Punjab govt's initiative to support livestock sector hailed

April 18, 2024

Muhammad Saleem

The Punjab government has decided to provide motorcycles to veterinary doctors and launch mobile dispensaries to increase the livestock sector productivity. Talking to WealthPK, Dr Ahmed, a faculty member at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, lauded the initiative and said it would have a positive impact on the livestock sector, farming communities and animal welfare, provided its continuity was ensured. He said scores of initiatives were launched in the past, but they were left halfway due to official apathy. He said the project could be transformative as the motorcycles would allow veterinarians to approach rural farmers swiftly. "Timely treatment of ailing animals will improve their health and productivity." "Like humans, animals also need immediate treatment against any disease and provision of bikes and mobile dispensaries would ensure their timely care."

Rasheed Ahmed, a farmer, lauded the initiative and said farmers faced issues in timely accessing veterinary services for treatment of their diseased animals. "Having veterinarians' presence at farmers' doorstep will surely save the lives of their precious animals and also enhance productivity and earnings of farmers," he added. Ahmed said timely treatment of animals was crucial, claiming the majority of livestock farmers were illiterate and unable to ensure proper treatment of their ailing animals. "Frequent visits of veterinarians to farmers will enable the latter to keep their animals healthy through routine check-ups," he said. "The livestock sector is the primary source of income for thousands of farmers, and healthy animals will surely lead them to prosperity. Vaccination of animals and education of farmers is mandatory for sustainable development of the livestock sector," he suggested. Dr Saif, a faculty member of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, said the project would strengthen the veterinary sector.

He said farmers in remote areas faced difficulties transporting their diseased animals to treatment facilities in urban areas. "Transportation expense strains the farmers' pockets. It also delays the ailing animals' treatment." He said it was ironic that such facilities were scarce in Pakistan. Ahmed, the farmer, urged the government to ensure that vans and bikes provided to the veterinarians are equipped with all required facilities and medicines. Rizwan Ahmed, a livestock farmer, said the government should establish veterinary centres at the village level. He said the existing infrastructure in villages could be used to set up new veterinary facilities. "The government should provide electric bikes to the vets." He said the government should launch initiatives to attract youth to farming. Besides, he said the government must ensure specialised veterinary care near villages as this task cannot be efficiently achieved through mobile dispensaries or referral systems.

Credit: INP-WealthPk