STAFF REPORT PESH: The people of urban areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are gravely exposed to livestock products coming from unhygienic farming system in the province, like adulterated milk and even dead birds imported there. However, the Dairy Science Park (DSP) has offered its services through veterinary and medical experts and representatives of the industry as well as the administration.

This development has emerged during a meeting of a delegation of DSP with Senior KP Minister Inayatullah Khan recently held in Peshawar.

The delegation comprised Prof. M. Subhan Qureshi, Dean FAHVS, University of Agriculture Peshawar; Prof. Sarzamin Khan, Dr. Niaz Ali KMU, Zafar Hussain, Feed Industry, Engr Irfan Qureshi, Chief Executive DSP, Dr. Asad Sultan, Dr. Rajwali Khan UAP, Dr. Abdur Rashid from Peshawar University; while Riaz Hussain, Hafeezur Rahman and Kamran Khan represented the private Sector.

On the occasion, they reviewed the progress made so far on these issues and consideration of a new project on the academic support to the livestock industry under the DSP.

The current situation reveals that the local administration instead of supporting the local producers, has capped the prices of milk and meat produced in the province. The prices of farm inputs are uncontrolled while the prices of milk and meat are controlled through a flat rate, irrespective of the quality, grade and presence of toxins, pathogens and adulterants.

The available data shows that the KP province possesses huge livestock resources including buff, sheep, goats and poultry having financial worth of Rs.1.09 trillion, while the annual meat production in the province stands at Rs.200 billion.

It is to be mentioned here that the international Halal meat market comprises about $500 billion and is mostly contributed by the non-Muslim exporters.

A major portion of the sheep, goats, cattle, and poultry is reared under medium-sized holdings, which provides an opportunity for business development.

The Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences (APVS), being a mother institute, can play a pivotal role in extending services regarding provision of trained manpower to the provincial government for ensuring quality meat to the public, and can also facilitate sister organizations in research and diagnostic activities.

The US State Department is supporting the DSP in Biorisk Management, and the United Nations has accepted the park as a partner for sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Agreeing to the proposals of the delegation, the minister allocated Rs.200 million for establishing a model slaughter house under the Park. He directed for consideration of the project at a high level meeting in near future.

During the meeting, the improved enabling environment for private sector including SMEs and cottage industry through entrepreneurial friendly regulatory framework and other support has been proposed.

According to the situation, dairy farms are located in urban areas, and sheep, goats, and poultry farms in rural regions. The medium-sized farms, factories, and marketing chain lack quality standards and have failed to provide the due financial return to the farmers and food of acceptable quality to the consumers.

The delegation also offered academic support for livestock industry of KP under the DSP. The project will convert these facilities into viable enterprises, capable of creating self-employment for the youth and hygienic food for the people of KP to support food security and export. A Faculty of DSP would be established at UAP as a growth engine for livestock entrepreneurship.

New programmes like Biorisk Management, Quality Control and Halal Certification programmes are planned to be launched in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories USA, DSP Society, Khyber Medical University, UN and other national and international organizations. New technologies and practices like solar energy, biogas, animal traceability, elite semen, and industrial biotechnology will be available.

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