ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), while quoting some estimates, has said that Rs200 billion to Rs300 billion has flown from urban centres to rural areas of the country during the recent Eid festival, which will prove a boon to the farmers and backward regions.
“Some estimates suggest that around Rs200 to 300 billion has been shifted from urban centres to rural areas during Eidul Azha, of which 85% was spent on the purchase of sacrificial animals,” said FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam in a statement on Thursday – the third day of Eid.
He pointed out that Eidul Azha generated great economic activity around the Muslim world and its ballooning size was a very positive indicator for Pakistan’s economy, particularly for the rural economy.
Cattle traders in Pakistan mostly come from rural areas to sell sacrificial animals in big and small cities after rearing cattle for months and even more than a year. “Rural residents, who raise animals for sale on Eid, bring billions of rupees to the rural economy and help alleviate poverty and unemployment,” he said.
“It (Eidul Azha) creates millions of temporary jobs, benefits the jobless, transporters, tanners, textile manufacturers, social and religious groups as well as others.”
It promotes the livestock sector which accounts for 58.5% of the agricultural sector and over 12% of the national economy.
“Crops are going down but the livestock sector is growing 3.6% per year; a little focus can help the country export a significant number of cattle to Saudi Arabia, which will give a boost to the rural economy and bring foreign exchange to the country,” Alam said.
Saudi Arabia is a huge market for cattle as besides regular consumption in households, hotels, wedding ceremonies and other occasions, millions of animals are sacrificed during Hajj every year.
Pointing out that Pakistan had become world’s fourth largest milk producer, he lamented that lack of value addition was preventing the country from capitalising on livestock sector’s potential.
The FPCCI president was of the view that a large number of people were willing to spend more liberally on the purchase of animals and price movements had failed to deter them. Apart from this, the production of cattle is increasing in the country.
Courtesy : Express Tribune