than 100 countries have commenced ostrich farming
just within three years and they consider it to be
worth its weight in gold by saying that it is a cow
that lays eggs.
Pakistan has the most
favorable environment for ostrich farming. Some are
convinced that the ostrich is a potential solution
for food security, its physical structure is
different from poultry and cattle, and it gains
relatively more weight through feeding with low food
He added that the government should declare an
ostrich estate like it has declared in the case of
poultry estates in the city and land should be given
in this regard, to resolve many issues.
It was noted that
though Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), after
testing, approved the technology but the bank was
unwilling to declare it a liable loan worthy item
despite the fact that last year the livestock
federal secretary provided a certificate of
ostriches being considered livestock.
Similarly, Sindh government took an initiative to
establish a model ostrich farm at every district
level, but this project went unheard. Legally this
should be declared as livestock, and all duties and
tariffs on ostrich are of exotic animals, so the
government should make it a duty free for three
years at least to promote this industry, he said.
Moreover, the imported chicks should not be stopped
at the airports, and cited an incident where 40
imported chicks expired due to complications at
customs, he said, adding that another important
issue is the poor security situation in the
outskirts of the city where most of the farms are
established for foreign investment and he demanded
better protection for investors by the Sindh Board
of Investment (SBOI) and assured safety from land
grabbers must also be ensured.
While speaking about the ostrich farming business he
said he had started efforts in this regard in 2002
in an individual capacity and started operating
commercially about four years ago. Now, he asserted,
his company is the third largest in Pakistan,
despite the fact that he had initially collaborated
with a company that led to the incurring of heavy
Now it's a successful business and the parameters of
success of this business include that livestock must
be alive and people should invest in this business,
he said. He ticked off the advantages that Pakistan
holds and pointed out it has the most favorable
climate for the breeding of ostriches; the feed cost
is very low; labor cost is very low as almost every
household in the country owns livestock, he added.
Last year, he pointed out that he did not have
sufficient chicks due to increasing demand in the
world. But this year we ensured its availability as
we have imported some 3,000 chicks, while our target
is to increase the number of chicks in the country
up to 10,000 to establish this industry in the
country as its demand will last for 10 years, he
He stressed that Europe had increased 15 euros on a
single chick this year, so people were discouraged
from importing meat but to instead invest in
breeding, he informed, adding that its meat is
available at Rs 1,000 per kg, and an adult ostrich
yields around 50 kilogrammes of meat.
It was acknowledged that ostrich meat prices is very
expensive but informed that there is an effort
underway to bring rates down to Rs 300 per kilogram
within three years and Pakistan's potential in this
regard is high as compared to other countries so
export is to be started, he said.
China is the biggest market for breeding of this
bird, as according to the roughly estimates China
had some 400 ostrich breeding farms in 2004 and
China is considered to be the number one breeder in
this regard but they did not open it yet, he said.
Elaborating on breeds, he asserted that the African
Black is the most suitable ostrich breed being
imported from Australia and South Africa, which is
considered to be the most successful breeding of
ostrich as it has low mortality rates, best
adaptability ratio, quality meat and feathers, and
Pakistan has some 50 to 60 ostrich farms currently,
On future plans, he indicated that 100 farms are
planned and the target is to be achieved in 2011-12,
he informed, adding that one farm contains 50 birds
and the cost of setting up farm is up to Rs 1.0
million and the feed cost is also of the same amount
for two years.
The total export value of this industry is Rs 100
million with one bird having an export value of Rs
200,000, he stated.
He informed that last year ostrich meat was sent to
renowned chefs and they gave very positive reviews
of the product. When the industry was in its initial
stages, due to supply constraints, the promotion of
the product was limited despite the fact that
ostrich meat is very healthy as it has very low
cholesterol and fat, he added.
He also indicated that the representatives of the
sector had applied to Pakistan Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research Centre (PCSIR) and they will
start its marketing in collaboration for the
enhanced potential of leather, he said, adding that
the research cost is being borne solely by the
businesses and after completion of the research, the
project will be launched on commercial phases in the
next stage, and for this purpose we are establishing
a farm in Karachi in a few months.
He also informed that industry in Sialkot and
Gujranwala leather products are being made of
Ostrich's leather for export processing. This year
we initiated a joint venture with a UK based company
Innovative Livestock and Planning for foreign
investment in this sector and that production would
be reserved for export, he informed.
We have also started Shirkat Farms for the future
growth of agriculture and livestock, this is a
cooperative farming for six months and every unit
comprises of 12 birds. So far we have received
booking orders for 150 birds, and more people are
coming for this and 500 more birds are expected, he
After Karachi, he asserted that farming would begin
in Lahore, Islamabad and other cities in the
country. The second model of Shirkat Farming is only
for foreign investment as Pakistanis based in UK,
Nigeria, Australia, would be given a chance for long
term investment in August this year, he explained.
He reiterated that the industry is a fast growing
sector and it is to replace traditional live stock
business in the country with strong and long term
potential in the country.