Pakistan. Livestock department launches duck rearing project


The Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Department (L&DDD) has planned to launch a project titled 'propagation of ducks rearing in Punjab' at an estimated cost of Rs 45 million under which people living near water bodies in the rural areas will be given a unit of local breed of ducks free of cost.

The unit will be having three female and one male duck and the department will later on buy produce of these units from the people which would be given free of cost for its further distribution. It will help create employment opportunities for the rural folks as the meat and eggs can be sold on reasonable prices.

Rupees 22 million have been earmarked for the two-year project for the first year 2016-17 in the annual development programme by the provincial government and the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Lahore (UVAS), will be the operation and maintenance partner of the provincial livestock department, sources in the L&DDD told the Business Recorder on Tuesday.

Discussing the objectives of the project, the sources said that Pakistan was amongst top 10 most populous countries of the world and above 50 percent of its population lives in rural areas. Besides financial constraints, people were also facing serious diseases because of presence of big reservoirs of waste war in their respective areas.

Ducks rearing was a traditional source of protein in rural Punjab but during late 1990s, the exotic breeds like Khaki Campbell being comparatively better egg-producer, replaced local traditional breed. Khaki Campbell duck rearing in place of local breed proved a failure eventually because of less resistance to local environmental conditions.

The wastewater ponds and stagnant water bodies in villages are the major source of insect larvae end parasites which area health hazard for livestock and humans. The ducks are important biological control agents and have natural tendency of foraging on aquatic weeds, algae, green legumes, fungi, earthworms, maggots, snails, end parasites and ectoparasites that cause diseases to humans, animals and crops.

The sources said that ducks rearing was not a new activity in Pakistan and traditionally people used to rear the ducks. These birds require less expensive, simple and non-elaborate housing facilities. They are resistant to environmental conditions and common avian diseases and require less care than chickens. Local ducks are best screeners and can get their food from human and livestock wastes and provide many ecosystem services.

This is the third project by the livestock department after distribution of free lambs and goats among destitute rural women to enable them stand on their feet economically, and distribution of rural poultry among the masses to have access to organic eggs and meat to meet their protein requirement, the sources said. "We are going to advertise this scheme very soon to start implementation of this project," they concluded.


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