Pakistan’s first laboratory set to develop cost effective buffalo probiotic to improve milk production


Dr. Shakira Ghazanfar,
M. Talal Amin and Irum Arif,

Pakistan offers a unique place of opportunities because of geographical location, terrains, climate, diversity and agriculture and livestock potential. Discovering potential of our natural resources and local breeds has always been a challenge to our scientists. The main challenge of implementation of advances in sciences has not been directed with much needed seriousness by major stakeholders of country. It is a quest of cashing our natural resources, which has been given least concern in past.
Pakistan is an agriculture country where livestock is considered as backbone. Nili Ravi Buffalo is famous as black gold of Pakistan because of its milk productivity, meat production and capability of directly benefiting our farmers and ultimately boosting economy of Pakistan. Scientists at National Agriculture Research Center (NARC), Islamabad have been working hard to implement state of art techniques which can directly benefit our farmers and breeders. Development of Probiotics products for boosting yield of Nili Ravi buffalo is a unique project, first of its kind in Pakistan where our research scientists are using complex and advanced approaches of next generation sequencing for whole genome and metagenomics analysis to exploit hidden potential of our local animal breed. This project under supervision of DG NARC Dr. Ghulam Muhammad and Senior Scientific Officer/Project Manager Dr. Shakira Ghazanfar will equip farmers with novel probiotic feed to increase yield and enhance milk and meat production. Our Scientists has developed new approaches and computational techniques for metagenomic and whole genome sequencing analysis for the first time in Pakistan. This lab is in building to become Pakistan’s first ever functional laboratory which will provide services from isolation of microbial flora to conventional microbial molecular techniques merged with complex algorithms of computational efficiency for whole genome sequence analysis.

(The authors are  Senior Scientific Officer and Research Assistants in National Agriculture Research Centre (NIGAB, NARC, Islamabad)