Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim has said that the government is giving importance to diversification of livestock products besides increasing productivity in the livestock sector.
The Minister was speaking as the chief guest at the Inception Workshop on Agro Business Planning, Technologies and Marketing Advice and Implementation Support of Livestock and Dairy Development Project being implemented by the Department of Livestock at a hotel in the capital on Tuesday.
The German-based consulting firm AFC Agriculture and Finance Consultants and their Bangladesh representative Services and Solutions International Limited are employed as consultants on livestock and dairy development projects. The workshop was jointly organized by the Department of Livestock and the aforementioned consulting firm.
Director General of the Department of Livestock Manzoor Mohammad Shahzadar, Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Muhammad Yamin Chowdhury was present at the workshop as special guests.
The minister added, "We are taking steps to create markets in significant countries of the world to increase the production in the country as well as to export the products abroad. Despite the Covid-19 situation, several countries have shown interest in importing fish and meat from our country. We want to assure those involved in animal feed production that the government is working with the utmost sincerity to spread your products in the world market."
The Minister while asked, said, “for the first time in the history of the country, we have made arrangements for the sale of fish, meat, milk and eggs through mobile sales system so that the produce produced by the farmers does not fall on deaf ears during the Covid-19 pandemic period. We have taken immediate steps to ensure that imported fish or animal food does not get stuck at airports, river ports or seaports.”
The Minister further said, "In the livestock sector, emphasis should be laid not only on increasing production but also on diversified use of manufactured goods. Without diversification, the sector will not be able to sustain itself. We need to increase the focus on making meat products. Meat can be made into chips, biscuits can be made. It will not be possible to keep this sector alive just by selling meat. Therefore, diversification and management is very important. "
He added, "Under the project, the government is setting up cooling centers, providing milk separator machines to farmers, connecting farmers to growth centers to supply milk produced. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given clear instructions that the development and expansion of the livestock sector should not only be done, its quality should be ensured, quality expansion and development should be done in this sector. We have to make sure that it is quality, healthy and of international standard. At the same time, the food that will be used in the production of livestock must be of good quality and tested in a quality control laboratory. "
Asked why fish and animal feed has to be imported from abroad all the time, the minister said, "The government is giving tax exemption in other cases for import of fish and animal feed. The country needs to create fish and animal feed sector."
The minister added, "We have formulated a strategic policy to ensure that meat is not imported from abroad. Because we have enough cattle in our country. The country is producing enough meat. Why should we import meat from abroad? We are moving towards stopping them in phases. It is active. But it should not always depend on the government. The government is encouraging, encouraging and cooperating with the private sector. We want the cooperation of all concerned in this sector. "