LAHORE: In an effort to acquaint farmers with modern breeding, nutritional and other livestock-related services, the Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Board (PLDDB) will train another 300 men and women to get maximum results from livestock farming in rural areas.
A third batch of 300 men and women, being trained as ‘artificial insemination assistants’ and ‘women livestock extension workers’, will complete the training in November and serve livestock farmers by providing modern breeding and nutritional services.
This training programme is part of PLDDB’s ambitious project to train 2,000 young men as artificial insemination assistants and 2,000 women as livestock extension workers in order to provide latest inputs to the rural livestock farmers.
“We have already trained 260 boys and girls in two batches, who are serving the farmers in different districts, providing breeding and other related services. They have inseminated over 41,000 animals in their respective areas besides providing services for ear-tagging of animals,” said PLDDB General Manager (Field Services and Capacity Building) Dr Naveed Niazi while talking to select media here on Tuesday.
Niazi said the trained young men and women would be asked to extend the services under the umbrella of Livestock Resource Centres.
The requirement of artificial insemination technicians is estimated at 16,000 and the livestock department has employed around 3,900 technicians, which are working as self-employed. This shows a deficiency of 75%.
According to Niazi, it is not possible for the government to spare public money in the face of financial constraints to give employment on a permanent basis, so the only way out is to initiate schemes that facilitate the rural youth in earning their livelihood through self-employment. “This initiative of PLDDB will help save the provincial government Rs360 million annually.”
Underlining the need for women livestock extension workers, Niazi said livestock was mainly looked after by women in rural areas and heat detection and insemination at a proper time played a key role in efficient breeding of livestock.
Through this project, a middle or primary pass rural woman will be trained and equipped as focal person. Modular need-based training is being given to the women livestock workers in their localities.
These workers will provide support in the shape of a balanced ration, silage, hay and other livestock-related commodities. “Women will sell these commodities with the help of their skills and will earn a livelihood. Women workers are also being trained and facilitated in livestock data recording,” Niazi said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2012.
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