Price Volatility and Food Security have been great issues in the Pakistan. Social Protection for Food Security & Nutrition is an appropriate approach to handle this issue. A National Consultancy was made for developing Balochistan Livestock Breeding Policy 2022 as an attempt to transform the livestock resourcebase in to a tool for generating decent employment for the educated and skilled youth and hygienic/Halal food for the local and internatinoal market.
Balochistan is Pakistan's southwestern province, the largest in area but the smallest in population, with Quetta as its capital and most populous city. The total area of the province is 34 million ha, of which only 4% is cultivated, and 60% of the cultivated area is rainfed. The rangelands make up about 93 percent of the province. The ranges in Balochistan have been a source of livestock forages, wildlife habitat, medicinal plants, water storage, and distribution. These ranges also provide energy, minerals, fuel wood, recreational facilities, and a natural landscape. Balochistan is rich in natural resources and provides some of the best assets for developmental interventions, as reported by the World Bank in 2008. The vast rangelands support the farming of goats, sheep, buffaloes, cattle, camels, and other livestock. Its southern border makes up about two-thirds of Pakistan’s coastline, giving access to a large pool of fishery resources. This frontier province provides a trade opportunity with the neighbouring countries, resulting in historical and cultural linkages. The province has been supplying cheap natural gas to the rest of the country, supporting industrialization.
Although it has a huge natural resource base, the economy of Balochistan has not done well. The livestock population of the province contributes 52.0%, 41.0%, 22.0%, 12.7%, 11.0%, and 2.6% of Pakistan’s sheep, camels, goats, pack animals, cattle, and buffaloes, respectively. These animals provide a source of employment to about 66% of households in the province in the arid regions, which are unsuitable for cultivating crops. The rising living standards of the people and the rapid urbanisation of the province have resulted in increasing demands for milk and meat products. LDD has been providing services to the farmers, and BRSP has been supporting livestock farmers through a network in 25 districts. However, the commercial aspect of this resource-base is still unexplored, and the poverty level in the province is high.
This Consultant was enthusiastic about providing services for the transformation of the livestock sector from farming into an entrepreneurship base to generate decent employment and exportable foods and biotech products across the livestock breeding value chain (LBVC) under the Balochistan Livestock Breeding Policy 2022 and Action Plan. Presently, LBVC is provided services officially and mainly by the Director General Animal Health with a handsome current budget of Rs. 4.53 billion and a development budget of Rs. 1.63 billion. Looking at the SNE for 2022, it appears that the farmers are served by the regular staff stationed at civil veterinary hospitals and dispensaries, livestock farms, SPUs, dairy and poultry farms, etc. The department is protecting animal health and productivity to some extent, while the entrepreneurial aspect is totally lacking.
Management of the LBVC by the Directorate General Animal Health may be supplemented with inputs from Public Service Organizations (PSOs) through an autonomous Livestock Technopark Quetta (LTQ), an Academia-Industry-Government Nexus, a Triple Helix Model of Good Governance with legislative, regulatory, financial, and administrative powers, to boost entrepreneurship development, regulating and facilitating all the Functional Units at PSOs. An endowment fund (EF) may replace the repeated funding to remove the financial burden on the government treasury. Nine PSOs would work in coordination to achieve the common goal of transforming the provincial livestock resources into prosperity for the people. These resources would be utilised for generating decent employment and quality products that are certified, traceable, and hygienic. Halal foods and biotech products for local and export markets would be produced through an interconnected network of entrepreneurial models covering livestock and poultry farming, dairy and meat factories, diagnostic, clinical, and consultancy centres, and marketing facilities.
Prof. Muhammad Subhan Qureshi