Modernising the wool collection process
As other potentially rich development sectors have fallen prey to the shallow or non-serious approach of decision makers or what one can link it to the financial constraints, the wool sector in Pakistan spells a similar tale. The woolen sector plays an important role in linking the rural economy with the manufacturing industry, represented by small, medium and large scale units. Sindh and Balochistan have rich potential in wool sector as majority of the people in rural areas of the provinces are dependent on sheep keeping for getting wool and meat. However, the wool collection losses are estimated up to 20 per cent which can be linked majorly to the existing faulty shaving process as in this exercise major share of wool is left over body of sheep in addition to injuries to the animal. Available data shows that sheep have increased in numbers by more than 41 per cent during the period from 1986 to 1996. However, profitability on the other hand could not jack up due to the lack of knowledge of breeding, management, nutrition, disease control measures, drenching against endo-parasitic and dipping against ecto-parasitic diseases. The Kooka, Kachhi and Pak-Awasi breeds in Sindh are the most promising for wool production. As a remedy, the modern wool development centres need to be established at taluka/union council level. They can serve as training places for wool development, people can get technical assistance not only about veterinary extension services but also for securing maximum quality wool. In Sindh the present population is about 23.5 million sheep from which 6.12 million kg wool is obtained. It can be doubled by providing modern techniques, promoting research and development activities. In addition, proper guidance should be given to the local people about having specific breeds for having quality wool. Since wool collection mechanism is being done at the local level where people have no modern techniques; there is a desperate need to spread a network of training in addition facilities by providing modern machinery. It is an established fact that application of modern techniques and scientific approach multiplies quality as well as quantity of production. This would increase wool quality and the people can get a better return which they could not have due to old and faulty wool collection processes. The relevant authorities need to come up with a serious approach to help the wool industry adopt a regular system of quality control. This whole process demands reshuffle in government priorities as it would contribute a lot in increasing the wool quality.