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Beyond the call of duty – RAMZAN buriro and his livestock relief team

When talking about the flood situation in Pakistan, Simon Mack, chief of FAO Livestock Production Systems Branch said “You can put chickens, goats and sheep in a boat and take them with you but you can’t take a buffalo or a cow.” Dairy is the leading sub-sector of Pakistan’s agricultural sector with a contribution of around 51% in 08-09 (it constituted more than 11% of Pakistan’s of GDP in 2006).
 
When talking about the flood situation in Pakistan, Simon Mack, chief of FAO Livestock Production Systems Branch said “You can put chickens, goats and sheep in a boat and take them with you but you can’t take a buffalo or a cow.” Dairy is the leading sub-sector of Pakistan’s agricultural sector with a contribution of around 51% in 08-09 (it constituted more than 11% of Pakistan’s of GDP in 2006). The dairy industry, directly or indirectly employs 30-35 million people (30% of the rural population).
 
Although the critical nature of preserving livestock in Pakistan is understood by many, few possess the expertise and experience required to address the issue effectively. Ramzan Buriro, National Agri-services Manager, Engro Foods, is one of these few individuals. With over 200,000 livestock already documented as being lost and the final toll estimated to be in the millions, Ramzan Buriro and his team have made a tireless commitment to “serve the deserving and their animals” in the devastated dairy hubs of Pakistan. Eye witnesses have seen the team literally wade through muddy water, trek over rough terrain, and ride donkey carts to reach 45,000 animals and over 5,000 households in just a matter of weeks. Their objective is to increase the health and productivity of existing livestock in order to mitigate the loss to producers, consumers and most importantly, to the affected people themselves.
Ramzan’s technical knowledge has allowed him to choose the most appropriate focus areas which include, endo & ecto parasites, foot rot & wounds, anti inflammatory, mastitis, fever, FMD cases, drenching pneumonia and fever, and vitamins as nutritional supplements. The plan now is to reach 100,000 animals to complete the relief phase and then move on to rehabilitation which will be an even greater challenge. Our appreciation, thoughts and prayers are with Ramzan Buriro and his team, who have gone beyond the call of duty to assist animals – a key asset to the common people affected by the floods.