This was stated by Head of Meat and Nutrition of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Dr Muhammad Hayat Jaspal in an exclusive talk with APP here Sunday.
He said despite top beef exporting nation in the neighborhood and of the global meat market as competitors so far Pakistan had held its ground successfully in the regional market of Middle East.
However, in order to enter an emerging market of China and Malaysia, the meat sector of Pakistan needed to handle more scientifically and technically.
He said in 2005 Pakistan’s meat exports were about US$ 29 million while in 2015 were US$ 243.5 million. The meat export industry is annually growing at 30 per cent.
Meat retail sector of the country has also changed its shape within last decade and with increasing interest of consumers in high value hygienic meat primal cuts and meat products, more players are entering the retail sector.
However, with deficiency of technical skills and scientific methodologies, it will not be possible for the sector to make its way forward smoothly. To play a role by UVAS in Development of the meat industry of Pakistan, the UVAS had established Department of Meat Science and Technology (MST) which was first of its kind in Pakistan, he claimed.
The department has started its activities with main objectives of education and training of students /industry personnel to cater needs of meat processing industry through improving quality and hygiene standards of meat and meat products in the country.
The Department of Meat Science and Technology has established a small scale meat processing plant and processing laboratory at UVAS Lahore campus. Main purposes of this processing plant are trainings/education of students according to requirements of industry, he added.
The department has recently signed an MoU with Punjab Agriculture Meat Company (PAMCO) for conducting student demonstration and research. A high tech Meat Quality and Analytical lab is going to be established at UVAS Ravi Campus in near future.
The Department of Meat Science and Technology is teaching several undergraduate courses in both red meat and poultry processing areas.
However, industry requires experts in this field in order to deal with the complex biochemistry of the meat.
Appreciating the market need of time, challenges in the field and demand of the industry, Department of Meat Science and Technology has introduced a new post graduate M Phil degree programme as no such degree is currently being offered by any other institute in the country.