Time to cry over spilt milk


Pakistan has faced an annual loss of around Rs.169 billion due to post production losses of milk despite being included in the five largest milk producing countries of the world, say an official. The official said, the lack of infrastructure such as cooling facilities at farms or collection points as well as transportation of milk is the prime cause for the post production losses of the milk, which is being addressed through various development projects. However, Pakistan Dairy Development Company (PDDC) has made some significant contribution for improvement of the dairy sector for which provinces need to take up the responsibility for improving the dairy sector and devise sustainable strategy for cool chain development for reducing the milk losses. For the year 2011-12, the performance of livestock sector remained somehow satisfactory. The production of meat at 3,232 thousand tonnes exceeded its target of 3,056 thousand tonnes. Production of all beef, mutton and poultry meat exceeded their targets. The encouraging and remarkable performance consoled farming community struck by floods and failures of some other production sectors. The milk production at 38,690 thousand tonnes was below its target of 45,883 thousand tonnes. It is quite relevant to mention here that the contribution of livestock including poultry in total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 11.6 per cent and in agriculture GDP 55 per cent is quite significant. When farmers lose their expected income from crops due to floods and other epidemics, livestock proves itself a sustainable source of income to the poor masses. For the past many years livestock has emerged as largest single contributor to the agriculture. A growth rate of 4 per cent was achieved in recently ended financial year 2011-12 which was equal to the target.