Natural growth promoter for safe animal protein
Bangladesh Agricultural University Correspondent:
Livestock is the second important sub-sector of agriculture in Bangladesh. The contribution of the livestock sub-sector to the nation’s agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is about 11%. Feed shortage is one of the major constraints to livestock production or even maintaining proper health of livestock in Bangladesh.
As a huge demand for livestock products, some commercial farmers are going for the use of synthetic antibiotic growth promoters for flushing the growth of livestock especially practiced in cattle and poultry. But these synthetic anti-biotic also decrease the tolerant disease level in animal health. By consuming meat, milk and egg from these animals can increase morbidity, mortality and reduced efficacy of antibiotics in human. World Heath Center (WHO) in 1990 also concerns about the use of these antibiotics in animal. Animal scientists look for natural growth enhancers or green growth promoters as an alternative way of these synthetic anti-biotic.
Plantain (Plantago lnceolata L.) is a new medicinal perennial plant which improves growth of animal like a growth promoter without causing any harmful or side effects to animal. It has larger vitamin C and E than normal grass and normal grass lack of bioactive ingredients is also found in it. In a research finding, plantain containing animal meats has less fat which is essential to our nation. So, plantain could play a very positive role in the organic livestock productivity to ensure safe products for the nation.
Professor Dr Mohammad Al-Mamun of Animal Nutrition department of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) had succeeded on this plantain grass while doing his PhD research in Japan in 2004. He also got Japan’s best young researcher, dean and president award.
After completing his Phd and post-doc, he desired to use this plantain as an animal growth promoter in Bangladesh for increasing meat productivity.
Dr Mohammad Al-Mamun said about this plantain that, the findings related to this herb have been published in many reputed international journals. Farmers can easily get benefitted as it is draught resistant and can grow in a wide variety of soils with minimum fertilizer application compare to other traditional forages. Winter season is chosen for cultivation as it is a temperate region herb and can tolerate 6-24 oC temperature. During the last 8 years of practical cultivation, it has been found that plantain is capable of being grown in up to 25o C.