Mahmudul Hasan, Pirganj (Rangpur): The main food of the people of our country is rice and the main food of cattle is straw. These two foods come from paddy, the main crop produced by farmers. Paddy is cultivated in about 8% of the total cultivable land of the country. After harvesting and threshing the cultivated paddy, the farmers dry the paddy plants (hay) and store them as fodder for cattle. So that there is no shortage of food for cattle. Every year from Bhadra to Ashwin there is a crisis of hay, the main food of cattle.
Due to the recent heavy rains and floods caused by upstream water, the hay crisis has intensified and farmers are struggling to collect cattle feed. During the last few years, straw hats have been set up in some of the big hats of the upazila. Although there is a market two days a week, there is a straw market every day. The price of straw in these markets is also skyrocketing. In some hats, straw has been sold at Tk 20 per kg.
Anwar, Piyush, Shahinur, Delwar and Anarul Islam of Nawabganj in Dinajpur are going to Gaibandha as the main road of Pirganj Upazila Sadar with straw loaded in 5 vans. They said, we are doing straw business. I think the profit is from one and a half to 200 rupees. There is 7/8 mind straw in one van. We sell as wholesalers at a price of Rs 600 to Rs 800 per man. In Gaibandha area, even if the demand for straw is a little farther, it is profitable. So I took straw from Nawabganj to Gaibandha in a battery-powered van. According to the Pirganj Upazila Animal Resources Officer’s Office, there are about 1,300 Shankar cattle farms in the upazila.
Farmers have 2 to 20 crossbred cows in these farms. The total number of cows in the upazila including 13,434 cows of the farmers is about 3 lakh. Talking to Rezwan, Aminul of Chhota Rasulpur village of the upazila, Rafiqul, a farmer of Tatarpur village, and Rabiul, Ranju Ekramul Haque and several other farmers and farmers of Anandhya village, they said that they can properly stock boro paddy straw for cow feed this time. Due to frequent rains and floods in the upstream waters, there is a shortage of cattle feed and the cattle are struggling to raise their animals. 1 kg straw 20 rupees. The price of powder is even higher. If this happens, many people will lose interest in raising cows.
Upazila Animal Resources Officer Tajul Islam said ordinary farmers, including farmers in Pirganj, are benefiting by raising cows. That is why the number of farms here is about 1,300. The number of cows is about 3 lakh. The Department of Animal Resources has encouraged the general farmers including the farmers to cultivate improved varieties of grass to meet the shortage of fodder. Many are benefiting by cultivating grass commercially. Cultivated grass is playing an important role in addressing the cattle feed crisis.