Besides providing technical help and guidance, the Board will also streamline loan facilities at concessional rates



Oct 28 - Nov 03, 2002


The government has constituted a Livestock and Dairy Development Board to promote production in this sector of economy and export of its product. Besides providing technical help and guidance, the Board will also streamline loan facilities at concessional rates to those engaged in the Dairy and Livestock business at a small level for which a provision of over Rs. 1 billion has been made on the current financial year.

The Board, to be headed by the Federal Agricultural Minister, it would coordinate national and provincial efforts in different livestock activities, promote investment in the sector and work as a window to make dairy and livestock as vehicle for poverty alleviation for small and land-less farmers with special emphasis on women empowerment.

Similar board will also be set up at the provincial level. The Federal Board will have ten members. Provincial Ministers of livestock and dairy, Secretary Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Secretary Finance, Chairman ADBP, Khushali Bank and representatives of private sector nominated by the provincial governments will act as members.

The board will be responsible to plan, promote and provide advice and direction for accelerated development of Pakistan livestock and dairy industry. The other functions of the board will be to evolve support systems for those engaged in milk, meat and other livestock production activities particularly rural based small livestock farmers, to encourage and promote the active participation of farm families, rural cooperatives and the private sector recognizing them as principal agents in the development of the Pakistan livestock and dairy industry, to suggest measure to ensure adequate supply of milk and other dairy products and affordable prices and to suggest livelihood opportunities and thereby increase income level through livestock raising.

It is heartening to note that the present government is focusing attention on some sectors of our economy which had remained neglected in the past despite immense potential. The dairy sector is one of them. Reports have appeared in the National press that the government is negotiating with some well-known multinationals in the world dealing with livestocks and dairy products for development of this sector in Pakistan.

Despite immense potentials, the dairy sector in Pakistan has been victim of criminal neglect by the successive governments in the country. Even at its present lowest-in-the-world yield per milk cattle, Pakistan is hugely surplus in milk productions but due to lack of proper planning, collection and distribution facilities, a major portion of the total production is consumed, per force, by the producer in the far flung areas. As against this we are importing about 25000 tonnes of powder milk annually to meet the demand of the urban areas at a cost of above 400 million dollars.

Pakistan ranks 7th among milk producing countries, with an estimated 21 billion liters of milk produced annually. Although this level of milk production is more than adequate on a per capita basis for today population, lack of processing and poor distribution system in a long hot weather (milk has a shelf life of only four hours under moderate temperatures) keeps it from reaching consumers in areas that are either deficient in milk production, particularly the urban centers, or those that are difficult to access.

The milk yield per cow in the neighbouring country is about 3000 liters per lactation period as against 1000 liters in Pakistan. In western Europe the average exceeds 5000 liters, in USA 9000 and Israel exceeds 7000 liter per lactation period. After extensive research Indian livestock ministry has introduced a programme to gradually replace buffaloes with cows, which give more milk, by educating their farmers through their well established cooperatives and successfully carried out the replacement programme during the last decade or so. During this period India has almost doubled its milk production from 38 to 72 billion liters and now ranks at No.2 after USA. India besides feeding its huge population a huge quantity in the form of Dry milk, processed and packed milk.

Pakistan has tremendous potential to increase its milk production and a huge surplus for export of Milk and milk products by providing processing and packing facility. It need huge investment. It is a good news that foreign investors have shown interest in tapping Pakistan rich potential by establishing ultra modern dairy industry. Not only Pakistan will earn huge foreign exchange by exporting its milk and milk products specially the neighbouring Muslim countries, the development of this sector will create abundant new jobs for the unemployed.