Central Development Working Party (CDWP) approved the funding for National Center for Livestock Breeding, Genetics & Genomics (NCLBG&G) at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. The project is worth Rs. 799.192 million and will be completed over the period of five years.
This was decided in a meeting of CDWP held under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mr. Sartaj Aziz whereas Secretary Planning Commission Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui accompanied the deputy chairman. Senior officials from federal and provincial governments also participated in the meeting.
Mission of the NCLBG&G is to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty in the country through research in terms of improved genetic potential of indigenous livestock for efficient, safe, and sustainable use of livestock—ensuring better lives through livestock. The National Center, thus, will conduct research, run genetic improvement programs in collaboration with national and international organizations and will advise the national and provincial governments on the issues and challenges of farm animal genetic resources.
The project was presented by PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Sarwat N. Mirza, Director Planning & Development (P&D), Mr. Shahid Ali Khan, Dean Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Prof. Dr. ArfanYousaf, focal person for NCLBG&G Dr. Muhammad Moaeen-ud-Din, and Dr. Ghulam Bilal.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Sarwat N Mirza said that this is an unprecedented collaborative effort in which six major universities will actively participate and PMAS-AAUR will be nucleus. This project will be a revolution in the field of livestock, Genetics & Genomics; this unique facility was not available earlier. The Vice Chancellor appreciated the efforts of project team. He also thanked the role of HEC and Planning Commission of Pakistan in contributing and paving the way to this outstanding achievement.
The Director P&D, Mr. Shahid Ali Khan told that this project will play a vital role to enhance the production of milk & meat and the GDP of Pakistan.
It may be recalled that the project was formally presented at HEC on May 12, 2016 and successfully defended under Sector Development Program including Dairy Development & Livestock Sector. The project went through many brainstorming sessions attended by esteemed Animal Breeding & Genetics experts nationwide and was finally included in Public Sector Development Program (PSDP-2017-18) on June 19, 2017.
A National Consultative workshop at HEC and University of Agriculture Faisalabad was held in 2017 to finally shape the idea into the reality with partner organizations viz. University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, The University of Poonch, Rawalakot, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, and University of Agriculture Peshawar.—PR