FARIDPUR, Mar 31: Faridpur dairy farm owners are counting financial loss amid the present situation.
Sources said, owners of about five thousand farms in nine upazilas in the district are facing a serious problem as they are unable to sell milk to their clients.
According to the District Livestock Department, Faridpur produces around 15,000 litres of milk per day.
A good number of dairy farm owners said different varieties of pulses are cultivated in the char and haor areas in the district from January to March. The season is popularly known as 'kalai season'.
During this time a lot of grasses are available in the fields. These grasses are useful as livestock feed. It plays a vital role increasing cows' milk production. Therefore, the production of milk during the 'kalai season' is about 20,000 litres.
District Livestock Officer Dr Nurullah Ahsan said, "We urged people in different ways to continue milk consumption this period. But with the closure of the communication system, the sale of milk is now decreasing. Sweetmeat shops are also closed."
Talking to several farm owners in Faridpur, it was reported that milk price came down from Tk 70 to Tk 25 per litre. In many areas, milk is being sold at Tk 12 per litre.
The dairy farmers said that if the transport stoppage continues for a long time, farm owners will face livestock feed crisis. On the other hand, many farmers will be unable to pay workers' salaries.
Mintu Fakir, chairman of the Decreacher Union under Sadar upazila said, "Cattle heads are one of the main sources of livelihood in my union. But cattle rearers are in serious problem."
Mostakuzzaman, chairman of the Northchannel Union, said, "There are more than a thousand farmers in this union. Most of their farms are in a precarious situation as a large amount of milk remains unsold every day."
The sale of liquid milk in Faridpur has almost stopped due to coronavirus. With sales plunging, the price has come down by half. The burden of loss continues to increase as very few of them are trying to make cream out of milk.
Some villagers of the Tapakhola, Decreacher, Charmahdobdia and Khalipur areas said the price of 1.0 kg of cream is Tk 250. If the ghee can be made from the cream, then the price will be Tk 1,000. Ghee can be kept at normal temperature without refrigeration.
Faridpur Deputy Commissioner Atul Sarkar said milk is raw material. Livestock officials have been instructed to train farmers on alternative processes.
Meanwhile, our roving correspondent from Pabna adds: Small dairy farm owners in the district are frustrated due to fall in price of milk.
Some farm owners said milk was sold at Tk 60 to Tk 70 per kg around fifteen days ago, but now it is being sold at Tk 25 to Tk 30. They are incurring huge loss as they are to purchase fodder at a high rate.
Over the past few days, milk prices in the district have dropped by almost a half.
It is also reported that despite a fall in price, over a half as different milk companies in Shahzadpur upazila have stopped purchasing milk from the farmers due to coronavirus outbreak.
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