Sunday, 30 November 2014

Livestock and dairy sector: farmers urged to build strong market linkage

Experts at a awareness seminar on "Exploring Business Opportunities in the Livestock and Dairy Sector in KP" urged the farmers to establish market linkage to give boost to their business and improve financial conditions, and asked them to take full benefit from by government-run 'Meat and milk production improvement program' to yield livestock and dairy products as per growing demands.

The seminar titled; held under auspicious of Directorate General (Extension) Livestock and Dairy Development Department KP, under improving production of Meat and Dairy products project in collaboration with Agriculture University Peshawar. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance, Muzaffar Said participated at seminar as chief guest. Notable speakers include the project Director Dr Muhammad Islam, Director General Dr Sher Muhammad, Dean Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences AUP Professor Dr Subhan Qureshi, Naveed Sadiq, Salahuddin, and Hafeezullah, Dr Asad Sultan and others. Besides, experts of livestock and dairy, farmers, and students of faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences also attended the seminar.

"Farmers are mostly following subsistence farming in livestock sector, but it don't have direct access to market to promote their livestock and dairy products and guidance from experts for improvement of these products, due to lack of strong linkages and co-ordination, Dr Islam said while delivering a lecture at the seminar. He stressed the need for promotion of trade and commercial livestock farming, to have better access to farmers to promote their products in better, besides strong co-ordination with experts to improve production of livestock and dairy products.

The project Director further said the event was aimed to provide opportunity to farmers, experts, and livestock departments, to make collective efforts for improvement of milk and dairy products, by taking full benefiting from guidance of experts in this important sector. He informed the KP has hardly fulfilling its milk requirements, due to low production, and stressed the need for establishment of commercial farms in the livestock sector to improve the production of milk and meat in province.

Dr Islam informed, "We need to have 60 gram animal protein per day, which is currently around 16 gram, as its essential for better animal breeding and improvement in production of milk and meat as well," Through the project, he said they are focusing those farmers those were intending to establish linkage with market, academia and work under guidance of experts. He informed two forms of incentives have been offered to livestock farmers under the Meat and Milk improvement project in KP, including technical and financial support in this regard. Due to effective implementation of the project, he informed the animal production has been increasing with ratio of 4 percent every year, which is still very low, and need to be improved it.

Dr Subhan Qureshi in his detailed presentation, informed the participants about achievements and progress for establishment of modern slaughter houses in KP, along with efforts to establishment entrepreneurship in livestock and dairy sector in the province. He said the purpose is to create self-employment for graduates and extending assistance to farmers in the sector. He said the KP has the potential to export meat to Halal food market across the world, for which need to take vigorous efforts, and said some initiatives have been undertaken in this regard.

Dr Qureshi informed that about 14.84 million sheep and goats worth of Rs160 billion were available in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in addition to 27 per cent share in the national poultry sector. "A total investment of Rs 200 billion in the poultry sector, while 834 billion kg meat was produced", he added.

The faculty dean said the sector has greatly supported the agro-based economy of the province and presented scope for enhancement through income generation, self employment and production of certified high quality food items. However, he said that there was a need to take more steps to achieve goals through technical and marketing interventions to boost up the per unit productivity and introduce quality control system.

Others speakers, including Naveed Sadiq, Salahuddin and Dr Asad Sultan also informed the participating livestock farmers about various tools and ways, to improve production of livestock and dairy products, besides establishment strong market linkages to also generate revenue and create self-employment opportunities as well. They stressed that the co-ordinated and vigorous efforts should be made for development of livestock and dairy sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly building an effective entrepreneurship and creating more business opportunities for farmers and others in the sector.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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