Stakeholders mull ways for development of dairy sector

Salim Ahmed

The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore in collaboration with the Livestock & Dairy Development Department Punjab organised a consultative meeting on ‘Development of Dairy Sector of Pakistan” at City Campus on Friday.
Secretary Livestock & Dairy Development Department Punjab Capt (retd) Muhammad Mahmood presided over the meeting and sought suggestions and technical inputs from stakeholder for formulation of policies/plans for profitability of dairy sector, catering the needs of country and providing surplus livestock products for exports’.
Vice-Chancellor Meritorious Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, Syed Yawar Ali, President Buffalo Breeders Association Haji Saeed Hassan Hotiana and a large number of stakeholders from public and private dairy sectors across Punjab, academicians, researchers and officials from Livestock Department attended.
Speaking on the occasion, the Secretary Livestock said that aim of the consultative meeting was to provide a platform to all the stakeholders for networking where they can find opportunities keeping in view the current value chain and other important issues He sought asked them to come up with their innovative ideas and share their issues/problems, any impediments, so that their solutions could be found for the growth of dairy sector. He said such meetings are very effective for making farmers-friendly policies.
He desired constituting two task forces on Meat and Dairy, to be regularly monitored by the UVAS Vice-Chancellor to find out bottlenecks and major constraints involved in the development of dairy and meat sectors. He said that after one month all concerning issues would be discussed in next meeting. He assured stakeholders of his support as a facilitator to overcome the issues for development of dairy sector in Punjab.
Earlier Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha gave a detailed presentation on key issues hampering growth in dairy sector, milk production model in Punjab, potential impact of price de-capping, import of milk and whey powder and changing trend in dairy industry with the use of tea whitener, etc. He said UVAS is working closely with industry and livestock farming community to solve their issues. He recommended starting school milk programme and rural entrepreneurship. He said it is direly needed to create awareness among consumers about the quality of food items and minimum pasteurization law must be implemented in Punjab.
An open discussion was held and all the participants put forward suggestions for development of dairy sector. They called for imposing heavy duty on import of whey and milk powder, reducing the cost of milk production, farmers education and training, conducting a farmer cooperative study, improving genetics of our local breed of dairy animals, enhancing fodder production by making available the agriculture machinery on subsidized rate and also availability of quality semen, farmers incentives, toxic free grain and preparing farmers-friendly policies. They suggested consumer awareness programmes regarding fresh milk and ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk and setting up maximum feed testing laboratories needed to be established in Punjab.

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