The government is supporting tetra-pack industry and wants to damage business of dairy farmers, said Dairy and Cattle Farmers Association Karachi chapter President Haji Salahudeen addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday.
He said the rate of fresh milk in market set by the government is Rs 80 per litre, whereas the rate of every litre of tetra milk is Rs 135, which is injustice. The government has not taken a signal step to solve the problems being faced by the livestock and dairy sector for decades, he regretted.
Millions of people are engaged in livestock and dairy businesses, which if developed on scientific lines, has a potential to earn a lot of foreign exchange for the country, he said, adding unfortunately, at present, the farmers are striving for their very survival.
He said that the government despite receiving huge funds from European countries for upgrading this sector has never paid any attention to improving the infrastructure of this industry and this was the very reason why the prices of milk and meat were rising.
There is no subsidy or government support. Apart from paying charges for labour and feed, whose prices are constantly increasing, dairy farmers buy water and pay for gas and electricity as well. They pay power bills on commercial rates, which are much higher as compared to the agriculture rates, he said.
Expressing dismay over the lack of research, he said many countries have improved milk production from a limited stock, but Pakistan, despite having a large livestock population and one of the best breeds in the world lags far behind in this respect and local dairy farmers still use centuries-old methods.
There are no modern laboratories and nor veterinarians attend duty in government hospitals. Farmers vaccinate and treat ailing animals from their own pocket, he said. He demanded that the government must take immediate steps to take the industry out of the crisis by providing farmers with land on easy terms and loans without interest.
The government must invest in the much-neglected livestock sector and ensure provision of basic utilities and cattle feed at the minimum possible rates if it is really sincere about making milk and meat available to the common man at low rates, he said.
Source: Pakistan Press International
Incoming search terms:
- ch arshad jatt manister of livestock and dairy dewelpment punjab