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LAHORE: The Punjab government has proposed a sum of over Rs 9 billion for livestock and dairy development projects for the year 2024-25, including Rs 2 billion allocated for the “Livestock Card.”

According to the budget document, Rs 7.90 billion has been allocated for new schemes, while Rs 1.09 billion has been set aside in the budget for ongoing schemes in the livestock and dairy development sector.

The government, through livestock, intends to disburse loans on easy terms to livestock farmers in the province’s rural areas. Other new initiatives include breed improvement of small ruminants through the provision of rams and bucks in different districts such as Attock, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Bhakkar, Chakwal, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Jhang, Khushab, Layyah, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur and Sahiwal.

Another new initiative under the chief minister’s initiatives is imparting education among farmers to eradicate foot and mouth disease. Livestock plays a crucial role in Punjab’s rural economy, contributing 14.36% to the National GDP and 62.68% to the Agricultural GDP.

Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Syed Ashiq Hussain on Friday inaugurated the vaccination of lumpy skin disease at the Veterinary Research Institute Lahore, prepared by the institute’s researchers.

On this occasion, Director General (Research) Livestock Department Dr Sajjad Hussain briefed the Minister about lumpy skin disease. Secretary Livestock Punjab Masood Anwar and Director General (Extension) Livestock Department Asif Salman Sahi were also present.

Speaking on this occasion, the minister said the government has introduced livestock card and other programmes for the welfare of livestock farmers. Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif recently approved disease control and traceability programs. The program will benefit 1.2 million animals being reared by 150,000 farmers.

To increase the disease-free livestock population in the province, the government is developing compartments in the province. Substandard livestock will be converted into productive assets under the breed improvement programme. The government wants to increase the production of milk and meat to increase the exports of the livestock sector, he added.

The minister asked the department of livestock to also develop a vaccine against Brucellosis, a disease that can be transmitted to humans. The Veterinary Research Institute should develop vaccines as soon as possible to control other diseases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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KU Jun 15, 2024 05:39pm
For over 3 decades now, these funds have not seen the light of what it was intended for, farmers buy sheep/goats coming from Afghanistan n Central Asia, n have improved these breeds themselves.
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