E-commerce expansion vital for livestock sector recovery: Experts

Access to livestock services, incentives and expanding e-commerce are essential to revive agriculture and livestock sectors hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, experts said Thursday.


They shared the views at an online seminar on the impact of Covid-19 and climatic disaster on livestock sector jointly arranged by CARE Bangladesh and Kaler Kantha, said a press release.


Department of Livestock Services (DLS) Director General Dr Abdul Jabbar Sikder said coordinated efforts from public, private and non-government entities made it possible to facilitate the market for sacrificial animals during Eid amid the pandemic.


Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Senior Programme Manager Sohel Ibn Ali recommended standardisation of tariffs and import duty for the betterment of locally-produced milk and dairy products.


He also emphasised on improving market systems and affordable feed access for marginal farmers.


Kaler Kantha Editor Imdadul Haq Milan said Bangladesh saw good development in fisheries and livestock sector over the last few years but institutional and policy support to sustain the growth is necessary.


Abul Hossain, STL-Shomosti project, Dr Habibur Rahman and Tashfiq Ahsan from Edge Consulting gave a keynote presentation focusing on constraints and possible solutions around access to feed, finance, animal health services and lack of improved animal husbandry practices.


Two female rural farmers who got affected due to COVID-19 and recent flooding shared their experiences.


“Cattle prices dropped locally and fodder is a major problem for rural farmers,” said Kalpona Begum from Lalmonirhat.


E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) President Shomi Kaiser emphasised on bringing small and marginal female farmers into the ICT ecosystem by developing and expanding rural e-commerce platform.


While sharing the experience of digital cattle market during the last Eid, she said that ICT literacy for rural women could facilitate their access to the online marketplace.


CARE Bangladesh Country Director Ramesh Singh said stakeholders must act now to minimise the impact of the second wave of the pandemic.


Through SDC-SHOMOSHTI project, CARE Bangladesh reached out 180,000 rural households (comprising poor, disadvantaged, and women) with improved technical services, which resulted in higher yields, better prices and increased income.


Source: United News of Bangladesh