Govt urged for steps to cope with livestock, dairy sector challenges

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Speakers at a seminar have urged the government to take practical measures for enabling the livestock/dairy sector to cope with the prevailing challenges.

“[The] government should incentivise the private sector for import of high yielding cattle breeds.

It should also withdraw duty and taxes on [the] import of dairy processing machinery and equipment to encourage value addition,” the speakers said during the seminar on “How to enhance milk production”, organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Punjab Minister for Public Prosecution Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din Khan, former minister for livestock and dairy development Mumtaz Ahmed Manhais, Livestock and Dairy Development secretary Naveed Haider Sherazi, LCCI senior vice president Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and vice president Haris Ateeq were the key speakers.

Addressing the participants through video-link, Syed Fakhar Imam stressed the need to hold livestock census, saying that accurate data would help evolve strategy for the promotion of the livestock sector.

There was a need to increase the milk processing ratio, which was currently just 7 per cent to 8 per cent of the total production.

“Pakistan is far behind in animal breeding,” he said, adding that this area needed to be worked on. He called for measures to increase dairy production and value addition.

The youth should be encouraged to join the field of animal science so that the livestock sector could be built on modern lines, he said and called for short-, medium-and long-term strategies.

Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din Khan said that the processing of milk and allied products could help increase the exports, adding that the halal meat sector has the potential to get a major share in the international market.

To promote value addition in the country, Khan said that the duties and taxes on the import of dairy processing machinery should be withdrawn. Mian Nauman Kabir said that the gross milk production in 2020/21 stood at 63.7 million tonnes, compared with 61.7 million tonnes in 2019/20.

Milk consumption was 51.3 million tonnes in 2020/21, compared with 49.7 million tonnes in 2019/20; however, as per the ITC World Trade Map, Pakistan’s dairy exports in 2020 stood at $42.7 million, declining consistently ever-since peaking at $108 million in 2013.

Sharing the figures from the UNO’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the LCCI president said the global milk production has increased by more than 59 per cent to 843 million tonnes in 2018 from 530 million tonnes in 1998.

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