The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday urged the government to encourage investment by the private sector in livestock which could play a crucial role in the economic uplift of the country besides generating huge revenue and employment opportunities.
LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said on the occasion that the value of livestock is higher than all the agricultural products including major, minor and fruit and vegetables.
They said that a little focus on this important sector and public-private partnership could yield miraculous results, adding that the appetite for Pakistani meat was strong in both domestic and export markets. They said that the exports of live animals should be restricted and only meat should be exported to get maximum benefits.
They said that 15 per cent milk was wasted in transportation, which requires instant remedies. More chillers on farmlands need to be established. These could operate through join ownership of farmers, they said, adding that chillers should be operated on no-profit-no-loss basis through interest-free loans from the state, returnable in five years time.
The LCCI office-bearers said that the poultry meat accounts for around 25 per cent of domestic food requirements. The major means to cut cost in poultry was through reducing all import items involved in the industry to zero level. They said that local research institutes were required to develop lair-chick farms and establish hatcheries within the vicinities of broiler farms in order to cut the cost of transportation and to keep the overall cost minimal in domestic market.
They said that livestock was the main industry that could be used for poverty alleviation in rural areas. They said that the unused land could be provided to the farmers for livestock and the animal refuse and dung used for producing biomass, the fuel for generating electricity. This electricity in rural areas could help manage the chiller for milk and at a later stage can help freeze meat for exports, he added.