By Hassan Siddique
LAHORE: As the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has started gaining the pace. Chinese investments and collaborations in Pakistani livestock sector have started pouring in. Recently, a range of livestock investments and agreements have been made between Pakistani and Chinese officials which shows China’s keen interest in investing in the livestock sector.
Chief Executive Royal Group China Kith Meng announced the establishment of six labs in various cities across Pakistan for the production of buffalo embryos through a high-quality genetic In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process, as well as a Semen Production Unit (SPU) for buffalo where they will care for and manage the breeding of bulls. The Royal Group would also build a large, FMD-free buffalo farm, from which they would generate high-quality buffalo milk, which would subsequently be processed into powdered milk and mozzarella cheese. While talking to Gwadar Pro, General Secretary of Pakistan-China joint chamber of commerce and industry Muhammad Salahudin Hanif insisted to form backward linkages in livestock to ensure corporate standard animal farming in Pakistan. He said Chinese businessmen has told him that Pakistani meat is amongst the best in the world, as far as taste is concerned. Mr. Salahudin was of the view that animal farming under direct Chinese monitoring in Pakistan is a way forward to cash the extraordinary Chinese meat demand. He also said that we already has a lot of demand for Pakistani meat from Chinese businessmen, as we are not lacking in the forward linkages, the only issue is back linkages which can be achieved by ensuring strict standardized protocols of animal farming and meat production.
According to China Animal Agriculture Association Deputy Secretary General Li Jinhui China is the leading importer of beef and a major importer of mutton and chicken, this presents Pakistan with huge prospects to boost its beef and mutton exports. Whereas few months ago, Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam said in a meeting with Chinese officials that Pakistan needs to modernise its livestock and fishery industries by upgrading infrastructure and building a substantial supply chain through joint ventures with China, technology transfer, and talent cultivation.
The recent inclusion of the Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) project in the CPEC will not only enhance industrial and developmental cooperation between Pakistan and China but it will also give new life to the fisheries sector of the country. This mega project is expected to bring investment of 3.5 billion U.S. dollars with a state-of-the-art fishing port. It will also house world-class fisheries export processing zone to boost the country’s trade potential.
Waseem Abbas, who is a Product Manager of the Feed Additives Section of Animal Nutrition at Jawad Impex International Lahore, and Ph.D. Faculty of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing, said that Pakistan and China have collaborated on feed research, which will help Pakistan’s livestock sector grow at a rapid pace. He also said that, at least 60% of feed additives in Pakistan are imported from China, while hoping that Pakistan’s self-reliance in animal feed with the help of China will boost in near future.
The livestock sector of Pakistan has emerged as agriculture’s largest sub-sector, accounting for 58.3 percent of total value addition. Population expansion, urbanisation, rising per capita income, shifting consumer preferences, and more export possibilities are all driving up demand for cattle products. Similarly, livestock is at the centre of the rural socio-economic system, and it is raised by approximately eight million families, including over one million landless farmers, and it has the potential to reduce rural poverty. With the help of Chinese experience, investment and technology transfer, Pakistan can do wonders in livestock in the coming years.
Hassan Siddique is pursuing his PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Punjab. He has also authored numerous publications on media in reputed journals. Mr. Hassan also possesses vast experience in public and private media projects. He has been overlooking the content of various current affair shows of different News Channels and has also demonstrated his prowess in the Public Relations of a government organisation.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org