Pakistan is planning to sell donkeys to China after an investment of Rs 1 billion in its ‘Donkey Development Programme’, in a bid to attract Chinese investors in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Steps are being initiated to increase the population of donkeys in the province as the animals are highly valued in China for its hide which is used to manufacture medicines among other things, according to an official document.
The ‘Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa-China Sustainable Donkey Development Programme’ worth Rs 1 billion ($9.5 million) is one of the many investment portfolios prepared by the province to attract Chinese investment in its agriculture sector under the ambitious $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Express Tribune reported.
The donkey export proposal would be presented to investors during a two-day road show in China this month, it said. “The proposed project will help improve the socio-economic status of donkey-rearing communities by improving the health and production of local donkeys. “New technologies will be introduced and work will be done on capacity building of donkey breeders and services they provide,” the document reads.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government will “develop linkages in order to improve prices of donkeys and enhance the income of breeders and traders,” it added. The proposed cost of the project is Rs 1 billion, but the document insisted the scheme will meet “not only its investment cost but also generate a good amount of revenue”.
Investors will have to construct animal shelters, buildings for semen production, offices and residential compounds for staff, it said, adding they also need to procure the animals and necessary machinery, and make arrangements to generate the needed electricity from solar energy. The provincial government will look after utilities and provide technical and non-technical employees for the farms.
“The project can be executed through joint venture mutually agreed between the provincial government and the investor. It is also open for state-owned, state-supported and private entities,” the document added.