Acute fodder crisis forces farmers to sell cattle

Farmers in the district are forced to sell their cattle due to acute crisis of fodder as its price is out of reach due to recent prolonged floods and heavy rain.

As a result, most of the frustrated farmers and marginal cattle owners are selling their cows at lower prices.

The farmers are facing the fodder crisis as the recent floods have damaged all the grass fields here.

During a recent visit to different local markets in the district, this correspondent found that a bundle of straw was being sold at Tk 16 to Tk 18 while a pile of straw at Tk 2500 to Tk 3000.

The sellers said they have to buy straw at higher prices from other districts like Naogaon and Dinajpur.

Cattle farmer Rakibul Islam of Govindasi in Bhuapur upazila said at present, it is not possible to keep cows due to the crisis of fodders.

He added that they are now struggling over rearing their cattle due to high prices of fodder. So, they will sell the cows.

Another farmer Sohrab Hossain said now the price of milk is lower than cattle feeds.

“I used to buy per bundle of straw Tk 3 to Tk 4 but now I have to buy it Tk 14 to Tk 18. If the prices go up in this way, cattle rearing will be stopped,” he added.

Sohel Miah, a straw seller at Govindasi market in the upazila, said as they have to buy straw from the wholesalers at higher prices, they are forced to sell it at a higher price.

“At present, I am selling per bundle of straw at Tk 16 to Tk 18 while it was sold at Tk 5 to Tk 6 before the floods,” he added.

Mokaddes Ali, another seller of straw, said this year, the prolonged flood has severely damaged almost all the grass fields. Due to this, the fodder crisis occurred this time. 

Swapan Kumar Debnath, upazila livestock officer in Bhuapur, said cattle farmers are facing fodder crisis as the cultivated lands have been submerged due to this year’s prolonged floods and heavy rains.

They are suggesting the affected farmers to feed their cattle wheat bran and rice husk as alternative of the straw, he said.

The crisis will end as soon as harvesting of Aman paddy will start in November, he added.

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