A Beacon of Hope for the young generation across Food Value Chain

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, although rich in natural resources, face issues like unemployment, terrorism and lack of access to quality foods. The cover picture of this Action Plan reflects the DSP Good Governance Model for livestock technoparks, founded on the six SDGs; initiated through on-campus development of entrepreneurship models; supported by extension and research wings and industry/civil society for building   the entrepreneurship network; leading to Halal food export.

Mr Kamran Khan, an animal husbandry graduate and his wife a medical graduate, may be presented as a successful entrepreneurship model. They have adopted their professional knowledge as a source of livelihood for his family. They are a source of relief for the farming community, a Beacon of Hope for the young generation and a sign of relief for the quality conscious food consumers in the city.

Presently the livestock and poultry farmers face difficulty in connecting with service providers, especially the fair marketing dealers. Health issues are usually chronic and the low quality of medicine, under-dosing of antibiotics, therapeutic approach of the veterinary practitioner instead of preventive, poor housing/ventilation and lack of hygienic practices affect the farm profit, adversely. The dairy, fattening, poultry and fish farmers are usually afraid of animal health issues. Very few veterinary practitioners find popularity among the farmers’ community, based on their performance and contribution in combating animal health issues and raising farm profitability and sustainability. The farmers usually consult veterinary practitioners in case of severe disease outbreaks and mortality of animals. This is called fire brigade treatment and is a source of income for the veterinary practitioners and input suppliers. The farmers fail to realize the hidden losses at their farms due to under and overfeeding, toxic feeds, parasitic infections, infertility and other issues of economic importance.

The proposed Livestock Technopark Peshawar will engage and train the DVM unemployed graduates as well as in service veterinarians to visit the registered farmers on monthly basis for observing the animals’ health and productivity cases with special emphasis on the hidden losses due to bad hygiene, parasitic infestation or toxic feeds. The veterinary practitioner will act as animal healers, public health protectors as well as economy boosters. All the three aspects would help the farmers to get maximum benefits out of minimum investment, producing milk, meat and eggs with the qualities of accepted standards, through our registered labs. Engineering, medical, business and other graduates in natural and social sciences would be motivated to establish services in their respective areas.

LDD Ext Department would be engaged in developing special training modules for entrepreneurship development. They will host the Policy Implementation Cell and collaborate with LTP and its regional bodies. The hospitals would be utilized for shifting their therapeutic approach in disease control towards preventive and business advisory one. The outdoor cases would be encouraged and institutional based practice would be allowed on the analogy of medical doctors provided under Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015. The veterinary doctor would utilize his skills as animal healer, public health protector and economy booster. The Policy Implementation Cell would help in farming innovation and commercialization, providing an enabling environment for entrepreneurship development. New breeding innervations would be developed and introduced for enhancing growth rate, fertility and fecundity of animals.

LDD Res would work on applied research to control diseases, vaccine improvement and commercial production and advanced research in collaboration with the universities. They would help in Biorisk management research and development in collaboration with Khyber Medical University and University of Agriculture Peshawar. They will host Livestock Technopark Peshawar and LBSCs at Peshawar Kohat and Abbottabad and collaborate with LBSCs at other locations.

Directorate General would appoint a Focal Point Livestock Technopark Peshawar to support improvement in livestock markets and slaughter houses and in implementation of the joint ventures with Munir and Co Slaughter House, Ring Road Peshawar. Directorate General Fisheries would host LBSC Fisheries and would implement the fisheries components of the functions of Livestock Technopark Peshawar.

UAP would utilize the human resource base available in the form of highly qualified faculty members and enthusiastic postgraduate students for responding to the emerging industrial issues and developing entrepreneurship models. The Livestock Business Support Center at UAP would be utilized extensively through international linkages, especially under an MoU with the Konya Technopark, Turkey and other organizations developed under Dairy Science Park.

The university would contribute as follows: i) Swat University would host the LBSC Swat; ii) AWKUM will host LBSC Mardan; iii) WUM will host Dairy and Meat Technology Center; iv) Gomal University will host Gomal Technopark; v) Khyber Medical University will host BRM Center; vi) University of Agriculture Peshawar will host LBSC UAP and; vii) SBBU Sheringal will host meat technology center.

Livestock and poultry farmers are provided feeds, semen, medicine and other farm inputs by commercial companies. Most of the times these inputs are not quality tested, nor cost-effective. The feed companies supply feeds and their salesmen convince the illiterate farmers to feed the animals more and more. And as mentioned already in this document, this leads to excess intake of proteins, leading to ammonia and urea toxicity and losses in milk productivity, fertility and profitability of the farms.

The Board will test the farm inputs in various partner laboratories and the per unit productivity cost would be determined. Cost effective farm inputs would be made available at the Livestock Business Support Centers and other associated facilities. Feeds would be tested for nutrients availability and toxins presence through laboratory analysis and through growth, fertility and productivity trials, Semen would be tested for fertility and genetic potential through field trials at registered and experimental farms, engaging postgraduate students.

Marketing linkages are most of the times hostile to the farmers, be it livestock or poultry farmers. Animals are purchased from contractors or feed/milk dealers on loans to be paid in installments. The mark up rate usually goes beyond 100% per annum. And the lenders sometime take back animals or even families of the farmers, if he is unable to pay back the installments. In case of peri urban buffaloes dairy farming, the freshly parturited buffalo is purchased at about Rs.200,000 and after getting milk for six months, the animals are sold back at Rs.70,000. Weekly cattle markets are held at various popular locations of public gatherings. The LTP would devise a marketing mechanism for keeping dry animals at remote areas with little running cost, as salvage farming and newly pregnant animals would be kept at such stations for supply back to the peri urban dairy farms.

Peshawar Meat was established as an entrepreneurship model for providing Hygienic and Halal tested beef and mutton to Peshawar. It could not survive due to price capping form meat by government, lack of animals supplies to the factory and lack of sale points. The specially prepared beef through rearing calves, has to compete with culled old buffaloes at the end of lactation, or diseased and injured animals. The production cost of such animals is far lower while the production of prime beef would cost at least double this amount.  However, the prices of beef and mutton are fixed at flat rates, irrespective of qualitative grading. Such a practice discourages growth and survival of young entrepreneurs, struggling for finding a graceful living in the society, while the shops with unhygienic and low quality products goes on working in an uninterrupted manner.

Establishing a network of entrepreneurship would solve the issue. A farming entrepreneur would be producing cost effective quality products to the factories, he will get inputs from the quality tested, registered suppliers, registered vets, analytical labs and other service providers; and he will supply his products to the registered factories and products marketing dealers. There would be a win-win situation for everyone. New graduates would find it easy to enter the chain at any point of the entrepreneurship network. Buffaloes are brought to major cities of the province from Punjab and sent to slaughter house after getting milk for few months. It drains the genetic potential of buffaloes towards trash and puts financial burden on local farmers, purchasing a fresh buffalo on higher rates. Establishment of salvage farms for rearing and caring of dry animal in remote areas of the province would prevent the animals from slaughtering and maintain the genetic pool of best breeds of livestock population. Establishment of model dairy farms for the purpose of extension, research and business demonstration at regional level under partnership with the private sector, would popularize the innovative farming models in the province, for further replication. Establishment of modern slaughter houses with advance facilities through joint venture will ensure the production of quality meat to the consumers and to be used for research purposes targeted at meat industry expansion and provision of Halal Meat to the entire Muslim community.

Posted on 7 July, 2020 by: Prof M Subhan Qureshi, President Dairy Science Park, Peshawar, Pakistan/Ex-Dean FAHVS UAP/Ex-National Consultant FAO; Email: drmsqureshi@gmail.com; Tel/WhatsApp: +92 300 587 7933

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