FAO in Pakistan

Consultation workshop held on draft Livestock Action Plan for Sindh to modernize livestock sector


Hyderabad 12/02/2021: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department jointly held a public  consultation workshop to validate a proposed Livestock Action Plan for Sindh province, under the Sindh Agriculture Policy 2018-30. The Secretary, Livestock and Fisheries, Director General Livestock, Director General Sindh Animal Health Institute, and Director General Livestock Extension were among those leading the discussions aimed at prioritizing public spending on the sector.
FAO Pakistan, through the European Union-assisted Food Security and Nutrition Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) programme, is seeking to deepen the dialogue between different sectors with a stake in the food system. The FIRST policy assistance service is supporting evidence-based decision-making and analysis of proposed policy frameworks and action plans. In Sindh, FAO has helped build capacity of the government officials of the Livestock & Fisheries Department over 2019-2021 in formulating action plans for both the livestock and fisheries sectors, helping make the case for more targeted investment to meet modern requirements for quality, affordable food and stronger economic growth in the province, based on inclusive, climate-resilient production systems.

FAO Policy Officer, Ms. Genevieve Hussain, said that in Pakistan, the livestock sector is particularly important from a nutritional perspective. Fresh milk, meat and eggs are a traditional part of the diets of most communities in Sindh, but are often unaffordable to the poor, or not prioritized in household budgets. A ready supply of quality animal protein can make balanced eating habits possible, which helps provide the population with sufficient vitamins and minerals for better health, she informed.
Secretary Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar, said that the Government of Sindh is very keen, through the Sindh Agriculture Policy, to create an efficient, prosperous and resilient food production sector that can provide good incomes and decent employment for those involved in livestock and allied sectors. For effective implementation of a good Livestock Action Plan, both public and privately sourced investments will be critical to enable the sector to meet the demand for its products at national as well as international level, he added.
The draft Livestock Action Plan was discussed among the participants of the workshop and a session of group work was also organized to take views from the participants, who included representatives from the research, commercial and non-profit sectors. As a second step, the Action Plan will be presented before Sindh Agriculture Policy Implementation Commission (SAPIC) for approval later in 2021.
FAO Livestock Policy Specialist, Mr Khawar Parvez Awan, while presenting the proposed Livestock Action Plan, said research and innovation are the key to transform the livestock sector and realise its potential in Pakistan. Breed improvements and a preventative approach to animal health and disease management will both bring profitability gains, he said.  
Meanwhile, FAO has also collaborated with the Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department to launch a new vaccination campaign in district Sanghar. A total of 50,000 cattle will be vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease, while 35,000 goats and sheep will receive medicine to prevent intestinal worms. The campaign was inaugurated by Deputy Director Livestock, Sanghar, Dr Easar Das. Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Director said, “We are greatly appreciative of the coordination and technical assistance of FAO to deliver this important preventative animal health care initiative”.