The Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association (BDFA) has demanded that the import duty on imported bulk field milk be increased from 25 percent to 100 percent and anti-dumping tax be imposed so that low quality powdered milk is not imported at low prices to protect the interests of the domestic industry.
The demand was made at the BDFA'S post-budget press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity's Nasrul Hamid Auditorium on Sunday.
Dairy industry entrepreneurs claim the industry is being harmed as a result of importing low quality powdered milk containing vegetable fat in the name of bulk field milk.
It is an old complaint that the government has never been strict in importing powdered milk to protect the dairy sector. Even this year, when farmers were hit hard by Covid-19, there were demands for higher tariffs on imported powdered milk.
Unfortunately, the demand was not reflected in the budget proposal.
Shah Emran, general secretary of the organisation, said this powdered milk is usually imported in sacks just a few days before the expiration date and sold in different places including shops, hotels, bakeries, restaurants, posing threats to public health for both local industries.
"We cannot sell our milk because those are cheaper," he added.
Besides, the organisation has raised several other demands including breaking the livestock syndicate by removing the import duty on food and selling animal feed at a fair price through TCB. Secondly, electricity bills, water bills, land rent should be considered as per the agricultural sector instead of the commercial sector.
It has also urged for all types of support for establishing powdered milk plants in the country.