Need to ensure availability of silage to animals in order to increase yields, as proper usage of silage – conserved grass – is a prerequisite for rearing healthy livestock.
FAISALABAD: Although Pakistan has 50 million animals in its livestock inventory, average milk production is very low compared to other countries, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan disclosed on Monday. This limits the sector from flourishing, he said.
Addressing an outreach programme and awareness session on the “Mechanism of silage preparation” held at SB Farm in village 71 JB, he said that “only 2% of the farming community were getting 8,000 litres of milk per animal per annum; whereas the rest of the famers were successful in obtaining only 3,000 litres.” The session was arranged by UAF in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and SB Farms.
He said that in a developed country, animals with such low yields are slaughtered as they are considered unproductive and unfit for milk production.
He stressed the need to ensure availability of silage to animals in order to increase yields, as proper usage of silage – conserved grass – is a prerequisite for rearing healthy livestock.
He said that 90% of the farming community comprises small farmers who purchase fodder from the market: if they are provided with silage – they will not hesitate to buy it – thereby boosting the production of milk from their livestock.
He urged the private sector to invest in the silage industry in order to boost milk and meat production and improve foreign exchange earnings.
Faculty of Animal Husbandry Dean Dr Muhammad Sarwar said that famers spend most of their time in producing hay.
“If we transfer silage techniques to farmers, it will help spare their time and manpower; which can be reallocated to other constructive purposes,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, SB Farm owner Bashrat Aziz Jaspal said he had set up a state-of-the-art farm five years ago, in which the latest practices were being implemented. Besides, the farm is also hiring students from various universities, including UAF, he revealed.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.