‘Poultry sector can help meet nutrition needs of Pakistan’

September 17,2019

LAHORE: The population of developing countries faces problems of unbalanced diet and the poultry sector being part of the agriculture sector can play an important role in meeting their nutrition...

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LAHORE: The population of developing countries faces problems of unbalanced diet and the poultry sector being part of the agriculture sector can play an important role in meeting their nutrition needs.

These views were expressed by speakers at a special seminar on ‘the challenge of nutrition and health for Pakistan’s future’, jointly organised by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group) and Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA). Chief guests on the occasion included Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, Federal Minister for Food Security and National Research, Sardar Hasnain Bahadar Dreshak, provincial Minister for Livestock & Dairy Development.

The speakers included Prof Dr Ashraf Nizami, President Pakistan Medical Association, Dr. Muhammad Nasir Chairman Sun Business Network Pakistan (SBN), Prof Talat Naseer Pasha, Vice Chancellor University of Veterinary & Animal Health Sciences (UVAS), Dr. Paul D Ebner, Professor at Purdue University, USA, Dr Abdul Kareem Bhatti, Dr Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, Khalil A Sattar, Ch. Nusrat Tahir, Khalid Saleem Malik, Maj R Syed Javaid Hussain Bukhari and Wasif Nagi, Senior Editor Health, Education, Current Affairs and Chairman MKRMS (Jang Group).

Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, Federal Minister for Food Security, said priority was not given to the agriculture sector by the successive governments in the past. However, the present government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is striving hard for the prosperity of the masses. We are trying our best to control price hike, he said and expressed concern over yearly import of four billion dollars worth of edible oil saying previous government had done nothing for self-sufficiency in cooking oil production.

He was of the view that Pakistan cannot develop unless peasants and farmers are not made prosperous. The vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan is to end poverty from the country. The poultry industry is playing a crucial role in meeting protein needs of the country, he said and acknowledged the contribution of the sector in food security and uplift of the national economy.

Sardar Hasnain Bahadar Dreshak, provincial Minister for Livestock, said that livestock, dairy and poultry sectors were major contributors to the agriculture field for the national development. He added that media played an important role in creating awareness about various issues relating to the food sector. He said we face various challenges in the livestock and dairy sector and there is a need to take further initiatives in the regard.

Prof Dr Ashraf Nizami said that Pakistan faced various challenges for meeting nutrition needs of the masses, especially for children and women. He stressed the need to include eggs, milk and meat in daily intake for reducing deficiency of protein and other important nutrients. Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that many studies proved effectiveness of poultry and dairy products for making human health better. He also underlined the need to increase use of the products in order to avoid health issues relating to malnutrition.

Wasif Nagi observed that various sections of society braved lack of nutritious food in the country. There is a need to create awareness on this important issue through concerted efforts. Ch. Nusrat Tahir said the poultry industry was playing a crucial role in ensuring food security in the country. He also emphasized that use of poultry products should be further promoted in order to end the problem of stunted growth in growing children. Dr Mustafa Kamal said that there was a dire need to overcome deficiency of animal protein in the country. Use of chicken and eggs can be fruitful for achieving the goal, he added.

Dr Abdul Kareem said that use of relatively cheap poultry products would reach maximum level by 2030 among all other sources of protein. Keeping in view this trend, he said, Pakistan still lacks in per capital consumption of poultry products. He stressed withdrawing import duty on certain items with a view to reducing the cost of production of poultry products. Mujeebur Rehman Shami said that practical steps were needed for meeting burgeoning food demand of the growing population. In this regard, he maintained, poultry can play a viral role. Dr Muhammad Nasir noted that there had been no significant increase in nutrition intake between 2011 and 2018. He highlighted the urgent need to proactively increase use of poultry and other food products in order to meet nutrition needs of the population. He said balanced diet was indispensable for a healthy nation. Dr Paul said that he was working with local academia for undertaking research on various aspects of poultry sector. He stressed that more efforts should be made for overcoming food deficiency in the country. The poultry sector offers tremendous opportunities, he said. Khalid Saleem Malik thanked the participants for attending the function.


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