MULTAN: The Punjab government is providing assistance of Rs10,000 per ostrich with an aim to promote the protein-rich, low-fat meat and economic uplift of farmers.
Initially, the subsidy was given to 2,500 birds.
The project jointly launched by Development of Ostrich Farming in Punjab and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences was in progress to encourage ostrich farmers, said a Livestock Department official while talking to APP. He said that people’s interest in ostrich farming was on the rise and a good number of farmers were contacting the livestock department.
Advising the farmers for ostrich farming, he said that the bird was one of the biggest in the world, adding that ostrich uses low quantity of food but offers handsome meat. Its meat has low cholesterol, low fats and rich protein, which is beneficial for hepatitis and diabetes patients, he added.
The official also said that ostrich’s skin is considered as the second expensive skin after the skin of crocodile in international markets. “There is a high demand for ostrich skin across the world,” he said and added that average price of one shoe, made of the skin of ostrich, was $250.
The official also said that ostrich skin is soft, flexible and durable, adding that one mature ostrich contributes 12 to 14 square feet skin.
He also said that ostrich feathers also offer handsome returns as these are used for decoration.
The official said that ostrich belonged to Retite family and there were many species of the bird. Every species has different neck colours through which they are recognised, he said and added that ostriches have red, blue, black and pink necks, however, the bird of black neck was famous in the world.
The official went on to say that the trend of ostrich farming had increased after the bird was included in the list of livestock birds in 2012 in the province, adding that earlier, the bird was present in the list of wildlife.