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Experts call for protecting indigenous livestock breeds

HYDERABAD: Experts of livestock management and promoters of indigenous breeds said that since the practice of crossbreeding has increased to develop the dairy sector on commercial lines, the province of Sindh was losing the best potential of indigenous breeds such as red cow, Malir cow, Thari and Kundhi buffaloes.

These breeds were known in the world due to their productivity, beauty and growth. They were speaking at a training workshop on artificial insemination, ultrasonography and X-ray, at the Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam with the collaboration of World Bank assisted, Sindh Agriculture Growth project on Tuesday. The week long workshop would continue to attract livestock department officials, veterinary practitioners, cattle farmers and other stakeholders. The purpose of this even was to discover possibilities and to discourage this trend of crossbreeding to save the indigenous breeds of livestock. Sind Agriculture University Tandojam Vice Chancellor Dr. Mujjebuddin Memon Sahrai focused on the potential and importance of artificial insemination and ultrasonography trainings. He said the university, in collaboration with various Organizations, has been providing a platform and support to uplift the livestock sector.

The vice chancellor said these pure breeds were in danger. These indigenous breeds are rarely found in the farms of small and medium farmers, who contribute a bigger share of heads in Sindh. There was a need to save and exploit the genetic potential of the high yielding breeds. Upgrading of breed potential and high quality management would increase conception rate, growth rate, and milk yield, and diminish calving internal. He said that poor utilization of artificial insemination was restricting livestock productivity, and there was a need to adopt technology to meet the meat and milk requirements. Dr. Mujjebddin memon Sahrai said that for sustainable development of agriculture, the government should give more attention to livestock and dairy sector, as cattle farming was the second largest sector providing livelihoods. The university will continue to provide the technical support for artificial insemination and other training for capacity building which will help in the betterment of livestock and improvement of socioeconomic status of livestock farmers and stakeholders.

Dr. Akbar Ali Soomro, Director General of Sindh Livestock Department, focused on further implementation and adoption of artificial insemination, particularly in Sindh. Dr. Pershotam Khatri, Charian, Department of Animal reproduction and the focal person of artificial insemination training, said that for enhancement of production and better reproduction of livestock, such trainings played a vital role in the capacity building for sustainable livestock growth.

Dr. Khatri, who keeps a close eye over the changing weather pattern and its impacts on the health of animals in Sindh province, specifically in the Thar Desert, Coastal areas and other arid zones, said These important breeds have been vanishing because of unawareness among farmers and lacking policy mechanism in the province. These breeds should be saved by taking all stakeholders onboard. Deputy Director World Bank assisted Sindh Agriculture Growth Project, Dr. Abdullah Sethar, and dr. Allah Bux Kacchiwal also briefed about the importance of training.

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