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LAHORE: Livestock & Dairy Development Department (L&DDD) is going to launch a project for ‘Genetic Improvement of Non-Descript Cattle’ at a cost of Rs5.2 billion to help boosting the milk production in the province. The Punjab government will share Rs2.6 billion and the federal government will extend a matching grant to carry out this project which is aimed at generating more milk from the same number of animals with genetic improvement.

Sources in the department told Business Recorder here on Tuesday that the provincial government has approved the scheme in the current budget while approval from the federal government is awaited after which it will be launched with full force.

They said that the department had estimated to imported 1.7 million ‘semen doses’ of exotic breeds every year to put it in the non-descript local animals to get exotic breed from these. All the four provinces have to share their estimates with the federal government as this project will be carried out across the country under the umbrella of the federal government, they added.

Sources said that historically, this has been done elsewhere - for example in the United States, where, in 1930, 22 million cows produced 45 million tons of milk, or 2,049 kg per cow. By 1992, only 9.8 million cows produced 69 million tons of milk, or 7,000 kg per cow. There is clear indication of the genetic potential among buffalos and Sahiwal cattle in Punjab that such an increase is possible.

Over the years livestock has emerged as the largest sub sector in agriculture. The sector contributed 60.1 percent to the agriculture value addition and 11.5 percent to the GDP during FY2021. More than 8 million rural families are engaged in livestock production and deriving more than 35-40 percent of their income from this source.

To a query, sources said that semen of world renowned cattle famous for higher productions will be used only in local non-descriptive cattle and our own breeds will not be used for this purpose.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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