KARACHI -  More than 9,000 farmers would be imparted training in modern animal husbandry practices, an announcement said on Tuesday. It pointed out that in this regard Engro Foods and the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) have signed `The Big Push Project'. The initiative is aimed to create an eco-system within the dairy sector where 9,000 plus farmers are trained in modern animal husbandry practices, with a focus on increasing milk production and incomes.

In order to provide complementary services such as health and nutrition, the program will also train micro entrepreneurs in

livestock extension skills, village milk collection skills and artificial insemination skills.

Furthermore, to create milk potential and enhance skills within the sector, the program will also train labourers in medium sized farms as supervisors. The program will be implemented in 60 villages across Muzaffarabad, Lodhran, Bahawalpur and Bahwalnagar which have been identified as some of the poorest districts in the country.

It is envisaged that this intervention will result in improvement of milk yield and quality thus benefiting small farmers with better prices and increasing livelihood.

To monitor the impact of this project and to support Government policy formulation through evidence based data, PSDF has engaged the Centre of Economic Research Pakistan (CERP), headed by lead academics

Dr Asim Khawaja from Harvard University and Dr. Ali Cheema from LUMS.