Women’s participation in dairy farming growing
Published : 13 Oct 2016, 20:14
Women’s participation in income-generating activities like dairy farming in rural areas with modern facilities in supply chain is growing in the country ensuring countrywide supply of milk, a primary source of nutrition.
However, their roles apparently remain behind the scene as men usually deal with clients in most cases.
For example, PRAN Dairy maintains a network of 31,000 dairy farmers, solely designated to dairy farming, and they have 78,000 cows. Most of the farmers change their livelihood by dairy farming.
Though the men are dealing with the financial transactions, female members of those farming families play the key role investing their times in dairy farming.
This correspondent while visiting dairy hubs of PRAN in Chatmohor of Pabna, Sahjadpur and Baghabari of Sirajganj, found this scenario while talking to stakeholders.
Lily Khatun was one of the offstage players who send milk to collection centre established by Pran in Barshalikha village of Chatmohar Upazila in Pabna.
Lily, a 35-year-old registered farmer of Pran, started her journey with only one cow. Now she owns 10 cows.
“Three of them give 35 litres of milk a day,” she said adding that she makes profit worth Tk 10000 to Tk 12,000 a week by selling milk to collection centre.
An innovative and effective trend of directly selling to a designated centre has gained popularity and trust over the past year after taking vast and visible initiative aiming to smoothen milk production and growth in Bangladesh by Pran.
PRAN Dairy Limited, one of the country's leading suppliers of milk items, aims to increase its capacity of collecting milk to 1.0 million litres a day within the next five years from 0.15 million litres a day at present.
According to them, the company collects nearly 0.15 million litres of milk from 31,000 contract farmers spreading across 12 districts, mostly in the country's north.
Chief Dairy (Extension) of PRAN Dairy Dr Rakibur Rahman told UNB that some locals are only farming cows to meet the milk demand of own families and the marginalised farmers did not consider dairy farming as their main source of income.
“As a result, Bangladesh has to import a huge amount of powdered milk to meet the demand,” he said.
For meeting the huge milk demand, PRAN had started milk collection process in 2001.
Rahman said PRAN had developed a new concept, ‘Dairy Hub’, in the dairy industry. “The concept later got a huge positive response.”
He said the milk is currently being collected from 12 districts of Bangladesh. “So far, five milk production regions (Dairy Hub) have been set up. Besides, some agents are also providing milk to PRAN.”
Manager of PRAN Dairy Hub in Chatmohor of Pabna Dr Jakirul Islam said, “We’re giving various supports to dairy farmers so that they get inspired.”
He said modern knowledge helped them increase milk production. “We provide free vaccines and treatments, while drugs from Dairy Hub at production cost.”
Rakibur Rahman said PRAN has 124 milk collection centres and the centres have been set up at doorstep of dairy farmers. “The collected is brought to Narsingdi factory through own vehicles.”
Assistant General Manager of Pran Dairy (Pran Industrial Park) at Narsingdi Sabbir Hossain briefed about the details of the processing of dairy products from receiving to packaging.
He said, “We use automated and updated machinery to finely process the milk to know the quality of receiving milk.”
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