LAHORE - Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa has said that livestock sector in the country was lagging behind due to lack of scientific research and urged the veterinarians to intervene at the gross roots level to address the problems.

He was addressing the inaugural session of a day long seminar on Road Map for Development of Dairy sector of Pakistan held at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences conference hall on Monday.

The seminar was conducted by UVAS faculty of veterinary science and sponsored by dairy industries. Agriculture Minister Ahmad Ali Aulakh, L&DDD additional secretary Khalid Awais Ranjha, Livestock Dairy Development Board CEO Major Gen (R) Muhammad Ali Khan, Nestle managing director Azhar Ali Syed, Maxim International managing director Faisal Farid, Solve Agri Dairy Institute CEO Haroon M. K Lodhi, and Dairy Rural Development Foundation project manager Jack Moser also attended the seminar.

Senator Khosa said that the Chief Minister gave prime importance to the livestock sector and various steps have been taken to empower it through the establishment of the L&DDB and PAMCO. He maintained that Southern Punjab had abundant wealth in animals but unfortunately the local farmers were not aware of modern dairy farming techniques. He emphasised that UVAS and L&DDD should launch concerte efforts to play a pro-active role to enhance milk and meat production across the province. Khosa said that Punjab Government had introduced a new program on skilled rural youth force and was providing facilities like artificial insemination, wanda and silage making to the farmers.

Earlier, UVAS Vice-Chancellor Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that the collaboration between UVAS and private sector would be beneficial for both to grow in a research-based entrepreneurial environment. “Pakistan has one of the best pools of livestock in the world with highly productive diversified breeds”, he said adding that commercialising the research and bringing the products from lab shelves to market was required to promote the dairy and livestock sector.

Agriculture Minister Ahmad Ali Aulakh said, “Livestock accounted for approximately 55.1 percent of the agriculture value added and 11.5 percent GDP during 2010-11. The sector’s prospective role towards rural economic development may well be recognised from the fact that 35-40 million rural populations are dependent on livestock.”