Byline: Syed Fazl-E-Haider
This month, Balochistan government is holding a three-day international Livestock Expo from November18 to 20 in Quetta with an aim to promote cattle farming in the province. The initiative would also increase meat production in the country besides, fulfilling its growing demand in the local markets. Undoubtedly, it is for the first time that a provincial government is holding a Livestock Expo to help improving standard of marketing of huge livestock sector, having potential to change the lot of the farmers.
It is worth mentioning that delegates of researchers, farmers, academia and businessmen from various countries including Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey would be participating in the Livestock Expo 2019. The livestock Expo will encourage the farmers and facilitate the livestock keepers directly. Lack of proper marketing of livestock and dairy development has been the main issue in the development of livestock of the province.
This event will provide the province to introduce the cattle and sheep and best local breed to the international delegate and ultimately it would allure foreign investors to the province's livestock sector.
Livestock contributes about 40 percent to the Balochistan GDP. Ironically, the provincial government allocates a nominal amount for the development of this sector, which is the primary sustainable source of living for over 70 percent of local population. Animals are traditionally kept for meeting household milk and meat needs. The main consumers of its livestock include leather, carpet and pharmaceutical industries. The province caters to the needs and demands of leather and carpet industries by sustaining the supply of hyde and wool to these sectors. Livestock development is linked with poverty alleviation in the province, as its 70 percent population is directly or indirectly involved in livestock rearing activities.
The province is rich in livestock resources contributing about 40 per cent of Pakistan's total livestock population. A poverty alleviation strategy with main focus on livestock development can target the higher poverty in the province. According to one estimate, the province maintains 2.253581 million cattle, 12.804217 million sheep, 11.784711 million goats, 0.319854 million buffaloes, 0.379528 million camels, 0.059973 million horses, 0.006256 million mules, 0.471942 million donkeys and 5.911304 million poultry. Livestock contributes Rs. 20 billion with share of meat 40%...