Country’s livestock sector businesses on Monday opposed the suggested government move to import beef saying that such initiative would ruin local entrepreneurs involved in cow farming.
‘It is unfortunate that the government is considering import of beef. If the move is implemented, a vast number of population across the country would be affected as the employment of 20 per cent of our population are directly related with the farming of livestock including cows and goats,’ Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, former chief scientific officer of the Department of Livestock Services, said at a press conference held at the National Press Club in capital Dhaka.
He said that Bangladesh achieved self-sufficiency in producing meat and 55 per cent of the total demand for animal protein came from cows and goats.
Many young entrepreneurs have set up farms across the country for rearing cows and goats and the farms meet up to 20 per cent of the total supply of cows and goats, Sharif said.
Animals Health Companies Association of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Veterinary Association, Bangladesh Dairy Farms Association and Bengal Meat jointly organised the press conference.
Businesses said that if the government went for duty-free import of beef against duty-free export of readymade garment, 1.61 crore livestock farms would be affected badly and more than six crore people would lose job.
AHCAB president M Nazrul Islam, BVA secretary general Md Habibur Rahman, BDFA secretary general Shah Imran and Bengal Meat head of commercial Saidul Haque spoke at the event.
Recently, commerce minister Tipu Munshi along with a business delegation visited Brazil to explore duty-free market access for Bangladeshi export products including readymade garments.
During the visit, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq presented a concept note on increasing trade and business between Bangladesh and Brazil.
In the concept note, she proposed duty-free import of beef from Brazil in exchange of duty-free RMG export from Bangladesh.
The government said it would consider the proposal. But it is yet to make any decision on the suggestion.
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