Livestock production accounts for 60% of agriculture overall, valued at 11% of Pakistan’s GDP and around 3% of total exports (Ministry of Finance). Unlike cropping, livestock production has increased in response to increased demand for animal protein due to population growth, urbanization and rising per capita income. Gross value addition of livestock increased by 4% to Rs.1.4 billion in 2018-19.
Importantly, livestock provides 35-40% of income for over 8 million rural families with more than 80% keeping animals using traditional farming practices. Smallholder farming families generally have limited awareness about productivity enhancing technologies and marketing information and strategies. Since 2005, ACIAR research has established effective ways to engage with these families.
The initial focus on dairy has broadened to include red meat, sheep and goats. Previous work on salt-tolerant fodder crops is complemented by new research to fill the 'fodder gap'.