While addressing the final workshop of “Sindh Livestock Forum” at the Directorate of Agriculture Research Sindh (ARS) organized by the Dairy-Beef project team of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Sindh Agriculture University (SAU), VC SAU Dr Fateh Muhammad Marri said that the employment of more than 8 million farmers in Pakistan is related to livestock. However, the annual growth of this sector is only 4 percent.
Dr Marri said in 2020, the livestock industry contributed 60.6 % to overall agriculture and 11.7 % to the GDP. Therefore, it is proposed to give more priority to trade in live animals and livestock products. “The SAU experts are working on the conservation of indigenous cattle breeds and new projects are started on animal product technology, value chain, and dairy products,” he added.
Dr Fateh Marri said that although Pakistan is one of the largest milk-producing countries in the world, per animal yield has been on the lower side, with the production of 57 million tons of milk annually from 24 million cows and buffaloes, the average annual yield stands at 1.62 tones per animal.
During the workshop on the Dairy Beef Project, Dr David McGill, Project Leader addressed the participants and shared the forum’s objectives and briefed about research finding and impacts of Dairy-Beef project extension and research, through video recorded message.
Dr Arshad Kalhoro, Director General Live Stock Department appreciated the project team for their great contributions to improving the livelihood of the smallholder farmers, and he urges that the successful project activities should sustain by the National organizations to benefit all stakeholders and smallholder farmers.
Dr Humera Iqbal, Project Manager said that with regard to traditional livestock farming in Pakistan and these interventions, the project has played a role in reducing the challenges facing small farmers in Pakistan.
Hafiz Abdul Aziz provided the overall overview of project objectives and shared a historical background of ACIAR working in ASLP phase I, II, and the Dairy-Beef project, particularly in Sindh.