Lack Of Funds Grounds Ostrich Farming Industry Before It Could Even Take Off
Government’s negligent and unwilling attitude towards ostrich rearing, farming and breeding in Pakistan failed to attract investors to uplift the industry.
Two years ago, government had announced a subsidy of Rs14.5 million for establishing the industry in the country.
Initially, hoping for high profit margins, over a dozen farmers – later the number exceeded to 275 – jumped into the business without knowledge of breeding practices. Unfortunately, the saturation of the market and government’s unwillingness grounded the industry even before it could take off.
“Pakistan has been trying to establish this business for the last 20 years,” Dr. Nasir Mukhtar, assistant professor at the Ostrich Research and Development Centre in Rawalpindi, told Arab News. “But unfortunately each attempt has failed. The Centre was set up to facilitate farming and train farmers in rearing and breeding the birds.
According to the Centre, Pakistan first imported 53 ostriches in 2013. The number shot up to 3,000 last year. But a lack of funds has meant the Centre has had to freeze many of its research initiatives.
He said that center is working on launching a marketing campaign to promote the bird. “This time we need maximum results,” he added.