Strategy being pursued to control meat prices

Islamabad—The government is pursuing a comprehensive
strategy to control meat prices by increasing its supply and in this
regard it has suspended export of livestock. Provincial authorities
have been asked to check unauthorized movement of live animals
across the country to ensure smooth supply of meat to the people at
a reasonable price.

All district governments have also been directed to improve existing
system of checking and price controlling of meat by taking the
profiteers to task.

According to sources here Saturday, 768.66 tons of livestock and
Halal meat was imported during July 2008 to February 2009.

Duty free import of dairy and livestock machinery has been allowed
by the government to encourage establishment of value added industry
in the livestock sector. The government has taken a number of steps
to control prices of meat in the country including waiver of the
animal quarantine fee to the tune of Rs 100 per animal and test fee
Rs 75 per animal aimed at encouraging import of livestock.

The sources said a five-year project titled ‘Livestock Production
and Development for Meat Production,’ started in 2005 is scheduled
to be completed in the year 2010 and is already under
implementation. This project is providing full technical and partial
financial assistance for the infrastructure development at livestock
farm level. Under a project of fattening farm operations, at present
2162 feedlot fattening farms are in operation, where currently
22,887 cows and 40,853 goats are being fattened for increasing the
meat production in the country, the sources added.

The private sector has also been encouraged to initiate business
dealing directly with cattle farmers, thereby eliminating middlemen
and thus reducing costs. —APP