Ostrich farming: Big birds may help farmers earn bigger returns

Livestock official says govt gave subsidy on 2,500 birds earlier

APP February 05, 2018

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.

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 the APP.

Initially, the subsidy was given on 2,500 birds, he said. He added 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.

He said that its skin was considered as the second expensive skin after skin of crocodile in the international market. There was high demand for ostrich skin across the world, he said. He added that the average price of one shoe, made of the skin of ostrich was $250.

He said that an ostrich skin was soft, flexible and durable. According to an estimate, one mature ostrich contributes 12 to 14 square feet of skin.

Although, ostrich meat offers low fats, oil extracted from fats, was one of expensive oil used to abolish dryness of human skin and healing of skin cuts, he said. Ostrich feathers also offer handsome returns as these were used for decoration, he pointed out.

The official said that every species had different colours of the neck and they were recognised from colours of their neck. Ostrich have red, blue, black and pink necks, however, ostrich of black neck was famous in the world, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2018.