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Farmers’ interest in ostrich farming on the rise

MULTAN – The Punjab government is providing assistance of Rs 10,000 per ostrich with an aim to promote the protein rich, low-fat meat and economic uplift of farmers .

At initial, the subsidy was given on 2,500 birds. The project jointly launched by Development of Ostrich Farming in Punjab and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences was in progress to encourage ostrich farmers , said a Livestock Department official while talking to APP.

He said that people’s interest for ostrich farming was on rise and a good number of farmers were contacting the Livestock department.

Advising the farmers for ostrich farming , he said the bird was one of the biggest bird in the world, added that ostrich uses low quantity of food but offer handsome meat. Its meat has low cholesterol, low fats and rich protein, which beneficial for hepatitis and diabetes patients, he added

He said that its skin was considered as the second expensive skin after skin of crocodile in international market. There was high demand of ostrich skin across the world, he said added that average price of one shoe, made of skin of ostrich was $ 250.

He said that ostrich skin was soft, flexible and durable adding that one mature ostrich contribute 12 to 14 square feet skin.

Although, ostrich meat offers low fats, but oil extracted from fats, was one of expensive oil used to abolish dryness of human skin and healing of skin cuts, he added.  He said that ostrich feathers also offer handsome returns as these were used for decoration.

The official said that ostrich belonged to Retite family and there were many species of the bird. Every specie had different colours of neck and they were recognised from colours of their neck, he said added that ostrich have red, blue, black and pink necks, however Ostrich of black neck was famous in the world.

The trend of Ostrich farming had increased after the bird was included in list of Livestock stock in 2012, in the province, he said added that earlier, the bird was present in list of wildlife.