Fodder shortage in flood affected areas worry farmers
THE cattle farmers of the flood-hit regions in Bangladesh are facing fodder shortage for their livestock. An unusual price hike of fodders has made it even more difficult for them to feed their animals. The cattle are becoming weak day by day due to insufficient food. The situation in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts is worse, while Sirajganj, Sylhet, and Noakhali districts are witnessing flood crippling. Cattle farmers are facing an acute shortage of green fodder, especially grass and paddy straws that forward them to sure loss during Eid-ul-Azha.
In Kurigram and Lalmonirhat, around 24 lakh cows, buffaloes, goats, and sheep survive on natural resources. In Bogura, around 77,000 domestic animals have been affected by the recent flood. Farmers were rearing about 80,300 animals including cows, and goats targeting Eid-ul-Azha in the districts, but the acute scarcity of fodder now darken their hope of getting profit. With inundation of new areas every day, the fodder crisis would put the farmers and poor people in untold miseries who depend on livestock for livelihood in distress.
The government's response is inadequate while the shortage may persist for months and may spell a shortage of animals to sacrifice in the upcoming Eid. The crisis is expected to be resolved if the flood situation becomes normal and new grasses start to grow. There has been an over-reliance on the hope that the weather will pick up and solve the problem, while measures to alleviate what has become a crisis have lacked coordination, and in some instances are overly bureaucratic. The depth of the problem is such that a series of well-targeted actions and supports are necessary and must remain in place for months to come. Livestock is a growing sector where many youths become engaged to make their fortune and thousands of households are dependent on livestock rearing, dairy, and grow up to sale in the Eid.
The Agriculture and Livestock Ministries must come up modern hydroponic grass tray production to support fodder crisis during this pandemic and flood that multitude the existing crisis.