PESHAWAR: The Dairy and Cattle Farmers Association on Monday expressed concern about increase in the sale of ‘contaminated’ and imported dry milk in the country and asked the government to offer incentives to local farmers to improve production of quality milk and meat to eliminate substandard dairy products.
DCFA central president Shakir Umar Gujjar told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club that the provincial governments had never paid proper attention to the development of dairy sector and therefore, more and more farmers were switching over to other professions due to financial problems.
He said as farmers reduced production of dairy items, the people began using contaminated and dry milk, whose sale was unchecked.
Mr Gujjar said among the four provinces, only Punjab was serious about developing the dairy sector by supporting farmers.
Voice concern about higher sales of imported dry milk
He suggested that Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh governments do away with livestock departments and use their funds to support dairy farmers to provide quality dairy items to the people.
The DCFA president said the circumstances were driving smalltime dairy farmers out of business. He said as many 200 dairy farmers had become bankrupt in Karachi, while nearly 100 dairy farmers migrated from Sindh to Punjab.
Mr Gujjar said hundreds of tons of skimmed and whey milk powder had been imported during the last five years in the country, which was a growing threat to the local dairy farmers.
He said it was unfortunate that the sales of synthetic milk were on the rise in the country.
He suggested heavy duties for the import of milk and whey powder to protect the local industry and generate revenue for the government.
The DCFA president also demanded end to the export of animal fodder and demanded subsidy for local farmers on the import of animal feeds.
He said all tax and duties should be withdrawn on dairy equipment, while there should be a ban on the import of whey and skimmed milk powder.
Mr Gujjar said cattle colonies should be established in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ensure better supply of fresh milk.
He asked the provincial government to crack down on the sale of adulterated and ‘chemical’ milk and ensure availability of fresh milk to the people.
Mr Gujjar also demanded withdrawal of all taxes and duties on the import of the medicines and equipment used by daily farmers.
Mr Gujjar announced the formation of a working group in the province to launch a membership campaign and highlight the issues of smalltime dairy farmers in the province.
He was accompanied by association members Haji Ilyas, Shabbir Afridi, Haji Asif, Wali Khan, Haji Ibrahim, Rabiul Islam and dairy farmers from different parts of KP.
Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2018