LAHORE – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Punjab director, along with former federal finance minister and Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF) chairman, distributed motorcycles to 43 dairy sector technicians at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences on Wednesday.
The newly trained artificial insemination technicians received motorcycles on a cost-share basis under the USAID Dairy Project, enabling technicians to provide local farmers in outlying villages with timely and affordable breed improvement services.
“As one of the world’s largest milk producers, Pakistan’s dairy sector offers tremendous potential for the nation’s economic growth. Today’s graduates will be pivotal in shaping the future of this sector as well as the country as a whole,” said USAID representative Alyson McFarland.
Through the dairy project, DRDF was transforming the dairy sector by promoting breed improvement, skill development, and best dairy farming practices, said DRDF Chairman Dr Salman Shah.
“Our combined efforts will help maximize Pakistan’s livestock and dairy production,” he asserted.
Speaking on the occasion, UVAS Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that the university is collaborating with the USAID Dairy Project to transform its technology and knowledge into smallholders and rural women for development of dairy and livestock sector in Pakistan.
USAID’s five-year dairy project, worth $21 million, has impacted the lives of over 36,000 small dairy farmers by improving livestock productivity and increasing their income by at least 10 percent. The project has made great advances in fostering sustainable dairy farm practices, resulting in a 17 percent increase in the average milk yield and generating more than 8,000 employment opportunities for rural men and women.
Nestle Pakistan Chairman Syed Yawar Ali, USAID Punjab Senior Development Advisor Sajjad Moghal also attended today’s event. Other attendees included DRDF CEO Ahmad Sajjad, Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) Managing Director Sajid Naseer, USAID Dairy Project Chief Jacob Moser and field operations incharge Qaiser Maqsood.