The Economics Department at LUMS is set to launch a comprehensive, research based economic impact study of the dairy sector entitled,“Pakistan’s Dairy Sector: Lessons from the Past to Build a Resilient Dairy Industry.” Conducted by LUMS professor, Dr. Abid A. Burki and his team, this pioneering research is an evidence-based sector study in which state-of-the art measures of impact assessment have been employed on a longitudinal (panel) survey data. A key focus has been to highlight the impact of milk supply chain of UHT milk industry on productivity and welfare of smallholder dairy producers.
It is to be noted that the dairy and livestock sector contributes 49% of the value addition in the agriculture sector and about 11.4% to Pakistan’s GDP, which is higher than the contribution made by the entire crop sector (10.9%).
Commenting on his research, Dr. Burki said, “More than 40 million people are engaged in raising livestock and derive 30 to 40% of their income from this sector. Despite this reality and the huge potential which this sector has, serious attention to the sector has been lacking, resulting in its slow and haphazard development. We believe one of the major reasons for this lack of attention has been the unavailability of updated and authentic data. This study will be unique in terms of addressing prevalent issues facing the industry, and creating a better understanding of its key drivers and dynamics, with the overarching objective of knowledge-sharing amongst the dairy industry stakeholders.”
While focusing on various issues facing the sector, the study also highlights the poor standards of livestock census, reviews taxation practices, and the modern way of dairy farming to evolve the sector with contemporary needs. It makes a number of important recommendations for policy making, which if adopted, can lead the dairy sector to becoming one of leading business sectors in Pakistan, also contributing significantly to foreign exchange earnings.
The official launch of the report is scheduled for June 1, 2016, a day also marked as ‘World Milk Day.’ The report will be launched through an event at LUMS, to be attended by industry stakeholders from both the public and private sectors and from the centre and the provinces. It is also being seen as a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to meet on one platform and exchange thoughts on the study findings and on various issues pertaining to the dairy sector.