LAHORE – To bring about a revolutionary change in the livestock sector, the present government has already launched a programme to train 2,000 young men as artificial insemination assistants (AIAs) and 2,000 women as women livestock extension workers (WLEWs).

This was stated by Punjab Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh while speaking at the certificate award ceremony arranged by the Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Board (PLDDB) for second batch of 200 AIAs and WLEWs on Monday.

The minister said Pakistan ranked fourth in milk production in the world but despite having such a huge potential, milk production was insufficient to meet the national requirement, he regretted. He alleged that it was the result of inappropriate planning and lack of interest shown by the previous governments.

Aulakh said 572 men and women had already completed their training and started performing in the field thus not only earning their livelihood under self-employment but also contributing in the national development. He hoped that this project would not only help developing the livestock sector on latest lines but also to achieve US five billion dollars export target.

PLDDB Chief Executive Officer Maj Gen (r) Muhammad Ali Khan said first batch of young men trained under this project was already giving results through their skills in the rural areas while certificate was being distributed amongst the second batch students today.

He said the second batch students would also be given necessary free of cost artificial insemination kit, motorcycle on easy installments while women workers would also get necessary support. He said the board was also working fast on silage and semen production unit projects. Nestle Chairman Syed Yawar Ali Shah said development of livestock sector could only help eradicating the poverty. He hoped that the project would bring about a visible change in the livestock sector.

Secretary Livestock Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh threw light on shortage of AIAs in the province and hoped that the PLDDB project would help not meeting this shortage.

University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, PLDDB General Manager Dr Naveed Niazi, Livestock Extension Director General Zahid Irfan and others were also present on this occasion.