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Saturday May 18, 2024

Saudi investment to help boost Pak livestock exports

However, the livestock sector has been operating informally and its full potential has not been utilized

By Shehbaz Ahmed
April 22, 2024
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia flags are seen in this photo. — AFP/File
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia flags are seen in this photo. — AFP/File 

FAISALABAD: The recent warmth in Pakistan-Saudi relations could prove beneficial in addressing Pakistan’s economic challenges.

The government has invited Saudi investment in various sectors and the livestock sector can also be a significant area for Saudi investment to boost exports.

It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia imports around 20-30 million animals annually from countries like Australia, Somalia, and Yemen for sacrifice during Haj. If Pakistan exports these animals, it could earn a minimum of Rs100 billion annually.

Additionally, Pakistan can also earn a significant amount from halal meat exports to Saudi Arabia.

To achieve this, the government can collaborate with Saudi investors to provide interest-free loans to farmers, ensuring production of high-quality animals for sacrifice under the supervision of Livestock Department.

This would not only create employment opportunities in rural areas but also help address the country’s economic challenges.

It’s important to note that the livestock sector already contributes around 62% to Pakistan’s agricultural GDP and 14% to the national GDP, with over 8 million rural households relying on livestock for 35-40% of their income.

However, the livestock sector has been operating informally and its full potential has not been utilized.

To promote commercial farming and address the challenges in this sector, policymaking at the government level, as well as training for farmers and providing facilities for animal health and breeding, is essential.