LAHORE: The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that there is a dire need for livestock census in the country.
While addressing a seminar through video link on “How to enhance Milk production” and Dairy/Allied Product Show at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The seminar was addressed by Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan, Vice President Haris Ateeq, former Minister for Livestock & Dairy Development Mumtaz Khan Manais, Secretary Livestock & Dairy Development Naveed Haider Sherazi.
Fakhar said that accurate data will help evolve an effective strategy for the promotion of the livestock sector. He said that only 7 to 8 percent of the milk production is being processed which should be increased. “Pakistan is far behind in animal breeding”, the Minister said that this area needs to be worked on. He called for taking measures to increase dairy production and value addition. He also called for long-term, medium and short-term strategies.
Provincial Minister Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din Khan said that the processing of milk and its allied products can increase exports significantly. He said that the Halal meat sector has the potential to get a major share in the international market. He said that to promote value addition in the country, duties and taxes on the import of dairy processing machinery should be zero.
President LCCI Mian Nauman Kabir urged the government to give due attention to the livestock and dairy sector to enable it to cope with challenges.
Nauman said that according to the data by the Economic Survey of Pakistan, the gross milk production 2020-21 stood at 63.7 million tonnes, as compared to 61.7 million tonnes in 2019-20. The milk consumption in Pakistan was 51.3 million tonnes in 2020-21 as compared to 49.7 million tonnes in 2019-20. However, as per ITC World Trade Map, Pakistan’s dairy exports in 2020 stood at 42.7 million dollars, declining consistently ever-since peaking at 108 million dollars in 2013.
He also said that there is another area that requires the immediate attention of the Government. Unfortunately, a large quantity of milk produced in rural and remote areas is wasted because of having no or small storage facilities. Poor road conditions and backward infrastructure of milk transportation are other important reasons.
He added that another major barrier is that most farmers in Pakistan have low-yield animals. Even though the country has more milk-producing animals than the US, its milk production is far lower. Moreover, our farmers mostly like to keep cows and buffaloes for milk production whereas in other parts of the world, animals like camels, goats and sheep are also kept for this purpose.
He said that government should waive the duty and taxes on the import of dairy processing machinery and equipment to encourage value addition in the country. He said that the government should incentivize the private sector on import of high yielding dairy cattle breeds of Holstein-Friesian and Jersey for enhanced milk production. Likewise, the import of high quality feed stuff/micro-ingredients for improving the nutritional quality of animals should be co-financed by the government.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021