Many cattle farmers in the Khulna district have been rearing animals for sacrifice during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha and earning some profit, but now it seems difficult due to the exorbitant price of feed and fodder.
They are concerned as the cattle rearing costs have increased manifold.
Some farmers claimed that the price of cattle feed is increasing every week, making it difficult for the farmers to cope and shattering their hopes of earning some profit.
During a recent visit to the local market, this correspondent found that one sack of wheat husk, weighing 37kg, is being sold at Tk 1,950 while a sack of paddy husk, weighing 50kg, is being sold at Tk 850-900.
Besides, one sack of mustard oil cake, weighing 37kg is being sold at Tk 1,450-1,500 while one sack of granular feed, weighing 25kg, is being sold at Tk 1,380-1,400.
One kg of soybean oil cake is being sold at Tk 85 while a fist of straw is being sold at Tk 8.
Asaduzzaman, a local farmer who was busy cutting grass for his cattle at the Shaheed Sheikh Abu Naser Hospital field, said, “It is difficult to find long grass for cattle and we are struggling to feed them due to the price hike of fodder. As an alternative, I came here to collect some grass which is not sufficient for my cattle.”
Riyad Hossain, another cattle farmer, said, “I have five cattle but now only three are available at my farm. I have decided to sell two ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as day by day it is becoming difficult for farmers to survive in this business due to the high price of cattle feed.”
A healthy ox needs feed worth Tk 200 and farmers are now at a huge loss due to other expenses as well, he said.
Even farmers who have had cattle farms for a long time, have now reached the stage of giving up this business, he added.
The prices of milk and beef have increased, but the farmers are hardly making any profit, they said. If this continues, small cattle farms may disappear at some point, said Riyad.
Arun Kanti Mandal, district fisheries and livestock officer, said the price of fodder and animal feed is increasing and no steps have been taken yet from the government.
He also blamed some unscrupulous businessmen behind the price hike.
“We are providing financial support to the cattle farmers but we advised them to grow grass on their land as an alternative feed for cattle, which can reduce the rearing costs,” he said.