Sindh Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Abdul Bari Pitafi inaugurated newly established Artificial Insemination Training Center (AITC) at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam. The AIT center has been built under the World Bank-assisted Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (SAGP) to provide training to veterinary practitioners for helping breeders in the province.
The event attracted officials working with different departments, including veterinary practitioners, academia and farmers hailing from different parts of the province.
Mr. Pitafi was optimistic to achieve target to save indigenous breeds of livestock inhabiting in Sindh province through Artificial Insemination Training Center (AITC). He hopes to produce more inseminators to have at least one foreach union council to help herdercommunities for breeding and improving productivity.
The minister said due to unavailability of inseminators presently many leading cattle farmers hire such trained people from other areas of the country. Sindh province has this new facility now, which will benefit livestock farmers.
He also complaints that there are many facilities, including veterinary hospitals and centers, which did not have got permission from the government and now applying for legal permission and fulfilling formalities. Even cattle farmers are not registered with the provincial livestock department, he added. He asked cattle farmers to get registered with the government so that they may get facilities, like vaccination and cure free of cost.
The minister said there are weaknesses within the system, which is affecting credibility of the department. There are around 700 government facilities for livestock, including veterinary hospitals and centers, which either are not functioning properly or being used by certain village chieftains for guests. But he was optimistic to streamline the mechanism to make these centers functional and achieve set target soon.
He said the Sindh Assembly has passed Breeding Act and now the department is motivating breeders to come on a proper platform for the cause to save indigenous breeds and improve productively, including milk and meat.
Irony is that there are many officers, who do not recognise breeds despite having more experience of working with the department, he complained.
Secretary livestock Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar said “we do not need merely infrastructure but want to produce learned cadre. We are planning to formulate animal breeding control authority board with monitoring mechanism.”
He said this newly established AIT center has been built under World Bank -assisted SAGP, which is yet to end within one year. The provincial government wanted to take initiative for sustainability of this center. Thus, he said they are planning to mobilize breeders and form theirassociations in all areas to promote this neglected livestock sector and save indigenous breeds.
Ghulam Akbar Dars, chairman breeders association said he has also hired inseminator from outside and getting benefits because there is no trained person for the purpose. He said that government can assure farmers while providing facilities because minor mistake sometimes create problem for cattle farmer. Thus the newly established AIT center must produce expert inseminator to help breeders.
Dr. Abdullah Sethar, deputy director Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (SAGP) and in charge of the center in his introductory remarks said the Livestock Department aims to develop this sector to alleviate poverty through livestock. He said the objective of this center was to develop human resources.
Dr. Sethar said they are working to enhance capacity of livestock farmers, staff and various stakeholders. Trainings in artificialinsemination and other animal breeding techniques in an organized way is major initiative for the purpose. He said they have to produce 564 manpower of livestock department and livestock farmers to increase productively of animals, linking it to resolving the nutrition issue through livestock.