Punjab set to add 60m kilograms beef, 30m litres of milk

By Mansoor Ahmad

LAHORE (May 13 2010): Punjab is set to add 60 million kilograms of beef, 30 million litres of milk and 7,600 heifers per annum through the livestock farms being established on 50,000 acres of land in Cholistan, a senior official said on Wednesday.

“The possession of farmland, comprising 50,000 acres would have 100 livestock farms of 500 acres each in the sweet water zone and would be handed over to investors in July,” Javed Aslam, Chairman, P&D, told The News.

“With the allocation of this land, to be leased for 50 years, Pakistan would enter into corporate livestock farming in a big way,” he said.

It is expected that over Rs6.7 billion would be invested in the livestock farming in Cholistan as each investor is expected to invest Rs67.75 million per farm, according to the feasibility report prepared by experts.

Cholistan is one of the most suitable regions in the country for livestock production, Aslam said, adding that the vast desert region has a population of only 0.155 million, while its total livestock number over 1.35 million.

“The ratio of over nine livestock per person is astonishing,” he said.

Sattar Khalil, Chairman, Punjab Chief Minister’s Task Force on Meat Development said that the corporate livestock farming would go a long way in addressing the animal protein shortage in the country.

“The recommended animal protein intake per person per day is 27 grams and it is only 17 grams in Pakistan,” he said, and stressed the need to increase meat production for better nutrition.

Moreover, Khalil said that livestock farms established on global standards would attract huge halal market of around $2 trillion.

Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister on Special Initiatives Haroon Khwaja said that the provincial government has provided best possible incentives, including getting waiver from the income tax from the federal government to the investors in Cholistan.

“The investors, however, would have to comply with the parameters,” he said.

The farmers are allowed to grow fodder, but through pressure irrigation only. Flood irrigation, he said, has been prohibited. The minimum investment of Rs100,000 per acre is compulsory for the investor, he said, adding that 40 per cent of the total projected cost of the livestock project has to be invested during the first two years, 35 per cent during the third year and the remaining 15 per cent in the fourth year.

Failure to comply with any of these conditions could result in cancellation of lease without compensation, said Khalil.

The P&D chairman said that the investors’ response is encouraging. Each 500 acres farm would have 2,400 cows that would provide 0.6 million kilogram meat per annum at 250kg per animal. The farm would produce 0.3 million milk per annum and produce 76 heifers per year.

The investor is bound to have 25 per cent animal stock during the first two years, 25 per cent in third and the remaining 50 per cent during the fourth year, he added.



Courtesy The NEWS

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