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First-ever livestock policy to increase halal meat exports

By Fatima Javed | Gwadar Pro Mar 1, 2022

Government of Pakistan has drafted its first-ever policy for the development of livestock industry in the country. The policy plans to increase halal meat exports.

Pakistan annually exports halal meat and products worth more than Rs. 53 billion. The policy aims to increase the exports of halal meat, milk, butter, and other products.

According to the proposed draft policy, Pakistan has the potential to become a world leader in the livestock sector in the next ten years.

Food security, poverty reduction, and increase in national income are also among the key targets of the policy. The share of agriculture in the country is 60.7 percent, and economic growth is 11.6 percent, but the livestock sector has been inconsistent in the past.

However, the incumbent government drafted the first livestock policy for food security, poverty reduction, and increase in national income, intending to double digit growth in the livestock sector by 2025 with the help of the private sector.

According to the policy document, the employment of more than 8 million farmers in Pakistan is related to livestock, and the annual growth of this sector is only 4 percent.

In addition, modern organic livestock farming is planned to boost the number of farm animals, which currently lie at 120 million, and legislation will also be enacted to establish Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health Authority.

Emphasis has been placed on allocating more funds for research on food safety, and modern laboratory systems.

The policy has also proposed the establishment of model meat production farms. It is proposed to give priority to trade in live animals and livestock products.

Commerce Adviser, Abdul Razzaq Dawood, said that after reviewing the proposed policy, an implementation strategy will be prepared.

Being a country that has a largely rural and agriculture-based industry, animal husbandry plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan and is a major source of livelihood for many farmers.

It is estimated that there are between 30 and 35 million people in Pakistan's current labor force who are engaged in live stocks. While the agricultural practice is prevalent throughout the entire country, it is more common in the fertile provinces of Punjab and Sindh, which are traditionally the main areas of agriculture and farming activity.

In 2020, the livestock industry contributed 60.6 % to overall agriculture and 11.7 % to the GDP.

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