The leaders of the Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association (BFDA) made the call at a press conference on Sunday to protect the country’s dairy, poultry and fisheries sectors from incurring losses.
The dairy farmers fear that the prices of dairy and other related food items will go up if the decision is not cancelled immediately.
On February 6, the commerce ministry issued a circular allowing the export of soybean meal on a case-to-case basis for different industrial groups.
The BDFA President Imran Hossain, vice president Ali Azam Shibli, secretary Md Shah Emran, among others, were present at the conference.
“Local producers have increased price by Tk 15-20 per kg in different phases after the government’s move on allowing the export of soybean meal, resulting in abnormal price hike of all kinds of commodities including animal feed,” said BDFA president.
“Due to media reports over soybean meal exports, the price of animal feed has gone up by almost 20 per cent in the last months, which has resulted in rising meat prices including beef and increased production cost of dairy farmers by Tk 40-50.”
However, on October 14 last year, the commerce ministry banned soybean meal export to tame the rising prices of the key elements of poultry and cattle feed, aimed at protecting the home dairy and poultry sector as per the request of the association.
The BDFA president told the reporters that apart from local production, Bangladesh currently imports soybean meal from India, the US, Brazil and Argentina.
The estimated total demand for soybean meal in Bangladesh is approximately 1.8 to 2.0 million tonnes per year, he said, adding, of the total demand, nearly 75-80 per cent is procured from domestic soybean oil producers.
“The country imports the rest 20-25 per cent soybean meal per,” he said.
BDFA president also placed a seven-point demand including the export ban of soybean meals.
Among other demands, they also called for banning the import of frozen buffalo meat, ensuring fair pricing of liquid milk at farm and retail levels and its marketing, animal feed to be delivered by Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) at the upazila level in order to curb its prices.