White revolution-ground realities

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White revolution-ground realities

Post by khandairies on Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:35 pm

White revolution-ground realities
..by Dr Alamdar Hussain Malik Secretary/Registrar Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council

In the global context, the performance of the Pakistan dairy sector appears impressive in terms of livestock population and total milk production but extremely poor in terms of productivity. The main reasons for low yields are inadequate availability of feeds and fodder in all seasons, non-availability of timely and good animal health care and breeding services, and lack of credit. Average annual milk production per animal is far below the world average. In 2003 Pakistan reached a milk production volume of 32 million tons, which amounts to 6% of the total world milk production, slightly higher than that of Germany. Over two third of the milk is produced by buffaloes. Pakistan has over three times as many ‘dairy animals’ as Germany, the vast majority (over 80 percent) being kept in herds of one to three animals. Comparison of average milk yields across various countries shows that one New Zealand dairy animal produces as much milk as three “dairy animals” in Pakistan; while one American cow produces as much as seven Pakistani cows. This dramatic difference in productivity is due to a variety of factors (genetics, management, technology, etc.) Fortunately, many of these factors are known, which means that there is great potential for the development of the local dairy sector. Only 40% of the milk surplus left from calves suckling, home consumption and indigenous home processing finds its way to the urban markets. Up to 20% milk is being wasted due to non-availability of proper cooling and storage mechanism. It is estimated that only about 3 percent of the milk in urban markets flows through formal processing channels white the remaining 97 percent is consumed as raw milk and informality marketed through local milkmen Gawalla whereas in Germany in 2005 96% of the total milk production was delivered to dairies and only 4% was used by producers. Milk production in Pakistan has increased by 17 percent from 1996 to 2002. This increase in production was mainly achieved by a growth in the number of dairy animals (15 percent for the same time period) with only slight gains in milk yield per animal with the use of artificial insemination techniques for breed improvement. Considering that most of the increase in inventory and milk production stems from small-scale farms, there should be a great opportunity to improve the livelihoods of these small-scale producers by providing enabling framework conditions. Successful white revolution requires the ability and capacity on the part of planners to make correct decision. To improve the management of resources and to achieve the desired level of white revolution, the dimensions such as formulating goals or objectives for development, recognizing the problem and opportunity for development, obtaining of information about possible threats by constraints, specifying and analysing the alternatives, successful implementation and evaluation of the programme are more important and plays the decisive role. Lack of relevant materials or information about the development potentials, opportunity for diversification, systems inability to understand the developmental process and possible alternatives for development severely constraints the decision making process. Therefore, the relevant information about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are associated with the white revolution in the country are of paramount importance. Agriculture, including the livestock, is Federal Government controlled, and Provincial governments are primarily responsible for development of the sector. Despite the importance of dairying in the Pakistan economy, especially for the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers and landless labourers, government policy toward this sector has suffered from the lack of a clear and strong thrust and focus. The concerned government agencies shall ensure a policy environment conducive for white revolution. Primary focus shall be the immediate enactment of pieces of legislation that shall provide for stable support to white revolution. Although the dairy sector occupies a pivotal position and its contribution to the agricultural sector is the highest, the plan investment made so far does not appear commensurate with its contribution and future potential for growth and development. However, in most cases the bulk of the budget allocation to this sector is eaten up by wages and other administrative costs of the government departments. A major allegation against the government is duplication of programme at high cost of service delivery. It is also alleged that at such exorbitant cost the similar white revolution programme at Federal and Provincial level put heavy burden on state exchequer. However, reaching scale and providing palpable indent in poverty through white revolution needs much more concerted efforts. Lack of proper monitoring, controlling and evaluation at various levels at timely intervals failed to review the progress and give appropriate feedback are some of the important contributing factors for the failure of white revolution in Pakistan. In choosing the project areas the implementing agencies need to ascertain the suitability of the areas on the basis of project objectives and resources. There is no information on the economic and social cost benefit of these projects. Consequences in terms of output, employment, consumption, savings, income distribution and other tangible benefits are to be estimated. The consequences brought out must be evaluated from all the dimensions, which is essential for making sound development policy. Management of human resources is felt very much important in any organization and it is a fundamental aspect in the dairy development programmes. The white revolution is achieved through new knowledge and technologies produced by people which is implemented through people and adopted by people. Therefore, one of the most important tasks of achieving excellence in our dairy development programme is to develop well trained personnel of the proper size, mix and educational level with adequate training to motivate them for an outstanding job performance. The White Revolution is anchored on four development strategies: (1) Increasing the volume of local milk production will hinge principally on the quantity and quality of dairy animals. This can be achieved through the development and implementation of a unified system of dairy herd upgrading, embryo transfer, gene pool, contract breeding and importation. (2) Processing is the central component of dairy development. The required post-production infrastructure must be in place, capable of absorbing the local production within a specified time frame. Public investment in providing milk plants, milk collection centres and packaging equipment will be needed. (3) Milk feeding shall be institutionalised with a corresponding funding support. This will result in significant gains in efforts aimed at raising the nutritional well being of millions of Pakistani children. It will also create a stable market for local milk producers. Corollary to this, commercial market niches for locally manufactured dairy products will be established. (4) Human Resource Development shall empower farmer-cooperators, local government units, non-government organizations, government personnel and other entities involved in propelling dairy industry development. A program of trainings, technology transfer and immersion, as well as local and foreign exchanges shall be integrated into all activities of the Program. If we critically examine the programme evolution aspects of the white revolution in the country, it is evident that the objectives and strategies followed time to time has suffered with major weaknesses and inconsistencies. One of the major lacunae is the relative neglect of buffaloes and failure to exercise the control over the implementation of breeding policy evolved which has led to the creation of crossbred with varying inheritance level and performance. Pakistan has seen a slight increase in milk yields, both in buffaloes and cows. This is due to limited impact of breading schemes through selection and artificial insemination, etc. Little attention has been paid to the impermanent of local cattle, except for their use as a genetic resource pool for cross breeding with exotic dairy breeds for the supply of crossed cows. A local cattle breed of Sahiwal, Cholistani and Red Sindhi has practically disappeared in their pure form, which were quite adoptable to the local conditions. Sahiwal Cows have produced up to 5000 kg of milk in on lactation. Crossbred is not a permanent solution to increase milk yield in the country as the exotic blood exceeds the level of 50% then it starts declining in terms of productivity and greater susceptibility to disease and adaptability to climatic stress of heat and humidity. Despite it being the 5th largest milk producer in the world, Pakistan’s per capita availability of milk is around 230 kg per year, which is lowest in the world, although it is high by developing country standards. However, it is still below the world average of 285 gm per day and the minimum nutritional requirement of 280 gm per day as recommended. There are also wide variations in per capita availability of milk in the country. The average per capita consumption of milk and dairy products is lower in rural areas than in urban areas, even though milk is produced in rural areas. Milk production is considered a livestock enterprise, in which small scale producers which currently from the backbone of the dairy sector can successfully engage to improve their livelihood and obtain a relatively constraint stream of income. Given its high-income elasticity, the demand for milk and dairy products is expected to grow rapidly. Further increases in per capita income and changing consumption patterns would lead to acceleration in demand for milk and other livestock products in Pakistan and thus would give a boost to this sector. The white revolution shares in the national efforts to address poverty and malnutrition and ensures a better quality of life for Pakistan. The war against malnutrition and poverty goes on victory can be a reality through the white revolution. It is best, therefore, for an ultimate survival of the white revolution programmes in the country a speedy recovery from the bureaucratic syndrome is necessary and the technocrats should be given the right recognition, freedom, responsibilities, status and participation in the management process than top down approach. An attitude that technocrats and the development programmes are there for the purpose of administrators need to be discouraged and the fact that the administrative mechanism is there to facilitate the programme needs to be realized at all levels.
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