Pakistan: The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) has proposed a program to foster the breeding and export of donkeys to China. China is using donkey hides in manufacturing ‘high-value medicines’. The KP-China Sustainable Donkey Development Program proposes to ‘develop and enhance’ the donkey population for export to China.
With an approximate investment of Rs1 billion, the aim of the project is to cultivate a livelihood for the local breeders and create a proper production channel which can ensure a regular and uninterrupted supply of donkeys to China, according to a KP-CPEC website.
As said on the website, “The proposed project will help in improving socio-economic status of donkey rearing communities through improvement of health and production of local donkeys, enhance donkey’s population in the province through a rigorous breeding program to meet market demand, develop market linkages for better pricing of animals and enhanced income of farmers/ breeders/ traders, introduction of improved technology, export donkeys to government of China and capacity building of donkeys’ breeders and service providers.”
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Commerce had revealed that more than 141,000 donkey hides had been exported in a period of four years, spanning the years of 2011-2015. Reportedly donkey hides fetch anywhere from Rs18,000-Rs,20,000 per piece, especially on export to China.
In 2011, donkey hides exports stood at approximately 10,000 units, however, by 2015 the figure had ballooned to more than 97,200. Most of these exports were to China, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. By 2015, revenue from donkey hides had tripled to Rs135 million as compared to Rs44mn a year prior. Dawn News