Islamabad: Comprehensive strategy is needed to enhance farmers’ income and boost the economies of the SAARC region, said Ahmad Baksh Lehri, federal secretary of the ministry of national food security and research, on Tuesday.
Inaugurating a two-day regional consultation meeting on “Assessment of diversity of veterinary services (public and private sector) in the SAARC countries at the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), he said that livestock is a major source of food security for the people of this region.
Livestock also serves as a source of social security for the poor, who cash it at the time of need, particularly against crop failure in the rain-dependent cropping areas, he added.
The contribution of livestock sector to the economies of SAARC countries ranges from 6.6 percent to 33 percent and the livestock sector of Pakistan contributes 11.5 percent to the GDP, he added.
He apprised the participants that apart from poultry, the SAARC counties are maintaining more than 358 million cattle and buffaloes and 230 million sheep and goats and the share of Pakistan is 16 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
He said that despite having a large population of food animals, the share of SAARC region in the global meat production is only 3.4 percent.
He stressed upon the experts to work in cooperation and partnership with other members of the international community and adopt the multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to address the problems being faced by the livestock farmers.
The News, 18 July 2012