The Financial Express

Dairy farmers in trouble, seek govt support

| Updated: March 29, 2020 19:16:08

File photo (Collected) File photo (Collected)

Dairy farmers have sought immediate support from the government as they cannot sell milk due to the countrywide lockdown in the aftermath of new coronavirus.

Everyday around 12 to 15 million litres of milk remain unsold across the country, which caused Tk 570 million in daily losses to the marginal dairy farmers.

The Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association on Wednesday made the appeal to the government through video conferencing from its office in Dhaka to save the sector from the adverse impact of Covid-19, a pneumonia-like illness caused by the novel virus.

Bangladesh currently produces 9.9 million tonnes of milk annually, which is 70 per cent of the total national demand.

But about 12 to 15 million litres of milk have remained unsold for the last seven days in the wake movement restrictions aimed at containing further spread of the virus strains, the association said.

The government support is needed to cushion the impact of lockdown since local and marginal dairy farmers earn their livelihood by selling milk and feed their family members, the association leaders said.

The country's dairy farmers are in deep crisis because they are forced to sell milk at Tk 10 to Tk 12 a litre somewhere in the country while in other areas they cannot sell at all, the association leaders added.

Local mill processing plants buy only 5.0 per cent of the total production estimated at 1.3 million litres, with the rest being sold to sweet shops and institutions, which are now closed.

Referring to the crisis, the association leaders warned that unless the milk processors come forward to help them, warned half the dairy farms would go out of business.

There exists some 0.3 million dairy farms in the country and some 10.2 million people depend on farming.

The association's president Imran Hossain, vice president Ali Azam Shibli and secretary Md Shah Emran went live.

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