Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda said on Wednesday the government will not import meat considering the interest of local farmers.
Opposing the Ministry of Commerce's move to import frozen meat from India, the minister said the country has been producing the item more than its demand.
He gave assurance of stopping import of frozen meat, being brought to the country illegally by taking advantage of the loopholes of the existing law.
The minister said these while answering the questions of media at a press briefing. It was organised at Bangladesh Secretariat on the occasion of Livestock Service Week 2018.
Referring to his meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, he said the minister is also against import of meat.
"We need 7.9 million tonnes of meat. We're already producing 7.1 million tonnes. The local cattle farmers along with the industry will be destroyed, if meat is imported."
The fisheries and livestock minister also said his ministry does not want to import meat, and he will take preventive measures to stop its import even by amending law.
He noted that milk production has now increased to 9.28 million tonnes from 3.46 million in 2011, meat production to 7.15 million tonnes from 2.33 million tonnes, and egg 14.93 billion from 7.30 billion.
The government has set a target of producing 9.46 million tonnes of milk, 6.96 million tonnes of meat and 14.71 billion eggs by 2020-21.
The minister further said his ministry has been taking steps to lower meat production cost in the country. Besides, the ministry is also aware of the meat farmers' survival following supply of meat at lower cost to the people.
Highlighting various causes of meat price hike, including extortion, the minister opined that it is not an issue of the livestock ministry only. Commerce and home affairs ministries are also involved in the process. His ministry will have to take actions after holding inter-ministerial meeting.
Livestock Service Week 2018 will be observed across the country on January 20-25 to deliver the related services at the doorsteps of the people.
Department of Livestock Services (DLS) is organizing the week for the second time. The slogan of this year's Livestock Service Week is 'Barabo Pranij Amish Gorbo Desh, Shastho Medha Somriddhir Bangladesh'.
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