President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that livestock sector contributes 59 percent of agriculture’s production and 12 percent of country’s overall GDP. In fiscal year 2018 the sector earned foreign exchequer of $ 105 million through export of meat. Exports are comprised of many products including hides, bones and bone products, live animals, wool and poultry. In international market of $ 3, Pakistan has a meagre share however, livestock sector suffice the local demand, thus saving foreign exchequer. 9 thousand dairy cows have been imported in fiscal year 2018 which helped in adding 61 million ton of milk to commercial system.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that Pakistan’s livestock sector has extraordinary potential of growth. Pakistan is geographically located close to the Middle East and South-East Asia. Both of these regions are deficient in livestock products and depend upon import from other countries, which is a great opportunity for Pakistan to grab livestock market in these countries. Livestock contribution to GDP is constantly around 12 percent from the last five years, to increase production and, Pakistan needs to work modernization and diversification in this sector.
The Former Minister said that consumption of meat, eggs, and milk in the world is on the continuous rise for past two decades, the most important factors for this increase in consumption are the growth in population, urbanization and increasing income of people. The livestock sector can effectively contribute to the poverty alleviation policy of the current government by addressing the issues of this sector and implementing the recommendations of livestock exporters association of Pakistan.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that certification bodies and research institutes need to be established in this sector, in order to increase the production of this sector and facilitate the people associated to livestock industry. Efforts continued for market access with the concerned authorities of China, South Africa, Jordan and Indonesia through diplomatic channel for export of our meat and meat products need an early conclusion.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that government is facilitating investors in this sector by offering zero rated imports of machinery, feed and other products not locally manufactured to reduce their cost of doing business and increase profitability. To improve access to finance to Livestock & dairy sector and to mitigate risk of loss of livestock due to disease, natural calamities and accidents, SBP, in collaboration with SECP, banks, insurance companies and provincial livestock & dairy department has developed Livestock Insurance Scheme. Investors should be given easy loan to establish processing plants in order to improve the proportion of this important sector in Country’s economy. Strict and instant measures are required to curb the smuggling of live animals to Iran and Afghanistan in order to save losses of millions to the national exchequer.