MULTAN, Sep 16 (APP):In a resounding testament to the boundless potential of the livestock sector, Deputy Director (DD) of Livestock Dr Jamshaid claimed that the vibrant sector not only possessed a substantial share in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but also carried the immense capability to uplift impoverished regions, particularly the culturally rich region of South Punjab (SP).
“About 70 percent of the local populace in this resplendent region is linked to the livestock sector. Beyond just managing daily sustenance, livestock serves as a financial lifeline during unforeseen emergencies, that can be cashed in at any moment,” elucidates Dr Jamshaid.
“Pakistan, proudly standing as the fifth-largest milk-producing nation on the planet, harbors the potential for substantial growth in milk and meat production. This potential can be unleashed by investing in animal genetics, where the quality of semen plays a pivotal role in enhancing animal health, and consequently, milk and meat production.”
“This promising trajectory not only augments the income of farmers but also bolsters the nation’s economic prosperity.
On the national scale, approximately eight million individuals are engaged in cattle rearing.”
According to the latest Animal Census and Economic Survey Report, “Pakistan boasts an impressive count of 53.4 million large animals, coupled with 80.3 million small animals, primarily goats. The previous Economic Survey Report highlights an upswing in milk production, soaring from 61,690 million tonnes to an impressive 63,684 million tonnes.”
Notably, the district of Multan emerges as a livestock powerhouse, harboring 3,611,964 large animals (including buffalo and cows), 2,292,687 small animals (comprising goats and sheep), and an additional 1,525,416 rural poultry. The cultivation of 714 camels further enriches the vibrant livestock landscape.
In rural enclaves, rearing animals is facilitated by the cultural milieu, easy access to infrastructure, and abundant nutrition. The crucial role of women farmers in cattle rearing cannot be overstated, with their active participation being instrumental in ensuring the proper management of the livestock sector, as emphasized by Dr Jamshaid.
Recalling a remarkable government initiative, Dr Jamshaid highlighted the provision of buffalo and cows to widowed women, particularly those hailing from rural areas.
“These animals have become a source of steady income for these women, who have successfully navigated economic hardships, expressing their gratitude towards the government for this transformative lifeline,” he said.
Reflecting on the life-transforming benefits of cattle farming, Yaqub Khizar Baloch, a passionate cattle farmer, recounts his journey from being a daily wage laborer in Multan to becoming the proud owner of animals valued at over Rs two million.
With astute investments in cattle rearing, he has also managed to build a home worth Rs 500,000 in his native village of Rangpur. In his own words, cattle rearing is nothing short of a highly profitable venture.
Muhammad Yousuf Khan, another cattle farmer and a graduate with a diploma in Cattle Farm Management from Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUAM), narrates his story of success.
With a herd of 16 animals, he not only finances his son’s education at Agriculture University Faisalabad but also covers various family expenses, including weddings.
He said, “Animals are an invaluable asset in times of emergencies, underscoring the multifaceted economic role of cattle farming.”
“The livestock sector in South Punjab is a beacon of hope, offering not just sustenance but prosperity and transformation to countless lives. With the government’s visionary initiatives and the unwavering determination of farmers, this sector stands poised to continue its ascent, promising a brighter future for all involved,” he concluded.