ISLAMABAD: National Workshop on Sustainable Prevention of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was held under the program of US-Pakistan partnership for Agricultural Market Development with a purposet to enhance meat exports from Pakistan.
The workshop aims to bring concerned stakeholders & beneficiaries together to share recent development in FMD control in Pakistan and way forward for sustainable prevention for enhanced meat trade in high demand market.
In Pakistan, livestock sector is the largest sub-sector of agriculture and plays a vital role in the economy. Despite the enormity of animal number, animal health and production are compromised due to presence of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), which is a highly contagious viral disease of animals and biggest trade barrier for animals and animal products.
The animal losses run into billion of rupees annually apart from stocks unable to compete in the export market.
Based on successful demonstration of development of technical framework for control of FMD, Pakistan moved to stage two of global progressive control pathway (PCP) in 2015, which is followed by a six year National FMD Control Program namely “Risk Based Control of Foot and Mouth Disease in Pakistan” 2018-2024 with cost assigned of $6.598 million. The program aims at improving food security and will increase the resilience livelihood of livestock farmers to animal disease threats. This program is country wide and is expected to move Pakistan’s FMD control efforts from stage two to stage three.
The US-Pakistan partnership for Agriculture Market Development (AMD) is a USAID funded project which aims to improve the ability of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in international and national markets in four targeted product lines.
AMD encourages investments in the four target product lines through grants and technical assistance on livestock development, the ongoing US-Pakistan partnership is being catered through “Creating New Frontiers in Agriculture” (CNFA) under its AMD program.
Pakistan’s meat exports are currently limited to Gulf countries. In order to expand into other markets like China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia, Pakistan needs to have an OIE endorsed FMD control program and FMD free zone compartments. This endorsement will expand Pakistan’s meat export market to number of countries along with new mmarkets.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan said on the occasion that Agriculture Market Development is supporting Pakistan’s commercial agriculture through improving the ability of sector to meet both international and domestic demand in fruits, off season vegetables and meat.
He said that the representatives of the development partners, provincial governments and national meat production and processing companies and lead technical experts are participating in the workshop to deliberate and put forth a way forward on control and prevention of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Pakistan leading to enhanced export of meat.
The national herd comprises estimated population of 190 million large and small ruminants and 87 million rural and one billion commercial poultry.
Minister said that government has placed livestock on its national development agenda. This sector is being focused as a tool for economic growth and rural development.
For FMD control in Pakistan, the role of European Union, FAO and the United States Department of Agriculture have been highly commendable during the previous years, which provided a strong foundation to the current FMD national control program.