The Shah Jewna Livestock Farm was established in 1955 by late Col. Syed Abid Hussain on his ancestral land at Shah Jewna, Tehsil & District Jhang in the Punjab heart land. Having already achieved success with bloodstock breeding, Syed Abid Hussain's love for animals and interest in specialized agriculture and development of high value crops led him to collect a heard of thirty Nili Ravi buffaloes, thirty Sahiwal and Dhanni cows and a hundred Lohi sheep.
He selected the stock himself, choosing a top quality animal of its bred each time, and housed them in managers within a one acre "haveli", on the choicest portion of his land, as show pieces. His livestock farm was lovely to look at but costly to maintain, and the mix of breeds prevented profit from accruing. "My horses sell well enough for me to maintain my buffaloes, cows and sheep in top condition" he would often say to visitors to his farm.
Col. Syed Abid Hussain passed away in 1971.
In 1977 horse racing was banned by government of Pakistan. Syeda Abida Hussain, managing proprietor of Shah Jewna Stud & Livestock Farm decided to carry on bloodstock breeding but to modernize the livestock farm so that, if necessary, the cows could maintain the horses.
Syeda Abid Hussain in partnership with Danish Turnkey Dairies and Syed Babar Ali, established Cattle Breeders Ltd., and imported a dairy technology package from Denmark in 1985. With the support of the Danish agency IFU, two dairy technologists, Mr. Christian Lauridson and Mr. Henrik Larson, were located at Shah Jewna for a period of four years. A herd of 100 Holstein-Friesian and Jersey cows, alongwith two bulls, were flown out from Denmark, alongwith the required machinery and equipment and the herd was installed in specially erected sheds, designed to maximize air circulation, with a showering system to keep the herd cool in the summer months. The milking parlour, fully automated, ensured the supply of bacteria free milk.
Imported fodder seeds cultivated through modern methods produced an impressive tonnage of feed for the herd which now included Friesians, Jerseys, Sahiwals and Cross-breeds. The buffaloes, Dhanni cows and Lohi sheep having been culled the Shah Jewna Livestock Farm now concentrated on developing an elite, high milking yielding herd of cows with an exotic gene pool of top international quality. By 1989 the herd size had exceeded three hundred animals. In the spring of that year, despite comprehensive veterinary cover, a violent outbreak of rinderpest among the exotic stock decimated the herd to below one hundred animals.
Set backs never deterred late Syed Abid Hussain, the founder of Shah Jewna Livestock Farm. Following in his footsteps, Syeda Abida Hussain proceeded to build back the herd, with very careful genetic selection and an eye to developing disease resistant livestock. Currently, the herd size has gone back to its pre-epidemic level, with enhanced mil production which has stabilized at an average of 1000 litres per day. Of the 125 Cows in milk, there are forty Sahiwals, forty Friesians, thirty crossbreds and fifteen Jersey cows, all milking between 3200 and 4600 litres per lactation cycle. A few top quality heifers are available for sale every year at very competitive prices, as are potential breeding bulls.
All enquiries for heifers and male young stock may be sent in writing to: Syed Ishaq Shah, manager, Shah Jewna Livestock Farm, P.O. Shah Jewna, Tehsil and District Jhang, Punjab, Pakistan.
Sadullah Khan is assisted at the farm by Alam Sher, V.A.S. and a staff of fourteen, all suitably trained to handle the herd as well as the equipment. Syeda Abida Hussain monitors and supervises the management while doing the genetic selection herself. The F1 back to Sahiwal, back cross, has produced some interesting results and the back cross to back cross calvings are anticipated to establish the Shah Jewna breed as a high milk yielding, disease resistant breed of cattle ideal for hot and humid, sub tropical climates.
The Shah Jewna breed is likely to make an important contribution to the upgradation of livestock in Pakistan and would be an excellent exportable breed for neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The importance of livestock farming in the agricultural economy of Pakistan cannot be emphasised enough. The Shah Jewna Livestock Farm has created a model which is easy to replicate and which offers small as well as large stockholders the possibility of developing herds which enrich the farmer as well as the national economy.
Public sector livestock farms have had limited success with stimulating private sector interest in livestock farming. However, the Shah Jewna Livestock Farm, through a combination of knowledge, management, investment and perseverance has pioneered in leading the way for private enterprise in this very important area of Pakistan's agro economy.