Needs To Promote Livestock Sector To Ensure Food Security: Minister

The federal minister also called for strong industry-academia synergy to foster industrial productivity for enhanced exports and ensure socio-economic development in the country.


The Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives stated on Tuesday that Pakistan, as an agrarian country, needed to promote agriculture sector and livestock sector to ensure food security in light of the country’s growing population, which is expected to reach 330 million by 2050.

The federal minister also called for strong industry-academia synergy to foster industrial productivity for enhanced exports and ensure socio-economic development in the country.

He was addressing an international conference on Health Security organized by University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) at a local hotel, where HEC Advisor Lt. Gen. (Retd) Muhammad Asghar, Provincial Livestock and Dairy Development Secretary Muhammad Masood Anwar, UVAS Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Nasim Ahmad, University of Education (UoE) VC Prof. Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha, Fatima Jinnah Medical University’s VC Prof. Dr. Khalid Manzoor Gondal, and Director General CPEC (HEC) Dr. Safdar Ali Shah were also present.

The minister emphasised the need to utilize the available knowledge, skills and resources in an effective manner to expedite the development process in every sector. Universities and research must play their role in the national development by bringing forth innovations while using modern technology.

Pakistan was the 5th largest milk producing country, but its per acre yield was low and livestock growth was slow due to its lagging use of modern technology and methods in agribusiness and livestock farming.

According to him, the government launched initiatives such as the UK Knowledge Platform and the US Knowledge Corridor, through which Pakistani researchers/students would learn modern techniques for ten years and return with innovations to be implemented in various sectors throughout the country.

By adopting modern technology and methods in agriculture, the livestock sector, and the dairy sector, Pakistan could capture the global markets for halal meat and milk, especially in the Middle East, he hoped.

The Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs of Pakistan believes that at least ten years are needed for the success of a policy, for which continuity of socio-economic policies is of great importance. He noted that Pakistan’s 75-year history shows that it has made strong policies, but is behind South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and other countries in terms of policy consistency.

He also highlighted three opportunities for greater economic development, such as the war of 1965, private sector participation in 1991, and CPEC. However, the then government was thrown out, and the Chinese government was not interested in investing in Pakistan.

The Minister of Finance has emphasized that national development should not be obstructed due to politics and mutual conflicts. He has sacrificed his politics for the revival of Pakistan’s economy and saving it from default. The government is putting in place all possible measures for economic turnaround, and within two years, Pakistan will be enjoying economic turnaround.

The Federal Minister stated, “We failed to transform Pakistan into an export-led economy because countries that focused on this strategy are now making economic progress. For example, in the 1960s, Pakistan’s exports were worth US $ 200 million while South Korea’s were worth US $ 100 million, but today we have only US $ 32 billion while South Korea has over US $ 550 billion.”

He claimed that in order to achieve rapid economic development, Pakistan needed to reduce tax evasion, increase tax collection, and increase exports from around Rs 30 billion to Rs 100 billion over the next five to eight years.

“We also need to develop our youth’s IT skills, and there is a need to deal with the climate situation,” he said. Most importantly, we must address the energy crisis, which is putting a significant strain on Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves. As a result, we must transition to renewable energy sources while also emphasising equality in education and health.