LAHORE – The speakers, at a seminar held on Thursday, asked the government to impose ban on milk import, as it is a constant hurdle in the way of livestock and dairy sector’s development in the country.

Experts said that government should provide protection to the export of meat, chicken products and milk to Afghanistan and central Asian states, as these markets have been developed after a long struggle and efforts of Pakistani stakeholders of livestock and dairy sectors.

The speakers discussed policy recommendations and domestic regulatory reforms for enhancing competitiveness and export potential of livestock and dairy sectors of Pakistan during a public-private dialogue on ‘Enhancing Competitiveness and Export Potential of Livestock and Dairy Sector’ held here at a local hotel.

The event was organised under the European Union Funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme. Abdul Basit Senior Vice President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Anjum Saleem of Pakistan Dairy Association, Nauman Aslam Director TDAP and experts of relevant field took part in the discussion.

PPA former chairman Abdul Basit expressed his views regarding improvement and uplift in the export competitiveness of livestock and dairy sector.

He said that livestock farming has not scientifically grown with the increase in population and also it did not match with the pace of urbanisation. In such a situation, the only way to control prices is to develop the dairy industry on scientific lines, which will not only provide meat and milk in abundant quantities to the domestic consumers but extra quantities can also be exported.

In spite of having a large population of livestock, the country is spending billions of rupees annually on the import of formula milk only, which is the highest amount spent by any country in the world on this particular commodity.

Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce Fazal Abbas Mekan stated on the occasion that Pakistan is an agricultural country and can greatly enhance exports in the identified sectors by putting in place concrete policies for enhancing competitiveness and export potential in livestock and dairy product. He further said that after the devolution of agriculture and livestock to the provinces, there is a need for the Ministry of Commerce to work together with provincial livestock departments and other stakeholders to introduce domestic regulatory reforms for enhancing exports of the two sectors. He appreciated the efforts of ITC and PITAD for organising a PPD on such important aspect of trade policy.