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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa agriculture minister Ikramullah Khan Gandapur inaugurated the Livestock Business Facilitation Desk of the Dairy Science Park (LBFD-DSP) at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Thursday.

The minister appreciated the progress made under the park with the coordinated efforts of the University of Agriculture, Peshawar and KPCCI and said he was hopeful that the livestock sector would contribute a lot to job creation and food production.

Professor M Subhan Qureshi of the University of Agriculture, Peshawar, highlighted the importance of the desk as ‘a model for supporting the provincial economy through livestock-based growth, use of graduate entrepreneurship, value addition and exports.’

He said the desk was considered as a tool for speedy development of livestock and poultry sectors in the province through entrepreneurship development and production of hygienic food for local consumers and export.

“The provincial livestock resources have got the capacity to produce meat valuing $1 billion for international Halal meat market,” he said.

Professor Qureshi said the huge Halal meat export market was dominated by non-Muslim producers, while consumers were Muslims.

He said Pakistan being a large Muslim country had got the major responsibility to deliver.

“The Punjab government has succeeded in launching the Lahore Meat Company, which has been declared fit by Malaysia, the Middle East and other regions for meat export. Our government has shown willingness to support meat sector through the Agricultural University and Local Council Board under the provincial Annual Development Programme,” he said.

Professor Qureshi said the Higher Education Commission had been contributing meaningfully towards introduction of a knowledge-based economy and that business incubation concept was being introduced at universities under which the Dairy Science Park could be taken as a good model.

He said he was hopeful that a rapid progress would take place through the LBFD-DSP by networking farmers, experts and service providers.

“A business forum will work under the desk to network the local production system with national and international market forces. The desk will work under a management committee,” he said.

KPCCI president Zahidullah Shinwari called for a good representation of the provincial livestock sector in the upcoming export show in Dubai.

He said an event would be organised in Islamabad shortly for projecting the business potential of various sectors in the province and that trophies would be awarded for best performance and export.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2014