Cattle farmers are hit hard by flooding in different districts as they are selling their animals at very low prices due to a severe feed crisis.
Millions of cattle are facing food shortages in the northern, northeastern and southeastern districts due to deluges since the beginning of this month.The feed crisis has arisen after floods submerged large swathes of grassy field and large amounts of straw, destroying crops and other valuables.
Many victims said the devastating floods washed away their homesteads and belongings, throwing them into a critical situation.
They are now passing days in misery with their cattle remaining unfed.
They have taken shelter on embankments along with their cattle, but could not provide them with food as grassy fields have been inundated by floodwater.
Although floodwater has started receding in some areas, but grass on flooded fields has been damaged. So, farmers could not feed their cattle.
Due to huge damage to houses and other valuables, fodder prices have increased indiscriminately in the flooded areas, sources said.The flood-hit people kept their domestic animals such as cows, goats and buffalos at open spaces near their shelters, increasing risks of theft.
They are guarding their cattle to prevent theft while many cattle are being affected with different water-born diseases.
“I have taken shelter with three cows and four goats along with others,” said farmer Aslam from Chilmari in Kurigram.
Some farmers also sell their cattle at low prices to have failed to bring their feed, he said, adding that they are passing sleepless night in fear of theft.
Brokers are roaming in the flood-affected areas to buy cattle at low prices while some farmers sold their cattle to buy feed for others, he said.
“Brokers will gain higher prices ahead of Eid-Ul-Azha, but they bought it at a minimal price,” he added.
Many are facing immense sufferings to protect the cattle due to the shelter and fodder crises as they passing life on different embankments and highlands together with domestic animals.
Government and different non-government organizations are distributing food among the flood-hit people, but they have to buy food for cattle at high prices that may increase cattle price ahead of the Eid.
The cattle, especially in the northern region, are badly facing food crisis.
If the crisis continues, cattle prices may increase before Eid-ul-Azha as farmers have to buy cattle food at higher prices and most of the cattle are going to brokers, farmers and market insiders said. However, the Department of Livestock Services is proving support for the flood-hit farmers to earn food for their cattle, according to a circular signed by Dr. Hasan Imam, director (administration) of DLS.