KARACHI  - The sharp increase in the prices of buffalos creates fear among farmers, which is ultimately affected the prices of meat and dairy products in local market. Experts from the livestock expressed grievances over the government negligence who have not any sustainable policy for the growth of the sector.

Specially, the end of programme started few years back  to fight against the Foot and Mouth disease with the collaboration of United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Government of Pakistan, also the fear for farmers.

Compared to the rising demand of dairy products and meat the local market faces dire shortage of animals for both and not able to understand the reason behind it.

Shoukat Mukhtar, Secretary Dairy and Farmers Association Karachi informed The Nation, the latest price hike in buffalos is very surprising and we don’t know how to manage the upcoming crisis, he said and added that in recent past normally the rate of cattle ranges from Rs 125000 to Rs 135000 but suddenly it has climbed to Rs 175000 to Rs 185000.

There is no other source to cater the demand of local consumers beside the existing market who supplies milk and meat to the retailers. Government should introduce a path for local market and than stage a policy for export.

He further informed that the Foot and Mouth disease is a big threat for the sector which was successfully control by the support of USDA and FAO where a local farmer vaccinate the animal by paying only Rs 150.

But the USDA and FAO announced to stop their project against the Foot and Mouth disease due to lake of funding, he said and added the farmers get good results in first phase of said drive but seek further support for the second and third phases.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Pakistani livestock witnessed Rs 40 billion investment during last five years but not flourish due to lake of experience.

Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry said the corporate sector import thousands of cows from Australia and Holland but not treat them as per requirement. On the other side the environmental difference is also not in the favour of imported animals that hurt this huge investment.  

Foot and mouth disease is one of the most contagious and economically devastating viral diseases in the world. It causes a high rate of sickness in cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats.

Most affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them debilitated and causes severe loss in the production of meat and milk.

It is estimated that there are 66 million cattle and buffalos in Pakistan and one out of four families depend on livestock for their livelihood.