Kushtia cattle farmers hit hard by pandemic

OUR CORRESPONDENT | Monday, 12 July 2021

The Covid-19 epidemic has created a serious negative impact not only on the health sector of Bangladesh but also on all aspects of living.

After the Covid-19 outbreak began in early March in Bangladesh, the government locked down people's movements to control the spread of the disease. The lockdown has had a significant negative impact on the agricultural sector.

Until recently, Abdul Mazed could get four or five bids for his cattle, competition that helped the 52-year-old feel he was not getting a decent price for his livestock.

Mazed had no buyers' bidding on his cattle for seven weeks. When he finally received a bid, he had less than 5 minutes to respond.

Mazed, a farmer of Kaburhat village under Alchara union in Sadar upazila, usually rears cattle every year to earn a profit. He has a big cattle house to make a business. He appoints 4-5 labourers to rear the livestock in his farmhouse. He takes his animals to the major cattle markets in Dhaka and Chattogram to sell the animals.

Litton Skeikh, a farmer of Poradah union in Mirpur upazila, has a financial advantage in this business. Carrying the animals he usually moves to Dhaka and Chattogram two or three weeks ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

Following the corona pandemic everything has changed. He is not able to move anywhere due to nationwide lockdown. He has been waiting for a better chance.

All the 15 haats in the district are inoperative due to lockdown. The closure of cattle markets has compounded the economic hardships of the farmers' community in the district.

The local administration has warned that cattle markets could heighten the risk of a rapid spread of the virus. That's why the farmers of the district do not bring their animals in the haats.

Farmers in the district are ready to send sacrificial cattle to the major markets across the country.

It is known that the cattle from Kushtia are on high demand as they are available in various sizes.

According to the livestock office in Kushtia, there are 20,586 farmhouses in the district. There are 4,515 farms in Kushtia Sadar upazila, the highest in the district.

The farmers of the upazila have reared 16,046 cows.

There are 4,351 farms in Daulatpur upazila and the farmers have reared 14,178 cows. About 4,198 farms in Kumarkhali upazila have reared 13,250 cows. There are 8,016 cows at 3,106 farms in Khoksha upazila., 13,739 cows at 2,737 farms in Mirpur upazila and 8,279 cows at 1,700 farms in Bheramara upazila.

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