farmers to sell their cows and goats at low prices. They are also selling ducks and hens at lower prices, reports our Lalmonirhat correspondent.
Nabir Hossain (64), a flood-affected farmer from Char Airmari in Kurigram Sadar upazila, told The Daily Star that he had six cows and eight goats. He sold two cows and three goats at a very low price. The two cows were worth Tk 1,40,000 before the floods, but he sold them for Tk 1,10,000. He sold three goats for Tk 13,000, but their price before the flood was around Tk 20,000.
"Since we have to buy fodder from the market at high prices, we decided to sell our cows and goats," he said.
Rafi Hossain, a 58-year-old flood-affected farmer from Dhanarchar village in Kurigram's Rowmari upazila, told The Daily Star that he had purchased hay worth Tk 60,000 for his five cows, but it was all submerged in floodwaters. The majority of the hay had already been damaged.
He had to sell a cow for Tk 48,000 even though it was priced at Tk 60,000 before the floods.
"If the floodwaters continue to rise for a few more days, I'll have to sell more cows and goats at lower prices," he said.
The supply of cattle at Jatrapur Haat (market) in Brahmaputra shoal Kurigram Sadar upazila has increased since the onset of floods, according to Nehanat Islam, a cattle trader. Cattle wholesalers, on the other hand, are absent from the market. According to him, the cows are being sold at a lower price as a result of this.
Kurigram and Lalmonirhat have 17 lakh cows and buffaloes, and 15 lakh goats and sheep, according to the District Livestock Department. Cattle rearing is the primary source of income for the people here.
The government has set aside Tk 21,70,000 to assist flood-affected farmers in purchasing fodder, which is currently being distributed.
Kurigram District Livestock Officer Abdul Hai Sarkar said, "Many flood-affected farmers are selling their cows and goats for cheaper prices due to fodder crisis."