The ostrich meat for its nutritionist value and almost risk free farming is fully potential to take significant chunk of the country’s red meat market in near future.
Talking to APP, Veterinary Expert Lt. Col. (R) Maqsood ur Rahman Qureshi on Wednesday said “Ostrich farming has now been a part of international industry and the propensity to go for low calorie foods has forced the health conscious to opt for this meat as it is available on affordable rates of Rs. 250 per kg .”
Maqsood said the ostrich had been farmed for around 150 years in South Africa, first for its feathers and recently for the hide and now for its meat, playing a key role in uplifting the economy.
The increased demand of ostrich meat over the past few years in the Pakistan has given way to rearing birds under controlled systems as scientifically proven management practices resulted in low cost production and improvement in quality of the product. An Ostrich Farmer Asim Jaleel called it a great business opportunity for the poultry entrepreneur as many of them are switching to this newly introduced venture in Punjab because it had high return in term of profit.
He regretted that meat production business was contributing to only 2 percent of country’s GDP and ostrich farming had more room to be filled. The ostrich meat had only 10 percent supply in the market and urged to create the awareness among the farmers to shift from the cow farming to ostrich farming.
Ostrich farming gives five times more return as compared to the cow farming and is more cost effective, he added. The bird, he said, can be reared in paddock along with sheep, goat and cattle as it needs no dipping, drenching, milking and shearing.
He said an ostrich’s hide was paying Rs 6,000 rupee as compared to traditional cow hide that was for Rs 3,000.
Asim said the country’s harsh weather areas even were recommendable for ostrich farming as the bird had more resilience than other animals.
He said the unique taste of ostrich meat have been developed into stir-fry and steak type meats. These meats have swamped the restaurants in Europe, Japan, Australia and China in a big way and country’s restaurant industry was fully capable to ripe its benefits in near future.
It is pertinent to mention that Punjab government had exempted the ostrich farmer from obtaining a license before starting this business in 2012.
The ostrich farming is declared a part of livestock sector through a law and the Punjab government has recently provide the subsidy of Rs 10,000 per bird to the farmers with an objective to ensure promotion of protein rich, low-fat meat and economic uplift of farmers in the province.—APP
Source Pak Observer