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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema has said that government would spent Rs14 billion on artificial insemination of livestock in order to replace the local animals' breeds with high productivity supper breeds for enhancing domestic output of milk and meat.

The initiative is being taken under Agriculture Transformation Plan for the uplift and development of livestock sector in the country to enhance local output of milk and meat for ensuring availability of pure, nutrient filled hygienic milk and meat to rural as well as urban population.

Talking to APP, he said that livestock as an important sub-sector of local agriculture sector was contributing significantly in national GDP growth, besides it was a source of livelihood of a large bulge of rural population and source to fulfill their daily dietary requirements.

The output of local livestock in terms of meat and milk production were far behind as compared to the international average, he said adding that total annual production of milk was stood at 62 million tons and government was paying special focus on this sector in transformation plan to the revive it on modern lines.

According to survey, he said that there were about 49 million cows, 41 million buffaloes and one million goats in the country, adding that their average milk production was less then as compared to the other countries and government was intended to enhance their output by ten time with artificial insemination.

Jamshed Iqbal Cheema further said that there were about 30 million household livestock, which depending on their output but local production of these animals were lower as compared the production of the high breeds of other countries, adding that low productivity was harming the both farmer as well as consumer.

Under artificial insemination to low producing local breeds of animals would be replaced with super breeds that would help to enhance the output ten fold, adding that it would benefit the small farmers having one or two animals and increase their income.

In this regard, he said that mapping and survey were conducted and areas were identified for the production of different crops including fruits, vegetables, oil seeds and pulses, besides identifying areas of the production of livestock and super food to make agriculture more profitable.

The areas of Giligit-Baltistan have been marked for livestock production and production of high-value crops, adding that total population of GB was about 1.6 million and there were about 3.2 million household animals. He said that the replacement of local breeds with high productivity species.

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