- Around 2,000 livestock rearers in uncertainty due to lockdown
- They fattened 30,000 bulls targeting Eid
- Online cattle markets not popular yet in Lakshmipur
- Lakshmipur has 24 regular cattle markets
- Over 100 seasonal cattle markets arranged during Eid
The strict lockdown days before Eid-ul-Adha has put uncertainty over the seasonal business of around 2,000 livestock rearers in Lakhsmipur who have fattened 30,000 bulls targeting the festival of sacrifice.
Md Jahangir Alam is the owner of the district's largest organic livestock farm Othoi Agro Complex built on seven acres of land in the Andharmanik village of Teariganj union. It has around 100 bulls ready to be sold in the Eid market.
The prices of the bulls range from Tk1 lakh to Tk5 lakh. He targets to sell cattle worth Tk2 crore this Eid.
His farm has Shahiwal, Friesian, Shingwala, Sindi, Haryana and Red Chittagong bulls. He said he rears the cows of his farm with a 100% non-toxic diet.
He produces food for his farm animals locally with his own machines. That is why the livestocks on his farm are 100% safe and organic.
Jahangir said, "I sold 50 cattles in Dhaka last year. In all the tests, the cattles of my farm got a safe certificate in Dhaka. I also aim to sell cattles in Dhaka this Eid. But I am worried because of the lockdown."
Rabia Begum of Ramganj upazila has prepared 20 bulls in her farm targeting the Eid. She is also skeptical about the business this year due to the Covid-19 situation.
Other farmers in the district have also expressed the same concern.
Md Farooq, owner of Akhter Enterprise in Joksin Bazar of Sadar upazila, said, "Every year after Eid-ul-Fitr, I brought cows from different parts of the country targeting Eid-ul-Adha before selling them in the local market. I expect to sell about five hundred cows this year. However, due to the lockdown, I am worried about my business this year."
Alauddin, a meat and dairy farmer from Lorench village in Kamalnagar, said, lockdown is not the only crisis. Seasonal traders bring Indian cows every year before Eid. That also affects the local livestock rearers.
He further said that Indian cows are fattened through hormone injections, which are harmful to our body.
According to the locals, the livestock service providers known as LSP go door to door with improved seeds and medical services for the farmers in Lakshmipur. As a result, the number of cattle farms and cattle production has increased rapidly in the district.
Md Ala Uddin, president of district LSP Association, said, "LSPs are partners of the farmers in fattening cows. Due to the activities of LSPs, the rate of livestock production in Lakshmipur has been increasing rapidly in the last 2/3 years. LSPs are becoming known to farmers as friends."
Kamalnagar Livestock Resources Officer Dr Akhtaruzzaman said, "Although online cattle markets are quite popular in different parts of the country, there is not much sale online in Lakshmipur district yet. Since last year, district and upazila animal resources officials have been encouraging buyers and sellers to use online markets due to the pandemic."
"We have requested the farmers to post the required information including pictures, videos, descriptions and prices of the animals on their Facebook page and on the Facebook page of the District Livestock Resources Department," he said.
Laxmipur District Livestock Resources Officer Dr Mohammad Ayub Mikra, said, "28,786 farmers are rearing 3 lakh 66 thousand livestocks at the commercial and individual level in the district. There are around 2,000 cattle fattening farms in the district including 1,539 government-listed farms. These farms have about 30,000 bulls for sale on Eid-ul-Adha."
He added, "26,000 bulls were sacrificed in the district last year. This year 4,000 bulls from this district can be sold to the buyers of other districts. In addition to bulls, many other animals like goats, sheeps can also be sold outside the district."
There are 24 regular cattle markets in Lakshmipur district. Outside these, more than 100 seasonal cattle markets are arranged during Eid.