Government aims to uplift livestock and dairy sector through reforms

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Government aims to uplift livestock, dairy sector

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema chaired ‘Third Meeting of Taskforce on Livestock’, constituted by the Prime Minister, to discuss and prepare recommendations related to the livestock sector. The recommendations will be presented to the Prime Minister in the next few days after consensus of all stakeholders. Secretary National Food Security and Research, Provincial Livestock Secretaries, academia and stakeholders attended the meeting.

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During the meeting, proposals related to improvement in the livestock sectors were discussed. Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema said that immediately doable recommendations should be prioritized so that they can be implemented on priority.

In the meeting, the participants presented and discussed proposals on dairy, meat, poultry, animal nutrition and breed improvement. Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema directed the participants of the Task Force to take a holistic approach while taking the stock of the current situation so that appropriate actions can be taken to improve the livestock sector.

Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema said that census of livestock should be a priority so that policy decisions are data-driven and monitoring can be done effectively. Through uniform policy across all provinces, quality and standards should be improved for better health and safety of the consumers.

During the meeting proposals related to capacity building at Federal and Provincial level were also discussed. Furthermore, there was a consensus among the participants that coordination between federal and provincial government on trade, export and disease management will uplift the livestock and dairy sector.

The participants were apprised that approximately 70 to percent of the farmers in the livestock have on average less than 4 animals. Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema directed the participants of the taskforce to find a mechanism to facilitate farmers in commercial farming while helping them to replace inefficient animals. He said that financial institutions should be take onboard to provide financial assistance for the said purpose.

The participants of the meeting agreed that by improving the livestock, Pakistan can grab a greater share of the international Halal meat market. However, training of farmers and making the sector competitive is pivotal for it. To improve exports, it is necessary that livestock and dairy products, and related products are at part with the international standards. The participants were of view that mass vaccination of the animals will help to protect the livestock from Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).

Federal Minister remarked that today we have a chance to improve agriculture and livestock since it is the priority of the Prime Minister. “We should upgrade and improve agriculture and livestock sector in line with the world’s trend”, he said.

The participants also discussed avenues of value-addition in the livestock sector. Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema said that the government aims to facilitate farmers in value addition of their agriculture and dairy products. He said that it will help farmers in improving their profitability.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research in its final recommendations to the Prime Minister plans to increase consumer awareness and introduce technology in livestock sector through policies and laws.

The Task Force, comprising of officials, academia and stakeholders, will submit recommendations to the Prime Minister for approval. The federal minister will be meeting with the task force members in-person for final consultation on the recommendations in coming days. Tariq Bashir Cheema said that the final recommendation will be based on consensus of all the stakeholders.

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