‘Dairy industries need foreign investment’
The dairy industry of Bangladesh needs foreign investment as the sector has a lot of potential. Also, knowledge sharing and technical assistance of foreign dairy industries will help the growth of local industry, speakers at a roundtable observed on Wednesday.
Prothom Alo organised the roundtable titled ‘ensuring nutrition at a lower cost by developing local dairy industry’, in association with Arla Foods Bangladesh at CA Bhaban of Karwan Bazar.
Denmark’s ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen said that cooperation between Denmark and Bangladesh dates back a long time.
While the two countries inked an agreement to work together in dairy industries, there are still a lot more to be done in the industry, she added.
Fisheries and livestock ministry’s additional secretary Kazi Wasi Uddin highlighted for increasing milk in people’s diet to save country’s dairy farmers.
Department of livestock services’ director general, Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik said, farmers often do not get fair price for dairy products while middlemen get hefty amounts.
He urged the foreign companies to collect milk from local farmers instead of importing milk from abroad.
Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute’s director general Nathu Ram Sarker said high quality cow breeds can be imported from abroad and raised in the country to improve dairy sector of the country.
Consumer Association of Bangladesh’s president Golam Rahman said the government should take necessary steps to increase production in local dairy farms. Also, cow feed import should be tax free.
The price of milk would go down if the local farmers can produce more milk, he added.
Bangladesh Food Safety Authority’s member Morshed Ahmed stressed for ensuring production of safe milk as presence of excessive level of pesticides and leads in cow milk was reported in the media recently.
Bangladesh Agriculture University’s Animal Nutrition department’s head Khan Md Shaiful Islam pointed out the need for providing high quality breeds to the farmers and outlets to sell the milk.
Arla Foods Ltd’s vice president Mark Boot said malnutrition and stunting is a big issue in Bangladesh.
Exchange of knowledge with local farmers can be helpful in increasing productivity.
Arla Foods Bangladeseh’s managing director Peter Hallberg said low production, price and quality of milk and availability of milk in the market is the biggest challenge for Bangladesh’s daily industry.
He said direct foreign investment is needed to face those challenges.
BAU’s Dairy Science department’s professor Muhammad Ashikul Islam stressed for providing the local farmers with technical know-how.
BAU’s ABM Khaleduzzaman, Milk Producers Co-operative Union Limited’s additional general manager Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman, Supreme Court’s lawyer Tanjib-ul Alam, Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association’s secretary general Md Shah Emran, National Dairy Development Forum’s president Umme Kulsum, among others spoke at the roundtable moderated by Prothom Alo associate editor Abdul Quayyum.