PL&DD fails to meet objectives of mobile veterinary services project


DGM&E report reveals 96pc project funds spent while disease diagnostic equipment, including ultrasound and X-ray machines, is still missing

–PL&DD official says necessary decisions will be taken after analysing DGM&Es’ observations, recommendations

LAHORE: Due to the negligence of the officials concerned and lack of proper implementation and planning, Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development (PL&DD) Department has failed to meet the objectives of its project titled “Provision of Effective Veterinary & Extension Services at Livestock Farmers Doorstep” despite having spent 96% of its funds, Pakistan Today has learnt.

As per the details, PL&DD through Barani Agriculture Research Institute Chakwal launched the project in question all across Punjab with an approved cost of Rs359.1 million out of which Rs344.347 million –95.8% of the released amount – has been spent.

Keeping in view the importance of livestock, the PL&DD had initiated the project aimed at a paradigm shift from curative to preventive mode, to provide mobile veterinary services for animal treatment and related facilities to livestock/poultry farmers of the area at their doorsteps besides latest technology for diagnostics treatment and breeding.

However, the details shared by Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation (DGM&E) showed that even the first objective of the project – the paradigm shift – had not yet been completed.

A beneficiary survey by DGM&E regarding the Mobile Veterinary Dispensaries (MVDs) reflected that 57% of livestock farmers are satisfied while 18% and 7% of farmers are partially satisfied and not satisfied, respectively.

Similarly, it was observed during the survey that 66.1% of livestock farmers reported that farmer meetings were conducted as per plan while 25% reported that no such farmer meetings were conducted.  The curricula or material developed for this purpose was not shared by the department, however, only pamphlets were shared wherein the title of the project was not mentioned either.

“Another objective of the project was to deploy latest technology for disease diagnostics treatment and breeding which has not been achieved completely as the disease diagnostic equipment (ultrasound and X-ray machines) were not purchased to accomplish the objective,” DGM&E report revealed.

It further said that disease treatment equipment (dystocia kits, tooth rasp etc), however, was available with the MVDs. “As per procurement review, Artificial Insemination (AI) kits were purchased but not made available or utilised in any of the visited MVDs.”

DGM&E has also made observations on the project and issued an evaluation report which says, “Most of the procurement of vehicles, veterinary equipment, hardware, store items and furniture and fixture was conducted from January 2017 to May 2017 while during field visits, veterinary officers appointed on MVDs reported that the dispensaries had been handed to them between May 2017 and July 2017.

“However, the activities of the project were triggered at the end of the project period, indicating lack of proper implementation and planning.”

The report further says, “As per PC-I, provision of contingent paid staff was made and documentary data evidence revealed that the department has hired 100 contingent paid staff members (88 drivers, eight cattle attendants and three attendants). The department needs to justify the hiring of 88 drivers when 72 vehicles were procured.”

“Similarly, the MIS data of livestock farmer was not maintained properly and certain ambiguities were found. The same farmer’s name was entered five to ten times against the services provided to him which simply increase the count of beneficiaries.”

DGM&E recommended the competent authorities to transfer the project from development to non-development side initially for a period of three years whereas a detailed impact assessment study may be conducted afterward for the permanent transfer of the project to non-development side.

“The project should improve the service delivery mechanism in terms of frequency of MVDs visits, the satisfaction of farmer over the services of the mobile dispensaries, organisation of farmers’ meeting and distribution of learning material regarding best practices of livestock/cattle farming. The complete disease diagnostic and breeding facilities should be provided to the farmers so that the latest technologies can be integrated into the project facilities. Tracker devices should be installed in all vehicles to gauge the actual movement of the vehicles further; the tracker control should operate from DG (Ext.) office, PL&DD to maintain transparency,” the report said.

PL&DD Communication Director Dr Asif Rafiq while talking to Pakistan Today said they would analyse the observations and recommendations by DGM&E and then take necessary decisions in this regard.

“Our teams are working dedicatedly on different projects,” he said.