To increase livestock productivity, local universities in collaboration with leading American varsities have undertaken joint research projects in the country.
Currently, livestock contributes to 11 per cent of the gross domestic product and some 30 to 35 million rural people depend directly or indirectly on livestock for their livelihood, said a press release.
Under the “Pakistan -United States Science and Technology Cooperation Programme” several research projects have been initiated between the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Pakistan and the US Department of Agriculture to discover genetic variation to enhance dairy production.
According to the press release, another project “building molecular biology capacity for preventing tick-transmitted diseases in Pakistan” has been initiated between the Sindh Agriculture University and the University of Rhode Island, USA, with focus on tick-borne diseases and to help prevent a serious health risk to a large section of the rural populace.
Another project between the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Pakistan and the Michigan State University, USA has been started to increase productivity of dairy animals and constant milk supply throughout the year.
In addition, a number of projects aiming at encouraging indigenous research at Pakistani universities on animal health and productivity issues have been financed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under its “National Research Programme for Universities”.
HEC Chairperson Javaid Laghari hoped that effective utilisation of learned advanced techniques will ultimately uplift the socioeconomic status of farmers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.