Buffalo farming at Char Fasson hampered for river salinity
CHAR FASSON, BHOLA, June 2: Farming cattle and agriculture activities are hampered in coastal Char Fasson Upazila of the district due to increasing salinity in river.
Particularly in different sea shore areas, crop production has been declining alarmingly for the last several years. Coastal areas have fallen under threat due to climate change. With rising sea level, salinity water started entering coastal localities.
In coastal Char Fasson areas, farming buffalo is an important sub-sector of the agriculture economy. Owners of buffalo farms earn huge money every year. In different chars and forests, buffaloes live on natural grasses. But this year the grazing areas have been submerged with salty water; natural grasses did not grow; and in remote char areas, buffaloes are dying from dearth of grasses.
In this situation, buffaloes are being sheltered in ponds of common people of Char Nizam Village in Monpura Upazila. Locals said, buffaloes have made water dirty in these ponds; and pond water has turned undrinkable.
According to sources at the Department of Livestock (DoLS)-Bhola, there are 91,000 buffaloes in 83 chars in seven upazilas of the district, and 554 commercial farms. Of these, 48,990 buffaloes are in remote char areas of Char Fasson Upazila. A total of 100 tonnes of milk is being produced daily from these farms. But there is serious crisis of cattle fodder and drinking water in the grazing areas.
DoLS sources said, due to impact of Cyclone Yaas occurred on May 26, 3,900 acres of grazing stretches got damaged; now there is no option to keeping buffaloes healthy alive.
Every year, 200/300 buffaloes are dying for lack of feed and pure drinking water. More than one 100 commercial owners are in concern about managing feed and safety of their thousands of buffaloes. Many have started to get away from their buffalo projects.
On April 20, this year, 40 buffaloes died in different chars including Char Islam, and Char Faruki at Char Makina Union under Dakkhin Aicha Thana of Char Fasson Upazila. The families who have lost their buffaloes are victims of river erosion. After losing their houses and belongings from main lands of Monpura, Tazumuddin and Char Fasson, they have moved to these chars for survival. But their latest shelters have also turned unliveable.
It is urgent to protect these buffaloes for the very interest of the agriculture economy in the coastal areas. Buffalo is the traditional resource in Bhola District as well.
Forest Ranger of Dhalchar said, owners are grazing their buffaloes in forests breaching law; grazing cattle in mangrove forest is restricted; and whenever these animals are entering forests, cases are being lodged against grazers and owners. If resilient grazing lands are not raised, buffalo farming will be hampered.
Farm owners want digging ponds in southern coastal areas.