POST TIME: 4 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM
Cow fattening projects
Farmers eye Eid market for profit
Our Correspondent

Farmers eye Eid market for profit

Photo shows cows of a fattening project at Koshba village in Dinajpur Sadar upazila on Wednesday. INDEPENDENT PHOTO

Over 1,000 families of ten villages in Harinakundo upazila have been happy with adequate income coming from fattening of cows for the Eid-ul-Azha festival. This farming of cows has made the people of villages like Malipara, Vaina, Dobila, Bagchua, Lakshmipur, Rahimpur, Joradah, Bahadurpur, Bagasra and Toilotupi solvent. They fatten over 3,000 cows a year targeting the Eid. Adil Uddin Jowardar, who is involved in fattening cows commercially at Toilotupi village, said he made a profit of Tk 15,00,000 by selling 20 fattened cattle last year. “All the members of my family, including three sons and their wives, help me raise the cows. Besides, I have employed a man with a monthly salary of Tk6,000 to help me,” he said. Once a day labourer Jowardar now owns a six-room house and 15 bighas of crop land at Toilotupi village. He mostly sells his cows at Chittagong markets. Abdus Samad, Mozammel Haque and Nazimuddin of the village are also engaged in fattening cows commercially and have become solvent by selling their cattle to Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Barisal and other big cities. Sakina Begum of Toilotupi village said healthy hybrid calves are available in Jessore, Kushtia, Meherpur and Khulna district. “I bought two cattle for a total of Tk30,000 after the last Eid-Ul-Azha for selling them ahead of this Eid.  Last year, I gained Tk 45,000 by selling three cows at local markets,” she said.
She hopes that if illegal cattle do not come through the border before the Eid-Ul-Azha they must get good price According to District Livestock Department sources, every family is fattening 2 to 25 cows every year. Jobless and illiterate poor village women have also become self-reliant from cow-fattening. This is helping them change their lifestyle, they said.
They also said there are 560 registered cattle rearing farms in Jhenidah district. Many of them are involved in diary firming also. The registered farms get all kinds of facilities from the government. They get loan and services throughout the year.
District livestock officer Kanai Lal Sharnakar said the cow fattening period starts with de-worming of the targeted cows through using medicine orally or injecting anathematic drug (worm destroying drug), because worms resist growth of the cow. Then sufficient balanced food is given to the cows. He, however, said some cow owners might use steroid for fattening cows; but this practice is harmful for both the cows and the meat consumers. But the use of steroid is absent in this district, the DLO said.
In Dinajpur, many farmers and farm owners are hoping to get good price for their cattle due to the restriction on cow import from India. Many farmers have taken up cow fattening projects with the hope of making good profit.
In Dinajpur district, there are about 30,000 cow fattening projects, where nearly 75,000 cows are being raised, according to local sources. Sarwar Ashfaque Leon, who runs a cattle fattening farm in Koshba area, is preparing 50 bulls for sale during the coming Eid-ul Azha.
He said the fall in the flow of cattle from India has created opportunity for them to earn good profit this year. Leon is also an executive member of Dinajpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Abdus Samad, a cattle farmer of Alubari village in Biral upazila of the district, said he is expecting good price for his cattle this year. He sold five bulls ahead of last year’s Eid and earned a profit of Tk2 lakh. This year, he plans to sell 6 bulls, which are now being fattened.
Babul Akhtar, another farmer at Rajuria village of same upazila, is fattening five cows targeting the Eid-ula Azha. Ekramul Hossain, a cattle farm owners in Biral municipality area, said, “The fall in the flow of cattle from India has created opportunity for them in this sector”. Prof Dr Md Abdul Hamid, Chairman of Animal Science Department of Hajee Mohammed Danesh Science and Technology University, said a spike in cattle prices will boost animal rearing locally. It will have a positive impact in the long term. However, there have been complaints of using drugs and chemicals in cow fattening. A cow takes at least 6 to 12 months to grow healthy a natural way. But the farmers start injecting them vitamins and hormones to fatten them within a few weeks targeting the Eid markets. According to livestock experts and NGO executives, local animal husbandry sector has developed tremendously in recent years following massive steps taken by the government and different NGOs under various poverty alleviation programmes.