LAHORE - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has offered to collaborate with the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore in meat production, dairy genetics, food safety and hygiene, training of master trainers in animal production and emergency response during natural calamities.A five-member USDA delegation called on UVAS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha on Wednesday and discussed the prospects of enhancing meat production in Pakistan for export purposes. The delegation led by Agriculture Counselor Richard Todd Drenman comprised US Consulate Lahore Economics Officer Frank P.Talluto, Economic Officer Emerita Torres, Senior Agriculture Officer Shafiq-ur-Rehamn and economic specialist Shahid Abbas. The US Agriculture Counselor said that the US government wanted to improve the dairy potential of indigenous breeds and work together with Pakistan to improve the animal genetics. For the purpose, he said, the government was interested in developing sustainable linkages between Pakistani and the US institutions.Earlier, the VC briefed the delegation about academic, research development and extension activities of the university. He also discussed with them the prospects of development of livestock sector and suggested collaborations between the two countries to benefit from each other’s expertise and the latest technologies in veterinary sector. He said that Pakistan was lagging behind in animal production expertise. “If we develop collaboration with the USDA, the export potential can be increased to access the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesian markets,” the VC said, adding that Pakistan had the best buffalo breeds in the world and 67 per cent milk was being produced from these elite dairy animals. But, he said, there was no progeny testing program and lack of awareness about selection of best bulls for breed improvement, which was causing low productivity of dairy animals.The VC also discussed with the USDA delegation the major constraints in livestock sector which include lack of genetic improvement, poor nutrition, heath constraints, unorganized marketing and lack of human resource at various levels, for example veterinarians, para-vets, dairy supervisors and skilled laborers.He said that the University Diagnostic Laboratory and Quality Operation Labs were fully equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities and both have been accredited internationally.