Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
Dairy farming business is a profitable business that mainly focused on producing milk. Dairy development in developing countries has played a main role in increasing milk production, generating employment opportunities, improving income level in rural areas, and improving the nutritional standards of the people, especially for small and marginal farmers. Dairy farming contributes 18.6% of the agricultural GDP and 2.41% of the national GDP, and it excludes the livelihood contributions of the dairy farmers in the country. Dairy farming is the only industry where income is ensured each month.
In Bangladesh, dairy is the important livestock product produced by smallholder crop-livestock farmers where most of the rural household keeps a cow to cultivate and also to produce milk for family consumption. The dairy cow plays an important role in maintaining the strong agricultural economy of Bangladesh. The district of Sirajganj is one of the major milk-producing districts in Bangladesh.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Dairy Farming In Bangladesh, and Business Plan
Dairying in Bangladesh is a good source of income for small and marginal farmers. The dairy feeds required for milk production can be met from their limited land resources as most of the milch animals are ruminants and the majority of their food can be derived from forages, coarse roughages, and byproducts not utilized by human beings, without incurring much additional cost. Dairy animals, comprising cows and buffaloes, are the major livestock and hold an important place in the national economy of Bangladesh. Apart from their role in milk production, they contribute a huge quantity of organic manure and it is one of the major inputs in Bangladesh agriculture.
Advantages of Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
- The initial investment in the dairy farming business in Bangladesh is low in comparison to other Industries.
- It is an environment-friendly business.
- The milk product demand is increasing rapidly.
- The milk demand has always increased. Consumption of dairy products is on the rise by vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
- Compared to products from other industries, milk marketing is very easy. There is no requirement for special shops and expenses of marketing are also low for any dairy products.
- The dairy farming business is the only industry where income is guaranteed every month.
Objectives of Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
Starting a dairy farming business is one of the best business ideas in Bangladesh. To start a dairy farming business in Bangladesh you need to employ a big amount of money, and labor, etc., and manage them efficiently. Also, you will have to deal with keeping the cattle healthy because there is a risk of diseases. Normally, dairy in the country is practiced as a part of a crop-livestock farming system with 1 or 2 cows. The average milk production in Bangladesh is less because of the low productivity of dairy animals, and lack of proper care.
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In the Mymensingh district in Bangladesh, small and large-scale dairy farms have been increasing day by day. Especially low-income group of people has taken this dairy farming as a profitable business. To establish a plan for dairy development in this region, it is essential to know details about the management practices and performances of different types of dairy breeds in Bangladesh. Thus it requires the following objectives;
i) To estimate the existing status regarding breeding, feeding, housing, milking, milk marketing, and management aspects of small dairy farms.
ii) Also, to compare the productive and reproductive performances of crossbred and indigenous cows reared in small dairy farms.
iii) To find the costs and returns of small dairy farms.
The economics of dairying can be made more profitable business by improving the productivity of dairy cows. The development of this sub-sector can be considered as an important strategy for poverty alleviation which is a main objective of the Government.
Steps to Start Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
Step 1) Research dairy breeds – The common dairy animals are cows, goats (good for a small farm), or water buffalo. Each one has many dairy breeds, and local knowledge is the best way to choose between them. Contact government institutions, and established dairy farms and ask for information to help you make the decision;
- Rule outbreeds that can’t thrive in your climate conditions.
- For each dairy breed, divide annual upkeep cost by annual milk production to find production cost per unit of milk.
- Is there local demand for the milk breed’s based on species
- How much time and money does the dairy farming business take to raise
Step 2) Business Plan and SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)
To start a dairy farming business in Bangladesh, keep in mind that it’s a business like other businesses. That’s why you must develop a detailed dairy business plan along with a SWOT analysis are crucial for you. It will help you set reasonable expectations for your expenses and production cost; your business plan includes a cash flow plan. So, any kind of business must write a dairy business plan. It comes with almost all the things that your dairy business need, such as;
- Potential management system
- Human resources
- Potential market
Step 3) Consult the Experts
It’s important to consult experts in the dairy business plan and the great resources are the other dairy producers. That’s why attending open houses on dairy farms not only in your area but other parts of the country. Also, you should talk to veterinarians, nutritionists, extension educators, and others that can provide different perspectives on the management of dairy apart from the farmers.
Step 4) Cropping and Feeding Program
Dairy cattle need certain nutrients to support themselves, produce milk, and grow a calf whether you are going to feed a TMR (total mixed ration), graze your cattle, or some combination of both. If these dairy animals are to be raised on the farms then work with a nutritionist to develop rations. As you get started with the dairy business and are building capital, you need to hire laborers to harvest. Then, that makes arrangements with neighbors to share equipment and labor to reduce investment. This is a necessary step for the dairy farming business in Bangladesh.
Step 5) Waste Management Plan
If you’re in the dairy farming business in Bangladesh there will come out a lot of manure. It can be a great resource on the farm is managed and then used properly while this manure is referred to as waste. It will not only allow you to produce more feed but will also allow you to apply more manure to land if you can use a double-cropping system on your farm. Among the alternatives to the direct land application of manure are composting and anaerobic digestion. They will increase the capital investment required to get your dairy started while these options may provide additional revenue and other benefits to your diary.
Step 6) Investment
A dairy farming business requires a large investment. Buying an existing dairy farm makes the business simpler, and also saves money if you’re willing to do some repairs yourself. Whether you plan to buy or start it all yourself, makes sure you’ll have the below facilities;
- Dry, sunny sheds protected from weather and temperature changes
- Milking parlor with stanchions
- Feed storage and manure storage
- Separate living space for calves
- Equipment (including tractors) and equipment storage area
- Well for watering cattle, and also water transport system to tanks in the pasture
- Irrigation system for pasture
Step 7) Market Research
Before starting your dairy farming business in Bangladesh this is one of the important tasks you should do. You should perform thorough research on the potential market so that you can understand the position. You’ll be able to know aftermarket research;
- How much milk it will demand in the future
- You’ll be supplying to individuals
- It’s a company or not
Recommendations for Successful Operation of Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
Bangladesh suffers from an acute shortage of livestock products such as milk, meat, and eggs. Therefore, Bangladesh Government has given priority to dairy development at the farmer’s level to increase the supply of milk from small dairy farms. To achieve a regular income and a more market-oriented production pattern in dairy farming, it is essential to analyze the socioeconomic conditions of dairy farmers and their effects on dairy income in rural Bangladesh. Labor is the primary resource in dairy farming.
Proper labor management is a must for earning profits in dairy farming in the present-day competitive market. The output can serve as an input for a large scale on the evaluation of dairy policy in the country. However, dairy farmers are still facing to take decisions on how best to milk production and how much to produce within their limited resources. Constraints are the barriers coming in the way of successful dairy farming faced by the dairy farmers. Identification of constraints faced by them is very important to make necessary interventions and formulation of strategies for the uplift of smallholder dairy farming. The important findings for successful dairy farming are given below;
- Most farmers followed the stall feeding system.
- Cross breeder cow’s milk production is 5 times greater than that of natural breeder cows.
- The supply of all vaccines is not sufficient. These are costly also. The vaccine supplied by the government is also effective.
- The recurring cost is higher. So, the cost of production of dairy products is higher if we compare it to the other countries.
- Attract of many diseases is found. Diseases are more severe in the rainy season.
- Also, there is great demand for milk in Dhaka city.
- Farmers know about modern technology but most of the farmers do not use these technologies.
Most of the farmers believe that the dairy farming business is a profitable enterprise and can be more profitable if Government gives support on feed cost, marketing, loan, and management training. The below recommendations can be suggested as broad guidelines for the successful operation of a dairy farm;
- The shortage of feeds and fodder can partially be overcome by introducing the cultivation of HYV fodder. The government and non-government organizations play an important role in disseminating the technology of HYV fodder cultivation in rural areas.
- Veterinary care and services to the farm owners must be strengthened.
- Regular short training program on different management of dairying must be arranged for the farm owners and short-term institutional loans or credit should be given to actual farm owners and to be checked regularly.
- The price of milk must be fixed at a reasonable level and the milk-marketing system must be improved. Milk preservation facilities must be created for the farmer to ensure the marketing of their product.
- Some improvements must be made to communication, power, water supply, and modern storage facilities for dairy products.
- Both the public and the private sectors must introduce some methods to make bank credit available to smallholders on easy terms and through simplified procedures.
Breeds for Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh farmers have been rearing three categories of cattle they are pure breed, crossbreed, and local. The local breed variety is less prone to diseases and is heat tolerant. In Bangladesh, the best local cattle are available in some selected locations such as Pabna, Sirajganj, Chittagong, and Munshiganj areas. In Pabna and Sirajganj area medium-type cattle are seen as called Pabna cattle.
To develop the production potentialities of the local cattle, some efforts made to crossbreed with different exotic breeds several times in the past. The introduced breeds are Holstein-Friesian, Jersy, Sahiwal, Sindhi, Australian, Sahiwal-Friesian, etc. And, some exotic pure breeds, their crossbreeds, and up-graded cattle are found in the government dairy farms, commercial dairy farms, and in urban and semi-urban areas of Bangladesh.
Cattle breed relatively homogeneous variety within a species having similar appearance and developed by deliberate selection. No specific cattle breed has been established in Bangladesh. Then, with the long natural selection, some improved indigenous varieties of cattle exist in the country. Though, this is results from the centenary selection of better animals for increasing milk production. Improved breed varieties are Pabna Cattle, Red Chittagong, Munshiganj Cattle, and North Bengal Grey Cattle.
Types of Dairy Farms in Bangladesh
There are mainly three types of dairy farms in Bangladesh. These are
- Rural dairies,
- Pocket dairies and
- Metro dairies.
a) Rural dairies – About 68% of rural people get cattle/buffalo and the number of cattle/buffalo per family is 3.5. Some cows per family in a rural area is 1.5 and on average each cow gives about 0.8-liter milk per day.
b) Pocket dairies – Some places in Bangladesh are milk-producing areas are Baghabari of Serajgang district, Munshiganj district, and Tekerhat of Matharipur district, etc.
c) Metro dairies – Metro dairies are developed in urban areas and most of them are small in size. The total food for their cattle at a higher cost but the farming in these areas is profitable because the price of milk in these areas is high. Farmer easily gets training, medicine, and vaccine, etc compare to the rural people and these farmers are more conscious than the farmer of rural area.
Feed Requirement for Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
Livestock is one of the main components of the farming systems that play a vital role in agriculture. The cattle feed available in Bangladesh can be grouped into agro-industrial by-products which include agricultural crop residues such as straws, and sugarcane tops, etc.; by-products from agro-industries like molasses, oil-cakes, pineapple wastes, and shrimp waste, etc.; and milling by-products such as brans. Tree leaves, indigenous grasses, and cultivated fodder contribute to the bulk. The total area for Bhadoi and Rabi fodder is about 6,312 hectares, producing only about 47,000 m tons of fodder crops. It is estimated that about 190,000 m tons of grain are available for livestock feeding, contributing only about 15.7% of the total amount of concentrate feed.
The dairy cow requires mainly five classes of nutrients like energy, protein, minerals, vitamins, and water. Though, lactating cows react immediately to a reduction in the amount or quality of feed by a drop in milk production. The availability of feed and fodder is the main constraint in developing the full potential of the livestock sector. Unless adequate feeding is first provided for, no substantial improvement in milk yield can be achieved.
The nutritional contribution of dairy milk in Bangladesh
It is well known that milk is an ideal food for humans mainly to sustain growth in children, fetal growth in pregnant women, and milk production during lactation. Also, it has been described as nature’s most perfect food. Its main constituents, who supply energy and building materials for the young, are accompanied by several nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds.
Cost of feed mainly included expenses on paddy straw, green grass, and concentrate, etc. The purchased feeds were valued based on the average prices paid for the items. Home supplied feeds were also charge based on the average prices prevailing in the market. Only a few owners produced green grass.
Potential for Dairy Industry Development in Bangladesh
The milk production demand is growing at a faster rate than supply because of the rapid increase in population. Then, there is a need to know the existing demand, its growth over time, and the existing supply possibilities. All livestock require food, water, and a suitable environment for survival. Also, recent trials have shown that rapid improvement of the local cattle in the tropics can be attained by cross-breeding, using semen from high-quality animals. Then, such cross-bred animals produce satisfactorily, survive well under the local conditions and have the necessary heat tolerance. There are other factors, which favor livestock production in the tropics. The capital investment for buildings, etc. need not be as high as in the temperate zones. Only a simple building with a floor and a roof are necessary, as against the expensive building to keep out the cold in temperate countries. Due to the heavy rains that occur throughout the year, and capital cost for irrigation, etc. need not be as high. These all factors help to reduce the costs of milk production. Among animal products, milk has a high nutritional value. It has all ingredients required by the human body in proper proportions and an easily digestible form. It is essential that this sector, like every other sector of tropical agriculture, must be modernized and made more productive as quickly as possible.
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Policies for dairy production in Bangladesh
1. Production policies – The commercial dairy industry growth is constrained by inadequate and irregular supplies and high costs for feed concentrates. The government has given high priority to the Bangladesh dairy industry development to alleviate the serious and growing gap between domestic consumption and production.
2. Marketing structure – Dairy development programs must be adopted on an integrated view, incorporating production enhancement, procurement, processing, and marketing of milk.
To meet the ever-increasing demands for milk follow some points;
1) Through breeding by artificial insemination or natural services. An ideal dairy cow in the present socio-economic situation has the potential of yielding on average 2,500 liters in 290 to 305 days, with an inter-calving period of 13 to 15 months and age at first calving from 28 to 33 months. The application of improved methods of breeding has greatly increased dairy cattle productivity in Bangladesh.
2) The constraint of feeds and fodder is considered the greatest problem facing the dairy cattle development in Bangladesh.
3) The main objective of dairy cattle development in Bangladesh through smallholders is to achieve greater production of milk and meat. Only dairy cattle development can be increased when an assured guaranteed market or an incentive price for the product will be offered. In Bangladesh, the important factor with an adverse effect on dairy production is the lack of a well-organized marketing system, particularly in the case of milk, which is highly perishable. While there is great demand for such products in urban areas, the supply of these products cannot be ensured without an organized marketing system and transport facilities. To ensure fair prices, an efficient and effective marketing system must be developed.
4) Improvements must be made to communication, power, water supply, and modern storage facilities for dairy products.
5) Smallholder dairy production must be encouraged at the village level, where roadside grass and rice straw are available.
6) The public and the private sectors should introduce ways to make bank credit available to smallholders on easy terms and through simplified procedures.
7) Powdered milk imports must be reduced to encourage dairying in Bangladesh. National Milk Development Co-operation should be established.
Lack of Disease/Parasites Control in Dairy Farming in Bangladesh
Diseases and parasites are a main problem for the dairy industry in Bangladesh.
Some diseases like rinderpest, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, and foot and mouth disease cause high mortality and severe economic loss. Also, the improved varieties of cow breeds like Australian Sabiwal, Hariana, and Friesian need proper medical attention in the tropical environment. Though, the medical facilities are poor at district and Thana level livestock offices. The prices of essential animal drugs are high. A 30% increase in cattle production would be possible if these diseases were properly controlled.
The vaccination program of the Livestock Department is limited because of budgetary constraints. Only in this method will educationists and research and extension workers reach an adequate level of competence for their important task. To increase dairy production in Bangladesh, it is necessary to overcome economic as well as technical constraints. Although livestock research has been neglected in favor of research into crop production, the livestock research that has taken place has thus far focused on technical issues. Also, there is a lack of trained personnel at all levels as well as a lack of training facilities.
Milk Yields and Milk Production per Capita in Bangladesh
On average a Bangladeshi cow is reported to produce approximately 200 kg/year, which is below 30% of the production of an Indian cow. This low milk yield in Bangladesh is due to poor feed resources and low milk productivity, etc.
A comparatively low national milk production and a high population result in a per capita milk production in Bangladesh of about 13 kg/capita/year, which is approximately 16% of the per capita milk production achieved in India.