The market for veterinary medicine is growing in Bangladesh in line with the development of the country's dairy sector.
According to sector insiders, the veterinary medicine market is now worth around Tk3,000 crore. A large part of these medicines is used to protect the health of cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep.
Stakeholders in the livestock sector said the dairy industry has undergone extensive development in the last decade. Many commercial farms have sprung across the country in this period.
According to the department of livestock, the total number of livestock in the 2010-11 financial year was 516.84 lakh. In 2019-20, the number increased to 559.26 lakh.
Once these animals suffered many diseases due to the unavailability of necessary medicines but the medicines were not available. But now the situation has changed.
Shah Emran, general secretary, Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association (BDFA), said, "Commercial farms have to take care of animals to protect them from diseases. For this, you have to take some medicine regularly."
According to the Animal Health Companies Association of Bangladesh (AHCAB), about 60-70 percent of the demand for veterinary medicine is being supplied by local manufacturers. The country imports the remaining 30-40 percent.
According to the organisation, the market for veterinary medicine is growing at a rate of 8-12 percent per year.
Hazrat Ali, assistant manager of Incepta Pharmaceuticals, said, "The more organised or commercialised the poultry and dairy sector is, the more medicine is needed to protect animal health. The number of local veterinary medicine companies are growing due to this."
Ariful Islam, an entrepreneur of a local cattle farm, said, "I have 10-15 cows for producing milk. I also have 70-80 cows to be sold in the market during Eid-ul-Azha. I buy most of the medicines for these cows from local companies."
Sources in AHCAB said, after 2000, only three foreign companies started manufacturing veterinary medicine in the country. But in the last twenty years, 34 companies are now producing medicine. However, some 600 traders import veterinary medicine from abroad.
Sector insiders say although the production of veterinary medicine in the country started about twenty years ago, large investments have come in this sector since 2010. It was during this time that most companies set up factories as the poultry and dairy sector was the most emerging sector during this period.
Renata Limited is one of the leading companies in the field of veterinary medicine. Sirajul Haque, Renata Animal Health Division Director of the company, told The Business Standard, "As the country's livestock sector grows, so does the demand for veterinary medicine. Local companies have made some large investments during this period."
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