Bahrain mulls top plans for animal breeding
Manama, March 19, 2012
Bahrain could be set to become a regional centre for the import and export of live animals, said a senior government official.
Plans are in the pipeline to improve skills of the country's farmers and educate them about the potentially lucrative business opportunities available.
The sector may not have been viewed as an industry in the past, but it could be crucial to economic growth, sustainable development and food security, said Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Nabeel Abu Al Fateh.
"We are working to meet our market needs through local importers, but are looking to have them become self-dependent in future with them even becoming strong exporters in the animal market as they expand," he said.
Dr Al Fateh was speaking ahead of the launch of a major animal production show taking place at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.
The six-day show, being organised by the ministry, will be officially launched by His Majesty King Hamad on Wednesday and open to the public the following day.
It will focus on the importance of animal production and health, and will include 150 exhibitors from 32 countries.
"This show is an opportunity for farmers to get into business deals with internationally experienced animal production companies, establishments and firms, which in return will allow Bahrain to open up new business opportunities in exporting animals and breeding them for local usage," said Dr Al Fateh.
"We are providing veterinary services for local farmers and breeders as well as the necessary medication to ensure that animals are healthy and disease-free. Those we discover to be contagious are immediately put in quarantine or terminated in extreme cases.
"This is just some of the services we provide, but when unified GCC legislation comes into effect, more will have to be done considering that there will be regular trade, transport, caretaking and healthcare required in mass and on regular basis.
"We are working on our local legislation and will implement it soon."
Dr Al Fateh said while the show was operating at a loss, it was only in its second year and officials believe it will eventually become self-sufficient as it grows.
"There are many international sponsors that are sponsoring us this year, but it is just the beginning and more are needed if we are to cover over costs," Dr Al Fateh said during a meeting at the ministry's head office in Manama.
"We are now just interested in business deals with international companies, firms and establishments that will help farmers and in future when our farmers stand on their feet things are certainly set to change.
"Based on the King's directives, we have decided to hold the event every two years and for a week instead of three days to enable more business opportunities," Dr Al Fateh added.
The last Mara'ee (Fields) event was held in November 2010 and attracted more than 100,000 visitors.
Technology and science will feature highly in this year's event, showcasing the role it plays in emerging trends, with emphasis on livestock, poultry and aquaculture.
A trade exhibition will focus on the provision of products and services relevant to animal farming, agriculture and technology, bringing international, regional and local companies together with a mission to improve animal production and health.
Dr Al Fateh said this year's show would also cater to the needs of families with several edutainment programmes and activities available.
"We want to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of animals and there is a lot input in that regard," he said.
"For example, we have come up with an animal maze in which people can scan the Quick Response code on the animal models set up, using their phones to learn details and specifics regarding the animal from origins to taking care of them," Dr Al Fateh added. – TradeArabia News Service