KARACHI: Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Monday said innovation was vital to promote meat exports. Addressing a seminar on `use of innovative technologies for promoting meat exports`, he said measures would be taken to facilitate the local meat industry to enhance meat exports from the country as the local meat industry was facing many challenges including quality, competitiveness and standards in local as well as international markets.
He appreciated the role of Agricultural Market Development Project of USAID for helping to promote livestock sector of the country. He said meat industry was growing rapidly and the professionals with more progressive approach were coming forward. However, he said the major constraints to accessing international markets such as China, Russia, Indonesia and South Africawere primarily related to inability to provide a diversified range of livestock products at competitive prices and international standards.
The minister said livestock makes up 56 percent of the agriculture sector and is the mainstay of farming communities, adding that production of meat is an integral part of the livestock sector value chain, serving both the domestic and export market needs. However, he said the meat exports are confined to a few conventional and low end markets and captured less than 5 percent share of the international halal meat market, he added.
He said that Pakistan`s meat export to the Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates, GCC and Afghanistan during the year 2015-16 passes over US$ 300 million mark and almost similar milestone has been achieved for livestock byproduct exports. He said the sector has much more potential and can fetch a good share from international meat market.