Govt seeks to tap meat export market in Balochistan

Livestock expo planned in first week of October

Mohammad Zafar September 22, 2019

QUETTA: The sprawling landmass of Balochistan, with its pasture and verdant patches, are suitable for the development of the livestock sector and allow the province to benefit from the lucrative meat export industry, particularly with the streamlining of the process of halal certification.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal shared these views while chairing a meeting to review the progress on province’s first-ever livestock exhibition which is scheduled to be held in the first week of October.

“The halal meat industry is worth $80 billion globally and Balochistan has the potential to make massive inroads in the international market through export of organic meat,” Kamal added.

Minister for Livestock Mitha Khan Kakar, Balochistan Chief Secretary Captain (retd) Fazeel Asghar, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Ejaz Raisani, Livestock Secretary Dostain Jamaldini and government officials were present in the meeting.

“Balochistan is blessed with clean drinking water and healthy fodder for cattle. Developing the sector will allow us to produce organic meat, which could provide a much needed boost to the province’s economy,” he said.

He also pointed out that the meat expo would be the ideal platform to attract local and foreign investors to the provincial livestock sector. It was unanimously decided in the meeting that the expo would be held over three days in the first week of October. He instructed authorities to ensure the necessary arrangements are made for the exhibition, including publicity through print and electronic media.

Embracing technology

The provincial chief executive stressed the need of digitalisation during a visit to the archeology department of the University of Balochistan (UoB) the other day.

He was accompanied by provincial minister Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hassani, the provincial chief secretary and the secretary for higher education, Abdul Saboor Kakar.

During the visit, UoB Vice-Chancellor Dr Javed Iqbal gave them a comprehensive briefing regarding the department and about those enrolled to study archaeology.

“Balochistan is a province rich in history and replete with heritage sites. The archaeology department should conduct extensive research on sites like Mehrgarh and Gandhara, which were cradles of civilization in antiquity,” Kamal said.

He stressed the need to use modern digitalisation techniques to enhance the effectiveness of their work. “The use of smart technology could also improve governance of infrastructure projects like the Quetta Smart City project,” he added.

Technical education

Kamal also visited polytechnic institutes on the same day, where he underscored the importance of technical education in order to build human resources and contribute to the provincial industry.

“By developing polytechnic education, we could provide educated manpower to our commerce industry. This is how polytechnic institutes can make a pivotal contribution to the development of civil engineering in Balochistan,” the chief minister said while meeting students.

He visited Electronics, Mining, B-Tech, Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering departments, and he was given a comprehensive briefing about the enrollment and curricula of each department.

Kamal directed the Higher Education Department Secretary Abdul Saboor Kakar to start an internship programme, where students work on mega projects so that they may get hands-on experience to meet the demands of the various fields.

The CM also visited the polytechnic institute for girls, where he was briefed about the giant strides the institute has made in contributing skilled employees to the burgeoning sector.

“Fortunately, our girls are keen on getting technical education which is reflected in the enrollment numbers of this institute. I am confident they will prove their mettle,” he added.

“Government of Balochistan will make sure of the availability of resources and support for talented students of polytechnic institutes as they are an asset to the province,” he concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2019.


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