The Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences Agricultural University Peshawar (AUP) signed an agreement to compete international project assisted by a US University, meant for improvement of livestock, dairy products and enhancement of food quality in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Besides, the Agriculture University Faisalabad and Veterinary Sciences University, Lahore also competing for such grants. The three-year project, worth of 582,346 dollars, is titled “Development of Enterprising Capacity of Small Ruminants and Poultry Production system.”
The project assisted by Washington University, would mainly focus on livelihood improvement and production of clean food in KP, said Dr M Subhan Quershi, Dean Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, KP Agriculture University, Peshawar. He informed that the project would be focused on analysing the current status of health, productivity, nutrition, fertility and management aspects of the local farming.
He further added that inefficient practices would be documented by working out their economic impacts. Importantly, he said the improved practices based upon studies to be conducted under the project and elsewhere, would be introduced into the local production system.
Dr Quershi informed that about 14.84 million sheep and goats worth of Rs 160 billion were available in KP in addition to 27 percent share in the national poultry sector. “A total investment of Rs 200 billion in the poultry sector, while 834 billion kg meat was produced,” he added.
The Faculty Dean said the sector had greatly supported the agro-based economy of the province and presented scope for enhancement through income generation, self employment and production of certified high quality food items. However, he said there was a need to take more steps to achieve goals through technical and marketing interventions to boost up the per unit productivity and introduce quality control system.
Explaining other salient features of the project, he said the research studies would be focused on management interventions for enhancing ovulation rates, conception/birth rates, growth rates, feed conversion efficiency and health status with special focus on debilitating, parasitic, infectious and zoonotic diseases of small ruminants. The available local plants in the project areas would be evaluated for toxic, medicinal and nutritional properties, he added.
Dr Quershi said the local breeds would be evaluated as candidates for business entrepreneurs. The quality control system would be established for the feed, biologics and medicine as recommended under local and inter-national laws under the project.
He said analytical methods would be developed to predict the safety and quality of food products. The business incubation concept of HEC, he said, would be introduced into the enterprises developed under the project for employment generation, he informed. Dr Quershi said the project would also provide opportunity to university experts for visiting US, sharing experiences about the ruminant in Washington and Idaho.