KARACHI: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Monday stressed the need for public-private sectors to join hands in order to shape the meat industry of the country.
Speaking at a seminar, on the use of innovative technologies for promoting meat exports, and celebrating the dispatch of the first consignment of processed meat to Malaysia, he lauded the role of Agricultural Market Development (AMD) Project of USAID for helping to promote the livestock industry.
He congratulated the Tata Group and other meat exporters for introducing new ventures and opening new international markets for export of Pakistani meat.
Bosan said that livestock makes up 56% of the agriculture sector and is the mainstay of farming communities. The livestock wealth of Pakistan is over 175 million livestock heads. This sector meets the domestic demand of milk, meat and eggs and also provides net source of foreign earnings.
He said that the production of meat is an integral part of the livestock sector value chain for serving both domestic and foreign market needs thus providing precious foreign exchange.
However, the meat exports are confined to a few conventional and low end markets thus capturing less than 5% share of the international halal meat market, he added.
Pakistan’s meat export to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, GCC and Afghanistan during the year 2015-16 surpassed the $300 million mark, said the federal minister.
This sector has much more potential and can fetch a good share from the international meat market. However the industry is facing challenges of quality, competitiveness and standards in local as well as international markets, he added.
Citing lack of basic infrastructure, scientific, technical, Research and Development support to meat industry as the reasons for the slow progress, Bosan said that the sector did not receive as much attention as the poultry and dairy sectors.
Talking about USAID-AMD, the minister said that specifically for the livestock sector the project is providing grant and technical assistance to feedlots, abattoirs, assembly farms for small ruminants, cold chains and export facilities as well as facilitating access to high potential markets for meat and meat by-products.
On this occasion PARC Member (Animal Sciences) Dr Shahid Rafique, former DG of Department of Plant Protection Dr Mubarik Ahmad, the Chief of Party AMD Project and other speakers also addressed the seminar.
The speakers highlighted various innovative technologies to promote halal meat export, constraints and solution for export, regulatory requirements and meat value chain in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2016.
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