Milk prices can’t be reduced for lack of grazing lands

Yangon, July 21 – cattle farmers have expressed they are unable to lower their milk prices due to a dearth in grazing lands for their animals.

Breeding cattle is usually a cost-effective enterprise, but farmers have to feed their livestock with purchased feed due to an absence of grazing grass lands.

“In neighboring Thailand, restrictions exist that require milk producing cattle to have at least seven acres of land to roam, upon which grass must be planted for the cattle to graze on. We don’t have that kind of system in Myanmar; cattle are just allowed to graze on any grass land that is come across. The amount of grass grown regionally isn’t sufficient for the number of cattle. Production costs could be alleviated if we didn’t have to purchase cattle feed, making business more profitable,” said Ko Min Min Htun, a cattle farmer from Ayeyarwady Region’s Hinthada Township.

A viss (1.6 kilograms) of cow milk from the town of Hinthada presently fetches K800, while the same quantity of a higher quality milk can reportedly cost between K1,000-1,200.

The price of a viss of milk in Yangon, however, fluctuates in value between K1,500-2,000 and is dependent on the distance from its place of origin and the amount of purchased feed the cows were fed.

“The cattle can’t produce as much milk because we have to give them purchased feed since we lack grazing lands. In other words, it appreciates our expenses, subsequently increasing the price of the milk we produce. Grass is scarcer in Yangon than the countryside. It’s still easy to find natural expanses of grass in rural areas. That’s why there are discrepancies in price,” said U Chit Ko Ko, joint secretary Buffalo, Cow, Sheep & Goat Farmers Association.

A dearth of grazing lands and scarcity of grass within the greater Yangon Region forces cattle farmers to purchase foreign imported cattle feed, as well as grass, which fetches K60 per viss, to feed their animals with.

 

Source: The Myitmakha

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