The $500 million taken from the World Bank for the development of the livestock sector is a loan, not a grant, said Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Wednesday, instructing officials to ensure its proper use.
"We have to repay the loan along with interest with the money coming from all classes of taxpayers from across the country. As a result, utmost care should be taken to ensure that it is not misused," he said at a workshop organised for central and field level livestock officers at the KIB Auditorium in Khamarbari, Dhaka.
The implementation of the Livestock and Dairy Development Project is underway for the development of livestock resources with a loan from the Washington-based multilateral lender.
The minister attached great importance to the proper implementation of the project.
Regarding the field-level officials, he said, "There are complaints against many of them that when someone goes to them for service, they are driven away. Such behaviour cannot be accepted in any way. If necessary, service should be provided even late at night. We have to work with responsibility.
"There are complaints about a lack of proper utilisation of mobile veterinary clinics. Those cannot be left idle," he pointed out.
At the event, Nahid Rashid, secretary to the fisheries and livestock ministry, said the transformation of the livestock sector is essential.
"That is why a Livestock Farmers Field School is being built to train farmers as well as producer groups. There are initiatives for milk processing. A big change will come only through proper implementation," she added.
Md Golam Rabbani, the chief technical coordinator of the Livestock and Dairy Development Project, presented the keynote on many issues of the project at the event, while also highlighting its progress.
He said under the project, 5,500 producer groups based across the value chain have been formed with marginal farmers across the country.
"One Livestock Farmers Field School will be conducted on these producer groups. Through these, the project will provide various assistance, training and technology to the farmers and increase their capacity," he added.
He said separate profiles have been created and accounts opened for each producer group. A signboard, ID card, registration book, minutes registrar, constitution, account book, and savings book have been provided and registration of each group will be done in future under the cooperative department.
At the programme, Amadou Ba, senior agriculture economist and TTL, World Bank, said the global lender is providing this support for the improvement of the productivity of the livestock sector.