TANDOJAM   -   Community herders hailing from different parts of Sindh province and nutrition experts have observed that in the current situation livestock is said to be only sector, which can fulfill the need of food for growing population and provides livelihood to the people. But the reports suggest that now livestock itself is facing hardship because of depleting rangelands, natural grazing fields and need nutrient feed for their survival.

They were speaking at the concluding session of two-day workshop on mineral molasses blocks (MMBs) at Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam on Thursday.

The workshop was jointly organised by EU-funded Programme for Improved Nutrition in Sindh (PINS), Sindh government, Sindh Rural Partners Organization (SRPO) and Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam in which a large number of community herders, nutrition experts, researchers and representatives of provincial government departments participated.

During the group work they pointed out that despite being the third largest milk producing country, Pakistan is unable to meet the required need of the nation. In the special case of Sindh province, they said majority of children are undernourished in rural parts of the province. For ensuring provision of nutrition to undernourished children it is must to improve productivity of livestock population, which is natural source of nutrition.

They further said since the last census of livestock held in 2006 there is no current data on which the policy makers may design any legislation to save the major assets of the nation. They demanded the government to have fresh census of livestock, see the status of all breeds, including indigenous ones, the status of nutrition level, their productivity and fertility.

Ashfaq Ahmed Memon, Adviser to Sindh chief minister (CM) for irrigation was the chief guest while John Ashley coordinator PINS 1, Zahida Detho, Executive Director SRPO, Prof Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, a focal person of SAU and Nadim Shah Jamot, a progressive grower and leader of Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) were guest of honour on the occasion.

CM’s adviser Ashfaq Ahmed Memon appreciated the event on the important subject of nutrition status among livestock, linking it to human nutrition with the participation of community herders. He urged upon young herders saying that if your are convinced about MMBs that it will prove beneficial, you should continue working on to make it a difference.

The adviser said he was convinced with the recommendations of the workshop, which he will put up with concerned authorities for policy formulation mechanism. He assured the workshop organizers to extend help if needed. He proposed to launch women entrepreneurship in rural areas, in which small loans should be provided to them to live sustainably.

John Ashley, Coordinator PINS 1 said “I have learned a lot from community herders, who have come from different areas of the province. I am working with PINS I and wants to nourish children of Sindh province”. He said “I have exposure of working in 30 countries of the world, especially for nutrition. After this exposure I have seen here in Sindh that more children are under nourished which is major issue.” Zahida Detho, ED, SRPO briefed about the two-day workshop and said due to crisis of water scarcity caused shrinking sources of livelihood. She said farmers receive adulterated seed, fertilizer and pesticides and paying huge cost and get nothing in terms of production.

She emphasised the need to work together for the betterment. She said the purpose of this workshop is to generate demand of MMBs at local level and produce it more to benefit farmers. She said nutrition policy is main demand of the province, which may address the problem. She said though the major program like AAP is already going on there is need of more intervention on government side. She said nutrition policy will address the issues of human and animals in terms of nutrient feed. On the occasion Prof Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Nadim Shah Jamot, a leader of Sindh Abadgar Board and progressive farmer and others said this kind of understanding on emerging technology MMBs should be started from home to benefit to farmers.