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PESHAWAR: The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has started work on the establishment of 300 small and large livestock and dairy farms in the newly merged districts of the erstwhile Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA) while over 107 farms will be established in other parts of the province.

The aim and objectives for the establishment of livestock and dairy farms are to bolster milk and meat production in the province. According to an official of the department, the initiative is likely to help produce 13.6million litres milk and earn a receipt of Rs1.36billion per annum. The project will be completed at estimated cost of Rs4 billion.

Cows of quality breeds would be imported for these farms and each registered farmer would be provided five cows where they would be properly look after in these farms. It would be mandatory for each farmer to run the farm for it least five years, he added.

KP Government has also launched Rs one billion project in settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to bolster livestock and dairy farming keeping in view of its significant role in poverty alleviation and generation of employment opportunities especially in rural areas. Under Community and Dairy Development Project, the KP Government would establish 107 livestock and dairy farms in settled districts where livestock growers would be provided cows of quality breeds on 50:50 cost sharing basis.

He said 50pc fund would be provided by the Government and fifty percent by the beneficiary. The trickled down positive effects of the Federal and KP Government’s joint venture livestock and poultry projects worth Rs3,214 million under the ‘Prime Minister National Emergency Agriculture Programme’ worth over Rs309.7 billion to alleviate poverty, increase meat and milk production have started visible at the grassroots level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The three projects including ‘Poverty Alleviation Through Development of Rural Poultry’ amounting Rs834 million, Save the Calf worth Rs1,554 million and Feedlot Fattening Programme of Rs826 million launched in 2018-19 have started providing much-needed relief to price-hike stricken people, women, persons with disabilities and under-privileged segments of society.

These projects are smoothly underway in Punjab, KP, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad where beneficiaries have started receiving substantial income from it including poultry programme.

According to Dr Aftab Ahmad, Project Director PM’s Poultry Programme KP has been given a target of distributing one million poultry birds in four years (2018-2022) among poor people. Over 700,000 poultry birds of quality breed including five hens and one cock on subsidized rate at Rs 1050 per unit have been distributed among poor with priorities to widows, persons with disabilities and calamities affected families till August last. The project was launched in 2018 with an estimated cost of Rs834 million including a substantial share of Rs643 million of the KP Government, Rs16 million of Federal Government and Rs175 million by beneficiaries. Due to the overwhelming interest of the people, the department considers to extend the project after 2022 with a target to distribute additional one million poultry birds among underprivileged if Government provide funds for it.

The Government in order to fulfill meat demand of over 210 million population of Pakistan has launched “Save the Calf” project across the country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In KP, as many as 1,20,000 male buffalo calves would be fattened by 2022 where Rs 6,500 per calf are being provided to farmers and livestock growers after six month rearing besides 10 kilograms free milk replacers and life saving vaccines. About 30,000 buffalo calves are being fattened per year in KP.

Dr Aftab said farmers are being encouraged to register calves aged 15 days to one month and rearing them for six months to avail Government’s incentives package. He said a Veterinary University was also being established to provide quality higher education to students of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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