Local meat producers oppose import to protect industry
The Local ranchers and meat producers have warned the government not to allow import of meat from abroad saying it would seriously affect the country's pledging cow fattening and meat producing industry. The newly growing entrepreneurs and their investment will face serious setback, they said.
They put forward the demand at a press conference at the National Press Club in the capital on Monday organized by 10 organizations at a time when the government is contemplating to import meat.
Local meat producers came up with the demand in the backdrop a recent disclosure by a government minister saying the government is weighing the possibility of meat import in the country.
The organizations held the press briefing include Animal Health Companies Association of Bangladesh (AHCAB), Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association (BDFA), Bangladesh Veterinary Association (BVA), Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association (BPIA), Bengal Meat and Bangladesh Agro Feed Ingredients Importers and Traders Association.
Dr M Nazrul Islam, president of the AHCAB highlighted the dire situation the new industry is facing urging the government to stop import of meat to protect local breeders and meat producers interest.
"Rural economy, leather and leather goods sector, soil-health, financial sector, sanitary and phytosanitary issues and other livestock related sectors will be in total jeopardy if beef import is allowed," he said
Nearly 60 million people across the country partly or fully and 14.8 million households raising cows and goat will be affected if beef import is allowed, said Dr Nazrul Islam.
Shah Emran, general secretary of BDFA and Khondokar Md Mohsin, joint secretary general of BPIA, among others, were present at the function.
Dr Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, general manger of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), presented the keynote paper titled 'Exporting Garments in Exchange of Meat - Can we afford that?
He said a total an individual needs 120 gram meat daily. It means the country needs 72.97 lakh tonnes of meat have demanded across the country per year. He said 75.14 lakh tonnes meat were produced in the country in 2018-19 fiscal year leaving 2.17 tonnes meat in surplus.
The organizers said fall in cattle import from India has become a boon for the development of cattle and dairy farming. "The number of cattle farms and farmers are growing day by day. The government should now take effective steps to protect the interest of local farmers." they said.
They further said the government measures now to be focused on making the progress so far achieved sustainable. "The cattle feed should be cheaper and free from harmful medicines, and the framers should be encouraged to follow organic-farming methods."