Fakhar Imam calls for livestock census in country

Meeting held to discuss progress on ATP

LAHORE, Nov 25 (APP):Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said on Thursday that there is a dire need for livestock census in the country.

He was addressing a seminar on ‘How to enhance milk production’ and dairy/allied product show here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI).

Punjab Minister for Public Prosecution Chaudhry Zaheer ud Din Khan, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir, 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 also spoke on the occasion.

Federal Minister Syed Fakhar Imam added that accurate data will help evolve an effective strategy for the promotion of livestock sector. He said that only 7 to 8 per cent of the milk production is being processed that should be increased.

Pakistan is far behind in animal breeding, and this area needs to be worked on, he maintained. He called for the measures to increase dairy production and value addition.

Syed Fakhar Imam said that the youth of Pakistan needs to be brought towards animal science so that livestock sector can be built on modern lines. He also called for long-term, medium and short-term strategies.

Provincial Minister Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din Khan said that processing of milk and its allied products can increase the exports significantly. He said that 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.

On this occasion, the LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir 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.

While sharing the figures from UNO’s Food and Agriculture Organization, he said that in the last three decades, global milk production has increased by more than 59%, from 530 million tonnes in 1998 to 843 million tonnes in 2018.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that unfortunately, a large quantity of milk produced in rural/remote areas is lost because of having no or small storage facilities.

The 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.

The LCCI President said that in Pakistan, the average milk yield of a cow is 14 litres per day, while buffalos can produce 10 litres daily. There is a large segment of small holders who keep less than five animals to produce milk only to meet their family requirements. It is really surprising that they remain content to average milk yield per animal up to 3 liters per day.

They must be targeted to enhance milk production through provision of some awareness. The developed countries have increased milk yield of a cow to more than 40 liters per day through consistent improvement in many areas related to dairy industry during the last 60 years whereas we are still following the conventional methods.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that the government should waive the duty and taxes on import of dairy processing machinery and equipment to encourage value addition in the country. He said that the government should incentivise 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.

The LCCI President added that the government should ensure transfer of technology and joint ventures with the multinational companies from countries like Australia and Sweden who are globally famous for their advanced dairy sector.

He further stated that the research and extension of livestock production, products processing and marketing is imperative to make this sector economically viable for farmers as well as the investors. The Veterinary Universities should carry out sufficient research in these areas and share their findings with persons engaged in agriculture and livestock sectors.

LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan said that the dairy industry of Pakistan is performing at much below its actual potential. With every passing year, the global production and consumption of milk is increasing.

He said that the major exporting countries of dairy products are consistently increasing their share in global exports.

This rise in global milk consumption and export is an opportunity for Pakistan to earn foreign exchange by exporting milk and dairy products to countries which have insufficient milk production.

“It is high time to educate our farmers making them aware of modern methods of taking better care of their animals. It will certainly impact the milk yield and quality of produce. Farmers have to be trained for selecting appropriate and nutritious feed for their cattle”, he added.

LCCI Vice President Haris Ateeq said that the government should create better awareness among the farmers and also increase their capacity to plan timely vaccination of their animals from qualified veterinarian doctors.

The speakers said that the milk shelf life is 60 days in Pakistan as compare to 365 days in the developed countries.