Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Strong Food & Beverage Demand Draws Investments in Pak Agribusiness

US venture investor Tim Draper, Swiss food giant Nestle, and American beverage titan Coca Cola are investing heavily in Pakistan's agribusiness.

Silicon Valley private equity investor Tim Draper, a well-known international venture capitalist, is quietly investing in Pakistan's agribusiness, the largest provider of food commodities in the Middle East, according to San Francisco Examiner.

The share of livestock in Pakistan's agriculture output nearly doubled from 25.3 percent in 1996 to 49.6 percent in 2006, according to FAO. As part of the continuing livestock revolution, Nestle is investing $334 million to double its dairy output in Pakistan, according to Businessweek. Reuters is reporting that the company has already installed 3,200 industrial-size milk refrigerators at collection points across the country to start the kind of cold storage chain essential for a modern dairy industry, and give farmers a steady market for their milk. In another development on the infrastructure front, Express Tribune has reported that  Pakistan Horti Fresh Processing (Pvt) Limited has invested in the world's largest hot treatment plant to process 15 tons of mangoes per hour for exports.  Hot water treatment  will also help reduce waste of fruits and vegetables by increasing shelf-life for domestic consumption.
The Coca-Cola Company is planning to invest another US$280 million by 2013 in Pakistan, according to BMI's Q3 2012 Food & Beverage Report for Pakistan.  Coke plans to channel the bulk of its capital expenditures towards increasing the production of its existing brands as well as expanding its overall beverages portfolio. Coca-Cola plans to introduce more juices and mineral water in the Pakistani market over the coming years. This strategy could diversify Coca- Cola’s presence beyond the carbonates sector and help it secure early footholds in the higher-value bottled water and fruit juice segments, which boast tremendous long-term promise.

In addition to foreign investors, big name Pakistani companies like Dawood Group's Engro, billionaire industrialist Mian Mansha's Nishat Group and former minister Jahangir Khan Tareen's JK Dairies are placing big bets on food and beverage market in the country. Annual milk consumption in Pakistan reached 230 kg per capita in 2005, more than twice India's per capita consumption, according to FAO.

Business Monitor International expects "Pakistani agriculture sector to reap record harvests for key crops such as rice, sugar and cotton owing to favorable weather in 2011 and the year-on-year increase in crop area following floods in 2010". "We expect the dairy, poultry and wheat industries to be the biggest beneficiaries of increased investment in the agriculture sector", adds BMI's report.

 Pakistan is world’s eighth largest consumer of food and food is the second biggest industry in the country, providing 16 per cent employment in production, according to report published in Express TribuneIn addition to rising domestic demand, growth in agribusiness is supplemented by increased exports as Pakistan expands trade with new partners. BMI expects basmati rice to take up a greater share of the trade as production increases. Cotton production to 2015/16: 45.5% to 12.8 million bales. Increased demand from Europe and emerging markets will drive output. BMI also expect an increase in domestic farmers switching from rice and sugar to cotton cultivation. Sugar production to 2015/16: 22.1% to 4.8 million tons. Large-scale consumers such as confectioners, candy makers and soft drink manufacturers account for about 60% of the total sugar demand and will be the main drivers of growth.

Pakistan witnessed a livestock revolution follow Green Revolution. Here's how International Livestock Research Institute puts the dramatic changes in Pakistan's agriculture sector since the mid 1960s: 

 Since the mid 1960s, investment in Green Revolution technologies – high-yielding varieties of cereals, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation and mechanization of farm operations – significantly increased cereal crop productivity and output. Success in the crop sector created a platform for diversification of farm and non-farm activities in the rural areas including the livestock sector, especially the dairy sector. Some of the Green Revolution technologies had a direct impact on the dairy sector while others had an indirect impact. Increased cereal productivity and output helped to reduce prices of cereals relative to other commodities in both rural and urban areas. This, along with increased income from high crop-sector growth, created  demand for better-quality foods including livestock products. This created market opportunities and incentives for crop producers to diversify into higher-value products, such as milk, meat, vegetables and fruits.

Pakistan has made significant progress in agriculture and livestock sectors showing that it has the potential to feed its people well and produce huge surpluses to fuel exports boom. The continuation of this progress will depend largely on success in making needed public and private investments in energy and water infrastructure and education and health care.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

FMCG Consumption Boom in Pakistan 

Music Drives Coke Sales in Pakistan

World Bank Report on Pakistan Agribusiness

Pakistan's Sugar Crisis

FAO Livestock Sector Brief 2002 

Recurring Floods and Droughts

Poll Finds Pakistanis Happier Than Neighbors

Pakistan's Rural Economy Booming

Pakistan Car Sales Up 61%

Resilient Pakistan Defies Doomsayers

Land For Landless Women in Pakistan

Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan

Political Patronage in Pakistan

Corrupt and Incompetent Politicians

Pakistan's Energy Crisis

Culture of Tax Evasion and Aid Dependence

Climate Change in South Asia

US Senate Report on Avoiding Water Wars in Central and South Asia


Mayraj said...

They have floods again. Do not know how to manage water. Should figure out how to keep the floodwater.rainwater for later use. let alone recycle water used in farming and grey water in urban areas.

Shams said...

This is good information.

This year I had to waste over 1,000 lbs of my organic plums which are the best this side of paradise, over 600 lbs of apples, and close to 100 lbs each of almonds and walnuts. I just cannot find time to harvest the fruit and package, otherwise I had plans to ship some to you.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "This year I had to waste over 1,000 lbs of my organic plums.."

You could try what was done in US and Europe before the advent of modern storage and supply chain infrastructure...invite friends & neighbors to harvest and share, can or pickle fruits & veggies, make feta cheese if you have milk from the goats you are raising in your backyard :-)...You could even donate some of it to food pantries for the poor..

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story about doubling of Pak kinnow (Mandarin) orange export:

An agricultural business support initiative has enabled fruit growers to attain internationally recognised certification, that allows access to new markets and boosts incomes.

The Agribusiness Support Fund, a not-for-profit company, was established by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2006, under the $18 million, Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported Agribusiness Development and Diversification Project.

"ADB’s assistance to the Agribusiness Support Fund was part of a broader project to diversify and develop the agribusiness sector in Pakistan and to improve the lives of small-scale farmers, among others," says Donneth A. Walton, principal natural resources management specialist at ADB’s Pakistan Resident Mission. Walton adds, "The fund spurred many successful agribusiness initiatives including improvement in citrus exports."

According to Chaudhry Amjad Nisar, senior vice president of the All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association, the accreditation process also impacts how fruits are handled after they are picked.

"Thanks to the fund," says Nisar, "our capacity in collection, grading, packing, storage, and transportation has improved to international standards."

Without the certification much of the kinnow cultivation would be restricted to Asian and Middle Eastern markets, which attract lower prices.

As a result of the drive for more internationally recognised accreditation, Pakistan has nearly doubled its exports of kinnow to Europe since 2008-2009.

The fund has also allowed kinnow growers to market their produce internationally ans to take part in exhibitions in Berlin, Hong Kong, China and Moscow.
The fund’s work continues with $90 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


Riaz Haq said...

Similar to Pakistan, India's livestock sector has grown since 1960s from 15.6% of total agricultural output to 28.8%...but still less than third.

See Table 7.1 in a report by Suresh Pal and Derek Byerlee.


Riaz Haq said...

Similar to Pakistan, India's livestock sector has from 15.6% of total agricultural output in 1960s and 25.3% in 1990s to 28.8% in 2000s..but still less than third.

See Table 7.1 in a report by Suresh Pal and Derek Byerlee.


Hopewins said...

Again with the Mangoes?

Please restrain this obsession with Mangoes, Lassi, Mango-lassi, Buffaloes, Lungi, Pagrhi et cetera.



Mango Exports 2011-12: 45 Million US$

What is the scale (i.e. importance) of Mango Exports to Pakistan?

Mangoes are included in Exports of "Fruits" line item.

List of Pakistan's Exports in Millions of US$

17 Knitwear $2,709
14 Cotton Cloth $2,444
01 Rice $2,118
18 Bed Wear $2,027
13 Cotton Yarn $1,786
26 Petroleum Products $1,308
21 Readymade Garments $1,092
36 Pharma $1,090
24 Other Textile $779
19 Towels $633
22 Synthetic Textile $629
30 Leather Tanned $514
11 All Other Food Items $501
43 Cement $496
06 Wheat Unmilled $491
29 Sports Goods $464
37 Engineering Goods $423
27 Solid Fuel $398
31 Leather Manufactures $382
23 Madeup Articles $372
33 Surgical Goods $317
12 Raw Cotton $310
02 Fish $296
03 Fruits $275
10 Meat $189
04 Vegetables $185
39 Jewellary $161
15 Cotton $156
28 Carpets,Rugs & Mats $153
32 Footwear $92
20 Tents,Canvas $81
16 Yarn non-Cotton $59
34 Cutlery $50
44 Guar $46
07 Spices $29
35 Onyx Manufactured $29
05 Tobacco $26
08 Oil Seeds $18
41 Molasses $15
40 Furniture $6
38 Gems $3
42 Handicrafts $0
09 Sugar $0

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Please restrain this obsession with Mangoes, Lassi, Mango-lassi.."

It's silly to dismiss the great potential of investing in modern farming techniques to improve the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.

Relatively strong rural economy is one reason why Pakistan has less hunger and poverty than India and no reports of mass farmer suicides unlike India where over 200,000 farmers have taken their own lives in the last decade.

Agri and livestock and dairy exports account for the wealth and prosperity in many US states like California, Wisconsin, Florida, etc.

It's also the source of wealth in countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, etc.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Devex report on US support for agribusiness development in Pakistan:

A new project by the United States Agency for International Developmentand the Agribusiness Support Fund — a locally registered development organization in Pakistan — aims to boost the country’s agricultural sector.

The Agribusiness Project worth $90 million is expected to increase the competitiveness and productivity of the country’s horticulture and livestock subsectors, which generate the largest share of revenues worldwide.

The project, which will span five years, will help improve productivity and product quality through technical assistance programs meant for 62,500 farmers and 2,500 agribusiness stakeholders, and create 1.3 million jobs. It will also leverage $320 million by the private sector through cost-sharing support to 45,000 Farmer Enterprise Group members, 100 associations and cooperatives, 250 individual and corporate farmers, 40 extension providers, 140 small and medium enterprises, and eight companies.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an FT report on India's Godrej planning entry in Pakistan market:

Adi Godrej, the billionaire head of the Godrej conglomerate, told the Financial Times that his 115-year-old group, which had revenues of Rs185bn ($3.3bn) in 2011, will begin exporting to Pakistan this year.

“We will be setting up businesses before the end of the calendar year in Pakistan,” Mr Godrej said. “Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world in terms of population, so the opportunity is reasonably good.”

The move is one of the most prominent signs of increased trade between the two nuclear-armed states, and follows a wider rapprochement that included a visit by Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, to New Delhi earlier this year. Last month, Pakistani tycoon Mian Mohammad Mansha told the FT he was looking to expand his Nishat conglomerate’s banking business into India.

The move by Mr Godrej’s family-controlled group, which includes four listed entities and more than a dozen private subsidiaries with interests ranging from real estate to industrial engineering, is part of an expansion aimed at increasing revenues to $33bn over the next decade.

Legal changes agreed between the two countries earlier this year allowed the export of certain products from India into Pakistan. Although direct investments are not yet permitted, Mr Godrej says he anticipates this being allowed in the near future.

Godrej is the world’s largest producer of packaged hair dye, and has a number of non-listed joint ventures with prominent western businesses including Godrej Hershey with the US confectioner and Godrej Tyson with the American meat processor.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an African news report on Pakistan building tractor rebuild factories in Nigeria:

The Pakistan High Commissioner in Nigeria, Ambassador Ahmed Ali Sirohey said a Pakistani agricultural technology company is set to establish a tractor rebuild factory in Nigeria to refurbish tractors at low cost. He said they have discovered about 60,000 disabled, damaged and grounded agricultural tractors during his research for investment opportunities in Nigeria.

The high commissioner made this known in a statement where he disclosed that "the company had completed arrangement for the establishment of tractor rebuilt factory in Gombe and will finalise it this month to be followed by another in Kano."

Sirohey also added that his country has expressed interest in the signing of trade and investment treaty with Nigeria to further boost economic and investment cooperation between both countries.

"A trade treaty would engender mutual benefits for Nigeria and Pakistan especially in crucial areas of agricultural equipment, improved seed technology, health technology and education," he said

The envoy also noted that there was need for endorsement of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to facilitate easy access to Pakistani and Nigerian markets by industrialists from both countries, saying it would boost joint ventures in areas of irrigation, farming, home gas technology and power generation.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Russian interest in building Diamer Bhasha dam:

Russia is seeking direct award of a construction contract for the $13 billion Diamer Bhasha Dam in a government-to-government deal without resorting to international competitive bidding, sources say.

Faced with water and power shortages, Pakistan is looking for funds from China and Russia, who in turn want a government-to-government deal without international bidding.

The government’s search for funds came after multilateral donors asked Pakistan to get a no-objection certificate from India for the dam’s construction.

China and Russia want a similar arrangement for undertaking the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which has faced fierce opposition from the United States.

According to sources, Pakistan and Russia are likely to strike a final deal on the dam during visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Islamabad next month.

“A meeting of Pak-Russia inter-ministerial commission will be held before the visit of Russian president, which will work out a mechanism for financing mega projects,” a government official said.

In a meeting of the Inter-governmental Commission (IGC) held here on Monday, government officials gave a detailed briefing to the Russian team on planned energy projects. However, sources said, Russia made no firm commitment to the dam.

According to the official, it was just a preparatory meeting to discuss different projects, which could be tabled during deliberations with the Russian president.

In the IGC meeting, the Russian side was told that Bhasha Dam was a strategic project with power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts to overcome the energy crisis. It will have water storage capacity of 8.5 million acre feet to feed the agricultural sector.

Chinese offer

The Chinese government has already offered Pakistan skilled labour for the construction of Bhasha Dam. China has 17,000 skilled workers, who have worked on the giant Three Gorges Dam, which is producing 30,000 megawatts of electricity.

On the other hand, multilateral donors have asked Pakistan to seek a no-objection certificate from India to pave the way for financing the dam, which they say is situated in a disputed territory. Instead, they have offered to finance another project – Dasu hydropower, but the government has rejected the plan and wants to complete Bhasha Dam first.

On Monday, a delegation of the World Bank, headed by Country Director Rachid Benmessaud, called on Federal Water and Power Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and once again offered to finance phase-I of the Dasu project.

Dasu hydropower project is situated 7 km upstream of Dasu village on Indus River and 350 km from Islamabad. The project is located in Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Businessweek report on fertilizer ban in FATA region of Pakistan:

Pakistan's effort to cut off the flow of fertilizer to militants using it to make bombs in this key tribal sanctuary along the Afghan border has outraged local farmers, who complain the policy has cut their crop yields in half.

The blowback in North Waziristan could prove costly as the army grapples with how to tackle enemies of the state holed up in the remote, mountainous area, a task that is likely to be more difficult if the government is unable to mobilize support from local tribesmen.

"It's true that fertilizer is being used to make bombs, but the farmers are not the ones doing it, so why does the ban apply to us?" said Mohammad Daraz, a farmer in Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan.

Pakistan has struggled in recent years to avoid offending the population with heavy handed tactics as it battles domestic Taliban militants throughout the northwest.

The U.S. has faced this same difficulty in neighboring Afghanistan — not least in its efforts to keep fertilizer, most of which comes from Pakistan, out of the hands of militants whose bombs have killed hundreds of American soldiers.

Pakistan first imposed a ban on certain types of fertilizer in North Waziristan and other parts of the semiautonomous tribal region more than three years ago, officials and farmers said.

The government instituted the policy after determining that fertilizer had been used in most of the major bombings in Pakistan, especially those involving vehicles packed with explosives, said a senior government official who worked on the ban.

The ban was meant to apply only to urea and other fertilizers that contain ammonium nitrate because they can most easily be turned into explosives, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

But security forces have instead simply tried to prevent all fertilizer from getting into North Waziristan, said farmers and fertilizer dealers.

The problem has gotten worse for the thousands of farmers in North Waziristan with each passing year as authorities have increasingly attempted to cut down on fertilizer smuggled into the area, which has become the main sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the country.
Pakistani authorities knew that limiting the flow of fertilizer to the tribal region would be hard on farmers but went ahead with the policy because the threat from bombings was so great, said the government official who worked on the ban.

Pakistan's neglect of the poor and underdeveloped tribal region over decades is one of the reasons the Taliban insurgency that flared up there has been so difficult to extinguish. The Pakistani military has conducted a series of offensives in all parts of the tribal region except for North Waziristan.

The army plans to step up operations against the Taliban and their allies in North Waziristan in the near future, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials.

If that happens, the army may not want to count on the support of local farmers.

"This fertilizer ban is destroying us," said Ilyas Khan, a farmer from Mir Ali. "All we can do is pray for the situation to improve so we can resume our normal business."


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a 2009 Dawn article by Anand Kumar on edible oil consumption in South Asia:

despite being such a huge consumer of edible oil, per capita consumption of vegetable oil is still very low in India, around 12 to 13 kg (it was 10 kg in 2001). In contrast, per capita consumption of edible oil is around 20 kg in Pakistan and China. However, with rapid urbanisation and a burgeoning middle-class, besides growing health consciousness, demand for refined vegetable oil is expected to climb sharply in the future.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's another Indian report (2008) on edible oil consumption:

Vegetable oil consumption in the country is continuously
rising and has sharply increased in
the last couple of years to roughly 11.2 kg/head/year. This is still lower than the world average
consumption level of 17.8 kg and that in neighbouring countries like Pakistan (16.1 kg).

The developed western world has a per capita consumption of 44 to 48 kg/year. According to projections from the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), per capita consumption of edible oils is likely to reach 13.95, 14.83 and 16.17 kg by 2009-2010 if per capita income grows by 4%, 5% and 6% respectively.


rajesh said...

Well, as imagined, lies are a part and parcel of paki culture as are a lot of other sickening habits which i wont delve into.

According to you pak is the largest source of agri products to the middle east which is not written anywhere in the article.

As for your edible oil article, let me tell you something, unlike pak (which has cuisines stolen from punjab India), India has a wide variety of cuisines ranging from south Indian food which requires comparably very little oil, bengali food stuffs which also use less oil, gujrati food which uses a little more oil, rajasthani food and then punjabi food which uses a lot of oil. So do not give numbers which suit you.

Put a list of total grain production in pak.

Riaz Haq said...

raj: "According to you pak is the largest source of agri products to the middle east which is not written anywhere in the article."

Here's the exact quote from SF Examiner:

Local private equity kingpin Tim Draper, a renowned, international venture capitalist, is quietly investing in Pakistani agribusiness, one of the biggest providers of food commodities in the Middle East. His partnership of private equity firms includes holdings in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Silicon Valley.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on US fund to support private investing in Pakistan:

The United States on Friday announced a multi-year Pakistan Private Investment Initiative worth $80 million in financial support to promote economic activities in the country.

Drawing on public-private partnerships, this initiative will spur job growth and economic development by expanding access to capital for Pakistan’s small to medium sized companies, according to a statement by the US embassy.

“Pakistan has a wealth of talented entrepreneurs that desperately needs capital to fully realise their potential,” said US Charge d’affaires in Pakistan, Richard E Hoagland.

He said that through this initiative, the United Stated can move beyond the traditional foreign assistance by playing a constructive role to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses, provide new jobs to Pakistan’s fast-growing population, and by improving lives in the country.

He said that market-oriented, commercial solutions which support Pakistan’s economic development have been a priority for the United States.

The US Charge d’affaires said that the “Pakistan Private Investment Initiative” will generate investment funds catalysed by US assistance.

The initiative seeks private or other qualified sources of capital for matching investments and funding management services. The investment funds will make equity investments in promising Pakistani companies, under-served by existing sources of capital.

The Pakistan Private Partnership Initiative welcomes proposals from qualified Pakistani, regional, and international fund managers keen on investments in Pakistan by October 12, 2012, said a statement of from the United States embassy.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Pakistani PM's "valuing US as a major development partner":

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday said that Pakistan regarded its relations with the United States as “very important” and that Pakistan valued it as a major development partner.

Ashraf’s remarks came after he held talks with US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, who arrived in the Pakistani capital on Friday for talks with top officials.

“The prime minister said that relations between Pakistan and the United States are very important and we value the United States as a major development partner,” a statement issued by Ashraf’s office said.

“We have a shared objective in fighting terrorism and need to cooperate more to get rid of this menace,” the statement said.

Ambassador Grossman said that future relations between Pakistan and the United States should be based on market access and trade.

The US government was working on a bilateral investment treaty to “facilitate” US investment in Pakistan and improve market access, according to the Pakistani statement.

It said that the United States has promised $200 million for the construction of Diamer-Basha dam in northern Pakistan.

Ties between Islamabad and Washington have been rocky for years, and have only just resumed after nosediving following the secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden and an air raid that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops.

Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt as the main hub of Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a Nation report on Pakistan's wheat harvest:

In 2011-12 Pakistan farms produced 23.3m tons of wheat. The total value of that harvest is over Rs611 billion or $6.4 billion; and 20pc of our national agricultural GDP is from wheat. Combining these figures illustrate the vital importance of wheat farming to the food security, income, and economic growth of Pakistan. He said that our future food security and economic growth depend on more science and more innovation coordination nationally and internationally. He said that the rust diseases of wheat are of special concern to this community and we are aware of the threat of wheat rusts, including stem rust Ug99, to the productivity of wheat in Pakistan. Wheat Productivity Enhancement Programme (WPEP), is supporting this meeting and our national efforts to protect and enhance the productivity of wheat through the application of science to ensure wheat rusts do not hurt our wheat and that our farm productivity increases. Wheat is the leading crop of the country occupying the largest area (8.7million hectares) under any single crop. Annual wheat planning meeting has been a regular feature and always helpful in discussing research findings and formulation future strategies for enhanced wheat production. The coordination mechanism like the annual wheat meetings has been a regular activity for a long time and with the launching of the WPEP (Wheat Productivity Enhancement Programme) of Pakistan. It will further enhance and strengthen the already existing linkages between the stake holders. WPEP and USDA funded project aims to enhance and protect the productivity of wheat in Pakistan.


Hopewins said...

Perhaps a blog article on the historical (1950-2012) evolution of Raw Steel Production in Pakistan would be in order?



Haider Ali said...

I'm really happy to hear all the positive developments but I am also worried about the induction of GMO varieties in Pakistan. We must not allow companies like Monsanto to enter Pakistan otherwise our local farmers will be destroyed.

Hopewins said...

May 25, 2012: "Aftersecuring mango exports to the US and Japan, the Australian market has become a possibility....."


June 17, 2012: "US market is not really feasible; we should remove it from our minds..."


Mango. Good. Mango, Mango. Good, good.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "June 17, 2012: "US market is not really feasible; we should remove it from our minds..."

Neither the mangoes nor the US market is important in the big picture. What's important is the help Pakistani producers have received from US to become more export oriented by the infrastructure and know-how put in place. Pakistanis now have access to the Chinese market, the biggest in the world for fruits and veggies. And exports of fruits and veggies to Europe and Asia are growing.

The infrastructure like large hot water treatment facilities will also help reduce waste and increase shelf life of fruits and veggies leading to better nutrition and more money for farmers and farm workers and more service sector employment in the country.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news story about plans to build commodity storage facilities for mercantile exchange in Pakistan:

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX) is planning to establish Pakistan Collateral Management Company for providing storage facilities for futures trading of commodities in Pakistan. Faisal Malik, Business head of agricultural products, PMEX here on Monday explained investment opportunities and benefits of agricultural commodities futures trading at the PMEX to brokers and general investors.

In this regard, a seminar was conducted by Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX) at Islamabad Stock Exchange Limited (ISE) on 'Agricultural commodities trading in Pakistan for the commodity traders and general investors'. This seminar was a part of a series of trainings started earlier with special focus on educating the traders and general public about the new deliverable agricultural commodities introduced by PMEX. Basic purpose of these products is to route the investments through regularised Exchanges which is a proper channel and will help in best price discovery of the agri-commodities in Pakistan and also helps in strengthening the economy.

Explaining the basic concepts, he said that the futures contract is an agreement between two parties entered on the floor of the exchange to buy or sell a commodity at a certain time in the future for a certain price. He said that the futures contracts can be useful when marketing grain or livestock because they can be a temporary substitute for an intended transaction in the cash market that will occur at a later date. In the absence of a proper risk-management tool, banks are reluctant to fund farmers. If they do, the interest rates are very high. The availability of futures markets and hedging facilities reduces the risk perception, and banks are willing to provide easy credit to farmers.

Faisal Malik highlighted that a number numbers of products in pipeline for futures trade on international commodities in gold, silver, crude oil, palm olien and futures on domestic commodities to be available in Rice IRRI-6, sugar, wheat and in financial futures to include Karachi InterBank Offered Rate (KIBOR) futures. Other products in futures pipeline are international cotton futures, currency futures, T-Bill futures, domestic cotton futures, maize futures, cottonseed oilcake futures, copper, steel futures and futures on refined petroleum products.
The "Big" challenges faced by the commodities market, he explained as market awareness, documentation of economy, competition with unregulated trading houses/exchanges, he stated. He further informed that a large number of commodity trading houses commonly known as Forex houses are operating across Pakistan. Even a conservative estimate suggests that their trading volumes are much higher than the combined volume of PMEX and Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE).

A large group of people have attended the session and have shown keen interest entrust in commodity trading. Mian Ayyaz Afzal, Managing Director, ISE appreciate the efforts of PMEX in creating awareness among the general public. He emphasised that there is a dire need to promote saving culture in the country and as an agricultural based country our economy needs such exchanges to regularise the trade of Agri-commodities.


Hopewins said...

Dr. Haq,

Your whole blog (post 2008) seems to revolve around the following idea:

1) Pakistan's image is worse than its reality.
"The media projects the worst 5% of the Pakistan story 95% of the time"

2) India's reality is worse than its image.
"The media projects best 5% of the Indian story 95% of the time"

Then you expand on this subject by delving on 2 add-on themes:

1) Indian-Staffers & Western Islamophobes are deliberately, maliciously & falsely maligning Pakistan on Global Media Channels so as to spoil its image.

2) Pakistan Media people are foolish, ignorant or-- worse still-- corrupt and traitorous enough to join the Global Media in falsely ruining Pakistan's image.

So the PURPOSE of your whole blog (post 2008) is to **correct** this by reversing the bias you see in the Main-Stream Media (MSM). Therefore, your blog seeks to:

1) Show the best 5% of the Pakistan story 95% of the time in your blog.
2) Show the worst 5% of the India story 95% of the time in your blog.
3) Expose the malicious falsehoods in the MSM articles that malign Pakistan.
4) Reveal the ugly realities that are ignored in the MSM articles that glorify India.

The basic idea is that once this media-bias is negated by your widely-read and highly-influential blog, you expect the following to happen:

1) Pakistan's image will improve.
2) Resulting in huge inflows of Foreign Investment & rapid economic growth
3) Resulting in a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Pakistan
4) Resulting in an enhancement of (1)

Does this sound correct? Is this a good analysis of 95% of your blog (post-2008)?


Here is my considered view:

I agree with you that Pakistan's image is worse than its reality and that India's reality is worse than its image.

There may also be some truth to the existence of Media-bias against Pakistan, especially given the ubiquitous claims of a Pakistan-connection to almost all Islamist terrorism, but I don't know that it is as overwhelming as you claim.

However, I disagree with you that Pakistan **main** problem is its "bad image". Pakistan's image, whether good or bad, is no more than 5% of Pakistan's problem. You are missing the elephant in the room when you obsess about Pakistan's "image". The vast majority of Pakistan’s problems are inherently structural and very deep-rooted in its historical evolution as a State with an independent political-economy.

Here are Pakistan's REAL problems:

A) Economic
1) Abysmally low level of domestic savings
2) Resulting in lack of industrial depth & diversification
3) Resulting in absurdly high dependency on Foreign Capital Service
4) Resulting in a worsening of (1)

B) Political
1) Chronic & acute political instability
2) Resulting in lack of any long-term national development plan
3) Resulting in rising tide of violent Anti-Everything sentiments
4) Resulting in a worsening of (1)

C) Social
None; as all social problems arise from lack of development in the Political Economy (A&B). Social problems are either automatically or easily solved with the rise of the Political Economy.

Pakistan must exit these two inter-related negative-loops of Political & Economic decline. This requires strong leadership & vision. However, the leaders who just might be able to pull-off such a heroic feat are not immediately apparent on Pakistan's horizon.

So all we can do now is hope for a huge miracle. Perhaps prayer?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Here are Pakistan's REAL problems"

Pakistan's real problem right now is the shortage of confidence which is the single biggest factor affecting its political economy.

And the main reason for the shortage of confidence is that the hordes of analysts like you see Pakistan's glass not even half empty but completely empty...and repeat it incessantly.

I see Pakistan's glass half full and I strongly believe it can be filled to a much higher level by helping people, particularly businessmen and investors, see the real Pakistan story...the story of upwardly mobile Pakistan with a rising middle class and vast economic and market potential.

As poet-philosopher Iqbal said:

Zara Nam Ho To Ye Mitti Bohat Zarkhaiz Hai Saqi

Just adding a little bit of water will do wonders for this land.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting Washington Post story on pink salt spa in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD — You are going to have to take Pakistan’s newest health fad with a grain of salt. Actually, several tons of it.

A newly opened spa in the capital touts amazing curative powers for a mineral better known as a table seasoning. In fact, the spa’s chief executive, Sabkahat Qadeer Butt, is so convinced of its medicinal magic that he’s created the entire facility from salt.

And not just any salt, but pink salt mined from the foothills of the Himalayas.

Nearly everything in the cave-like space is carved from the rose-hued crystal -- from the bricks in the walls to the tiles of the steam bath, it is all hewn from slabs of salt. Patrons leave their shoes at the door. Even the pink pebbles of the floor are all rock salt, which is absorbed through the skin.

Pakistan is the number one producer of pink rock salt in the world, according to the government’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. Butt, the Pakistani businessman who is CEO of the Khaas Health Care and Cure Club in Islamabad, says he used 1,400 tons of the substance to create the spa in the city’s Diplomatic Enclave.
Butt, 48, said salt baths originated as an old Greek method of treatment. Alexander the Great took loads of the stuff back home after conquering parts of modern-day Pakistan, he said. Salt became known as white gold and was even used as currency: “The Greeks would pay their armies in salt. It was the major component of the barter system.”

Some of the historical uses of salt are widely known. It is a natural antiseptic, proponents say, and a natural preservative. Salt has been used to preserve everything from meat and fish to sensitive documents.

But new-age spas like the one in Islamabad tout salt therapy as a veritable cure-all. Pink rock salt contains 84 minerals and can help skin ailments, upper and lower respiratory functions and, when combined with heat, can be used for pain management, Butt said.

In Hollywood, salt wraps and baths are used for quick weight loss when stars need to slim down for roles or to walk the red carpet. “It is also good for high blood pressure,” Butt claimed.

And low blood pressure? Yes, that too. In fact, Butt declared, salt can treat 125 disorders and diseases.

Qutbuddin Kakar, an Islamabad-based doctor who specializes in tropical diseases and is associated with the World Health Organization, said he has heard of people taking salt baths as a cure for skin maladies. But otherwise, he said, “There has been no scientific evidence which shows or proves that pink salt is a cure for so many or all diseases.”

While blanket curative claims are dubious, that hasn’t kept some fad followers from developing an appetite for the blush-tinted condiment. Ordinary table salt costs about 3 cents an ounce in U.S. grocery stores, whereas the pink stuff can fetch $1 an ounce.

There is one catch: Salt disintegrates when exposed to water and steam. So what happens when the spa melts? Not a problem, said Butt. He also owns a salt mine. “If the walls dissolve, I can replace them.”


Hopewins said...

^^Ordinary table salt costs about 3 cents an ounce in U.S. grocery stores, whereas the pink stuff can fetch $1 an ounce.


Morton General Salt: 11 cents/oz


Shan Himalayan Pink: 17cents/oz


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story of real estate boom in Faisalabad, Pakistan:

Yet unlike stories of most other business shutdowns, Crescent Sugar Mills’ decline came not because of economic slowdown, but rather the economic success of the city – and especially the neighbourhood – it is located in. The factory is 100-acre complex in Nishatabad, a neighbourhood in Faisalabad that used to be on the outskirts of the city, but has increasingly become host to residences that house the city’s growing affluent middle class.

In the 1960s, Nishatabad was on the outskirts of the city, which allowed farmers to bring their sugar cane to the factory easily, using large trailers and trucks. As the decades wore on and Faisalabad’s middle class grew, however, many of the outer areas of the city began going through gentrification, and became residential neighbourhoods.

With the advent of more residences, the city government began placing restrictions on the movement of trucks and trailers that brought in the sugarcane to the factory. Many of the roads that had been used by the trucks were blocked off altogether for heavy traffic. As a result, the company’s logistics cost increased significantly, making it difficult for the mill to compete in the highly commoditised sugar market.

“With every passing crushing season, our mill’s financial health was going from bad to worse. We had no choice but to close down the unit permanently,” said Naveed Gulzar, a director at Crescent Sugar Mills.

But the higher transportation cost appears to be only one reason for the mill’s closure. Another, more compelling reason, appears to be the gentrification of the neighbourhood itself. The Crescent Group owns 150 acres in Nishatabad, with the sugar mill taking up 100 acres and a paper board mill (shut down about a decade ago) taking up the remaining land.

While both of these businesses were going through squeezed margins, the value of the real estate on which they were sitting was skyrocketing. At a certain point, it no longer made sense to manufacture low-margin commodities on prime residential real estate less than 10 minutes drive from the Faisalabad city centre.

And so the group has decided to shut down the factory, sell off the machinery, bulldoze the factory buildings and instead construct a residential colony, with all sorts of amenities, including a shopping mall, a hospital, schools, and colleges, said Gulzar.

The Crescent Group is not looking to exit the manufacturing business altogether but will no longer be in the sugar business. Instead, the board of directors has decided to open up a cotton spinning mill – that manufactures cotton yarn – for export. The factory, however, will be in a rural area, for which the group has already bought land.

“This land is too expensive to set up a factory here,” said Gulzar. “It is prime Faisalabad real estate.”


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakTribune story on buffalo semen production in Pakistan:

Vice-Chancellor, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that despite lack of a proper mechanism of semen prodcution in the country and around 3.5 million poor semen doses, Pakistan has the best buffalo breed producing 67 percent milk from them.

Talking to APP on Sunday, he said the private sector was producing 3.5 million semen doses against the government's 2.5 million doses. He deplored that it was very alarming that the quality of bulls being used for semen collection was inferior as the private sector was just doing business without covering the aspect of animal genetics.

Whereas the public sector dose after a sample check of around 5,000 doses in the quality lab, it is commercialised. If we provide quality semen to small farmers on their doorsteps it will bring a revolutionary change in the fast growing livestock sector, he added. He said Pakistan had the best buffalo breed in the world and 67 per cent milk was being produced from elite dairy animals. But, he said, there was lack of awareness about the selection of best bulls for breed improvement and absence of progeny testing which was causing low productivity of dairy animals. The VC also highligted major constraints in the livestock sector including lack of genetic improvement, poor nutrition, health constraints, unorganized marketing and lack of human resource at various levels.

Steps to overcome these constraints are vital to upgrade the livstock sector in the country, he added.


Riaz Haq said...

US AID promoting private equity investment in Pakistan's SME sector, reports Express Trib:

..$80 million, earmarked by the Obama administration under the Kerry-Lugar-Brahman Act for the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative

Crowding-out of the private sector from credit channels due to reckless government borrowing has provided a unique public relations opportunity to the US. The US has said it will offer loans ranging from $500,000 to $5 million to small and medium sized business in Pakistan, to help the latter expand and create jobs.

In total, $80 million, earmarked by the Obama administration under the Kerry-Lugar-Brahman Act for the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative, will go towards providing cheaper financing and equity to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan.

“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide up to $24 million for an equity fund, and fund managers will be required to match the requested funding to take the size of each equity fund to at least $45 million,” said Theodore Heisler, the project manager and senior economic growth advisor to USAID.

Heisler said that co-investment was essential in bringing the size of each fund to a level where it can cover operating expenses. The US intends to create at least three funds, but is, as yet, noncommittal to the total number. US authorities are on the lookout for good fund managers, and the availability of quality managers will determine the numbers of the funds, officials have said. During the last fiscal year, the federal government borrowed Rs1.77 trillion to finance the budget deficit. The State Bank of Pakistan has already warned that due to increasing government borrowing, there is little credit available for the private sector to grow.

“Having access to finances is a challenge for SMEs, as there is little equity and debt available for the sector,” said Heisler. “The longer term goal is to help expand the market for private equity investment and provide money that is not available through banks and other international lending agencies,” he added. He said the real job growth potential lies in the SME sector, as the corporate and public sectors cannot create unlimited jobs.

Heisler said each fund will have a 10-12 year lifespan. Individual investment sizes will range from $500,000 to $5 million, but could vary depending upon requirements. The initiative has been modelled on the Polish American Enterprise Fund, which was started with $140 million and has now grown to a multi-billion dollar fund.

Heisler said the US is looking to create a private equity industry in line with global standards, as there is hardly any private equity investment fund in Pakistan. He said the other purpose was fetching foreign investment through co-investment, as investment in Pakistan is dwindling.

The US is currently looking for fund managers who have a successful history, and Heisler said that both local and international fund managers have expressed interest in the project.

To a question whether Pakistani fund managers have expressed reluctance due to doubts over long-term commitment issues with the US, the US embassy replied “we believe there will be substantial interest from local, regional and international investors”.

It further said that “the US government designed the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative after a year of research and consultations with numerous stakeholders, including the Pakistani private sector and regulatory authorities.” It added that USAID will structure the funding to ensure that it is sustainable.


Riaz Haq said...

Couple of stories from Daily Times:

1. Mobile Phones:

KARACHI: Pakistan is a land of opportunities and the credit for this goes to the huge youth population and the rich pool of talent available in the country. These sentiments were expressed by All India Management Association Senior Vice President and Nokia IMEA VP D Shiva Kumar during his recent visit to Pakistan. He was one of the key speakers from India at the two-day management conference between the two countries in Lahore.


2. Agri:

ISLAMABAD: Sixty-four specialists from the ministries of agriculture from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Sindh, and Balochistan have completed a 10-day course on modern farm business and irrigation methods sponsored by the US. The participants will help farmers increase their profits by approaching farming as a business: farmers will be able to identify higher-value crops and access new markets and customers. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) organised this training session to help increase profits through better product quality and water management.

At the completion of the training course in Islamabad, USAID Country Director Jonathan Conly said, “By using modern techniques, Pakistani farmers can capture new customers and increase their profits. The United States is committed to helping Pakistan modernise its agriculture sector so that farmers can improve their livelihoods.” After the workshop, an agricultural specialist from AJK Amina Rafi added “Farming in mountain areas has always been a challenge. I am glad that this training has provided me with skills to help farmers in AJK improve their businesses.”


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Businessweek story of Pakistan's rising rice exports:

Rice exports from Pakistan, the fourth-largest shipper, are set to rebound from November with the new harvest after a rally in domestic prices and cheaper supplies from India cut shipments, a traders’ group said.

Overseas sales may reach 4 million metric tons in the year that began on July 1 as increased supplies from the new crop cool local prices, said Safder Hussain Mehkri, vice chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan. Exports slumped 46 percent to 238,659 tons in the July-August period, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Shipments were 3.7 million tons in 2011-2012, according to the association.

Rice, staple for half the world, is poised for a second monthly decline as Thailand and India, the world’s biggest exporters, accelerated sales. Futures are little changed this year, lagging behind corn, wheat and soybeans, as global rice harvests are set for a record.

“New harvest will bring down the prices which are way too high at the moment, making us less competitive in the global market,” Mehkri said by phone from Karachi. “Our rice is 10-15 percent costlier than India’s. Better domestic prices will improve our competitiveness against India.”

Non-basmati rice from Pakistan was sold at about $451 a ton free-on-board in July and August, while it was $385 a ton in India, according to data from the exporters’ associations in both the countries. Rough rice for November delivery was little changed at $14.90 per 100 pounds on the Chicago Board of Trade at 6:48 p.m. in Singapore yesterday. Futures have lost 2.5 percent this month.
Indian Exports

India will export 8 million tons in 2011-2012, making it the top shipper ahead of Vietnam and Thailand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. In 2012-2013 India’s shipments would drop to 7 million tons, compared with Thailand’s 8 million tons and Vietnam’s 7 million tons, the USDA estimates. Pakistan’s exports in 2012-2013 will reach 4 million tons, according to the agency.

Shipments from Pakistan were also hurt by international trade sanctions on Iran, which made payments between traders in the two countries difficult, Mehkri said. The rice harvest this year may surpass the 6 million tons in 2011-2012, he said.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News excerpt on tractor sales in Pakistan:

Tractor sales increased immensely, by 190 percent YoY, to 2,855 units in comparison with the sale of 957 units in the same period last year. However, August 2012 sales (2,855 units) went slightly higher as compared to July 2012 sales (2,828 units). Al-Ghazi tractors registered a sales growth of 300 percent YoY but a sales decline of 28 percent MoM to 1,216 units. Millat tractors sales boosted by 151 percent YoY and 44 percent MoM to 1,639 units, the data said.

On cars:

Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has recorded a decline of 30 percent year-on-year (YoY) in automobile manufacturing to 20,820 units in August 2012, according to the PAMA data released for the same month.

A month-on-month (MoM) analysis of the sector demonstrates a comparatively steady performance with the sector’s sales down by a modest 0.5 percent to 10,385 units. This can primarily be attributed to the low base effect of July 2012, owing to fiscal year-end phenomenon and implementation of taxes in the federal budget 2012-13.

Segment-wise breakup shows that car sales in August 2012 went down by 13 percent YoY to 8,467 units while the 1300cc and above segment shrunk by 17.6 percent YoY. Sales of light commercial vehicles (LCV) and 4x4 registered an 18.3 percent YoY declined in August 2012, mainly due to a decrease in sales volume of Bolan, Ravi and Hilux.

Pakistan Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMC) registered a sales decline of five percent YoY to 6,002 units but continued its performance as a market leader. However, in August 2012, its market share dropped by six percent YoY to 56 percent. The reason behind this decrease was the discontinuation of its brand Alto, which was PSMC’s leading brand in 1,000cc category.

A better picture can be seen on MoM basis as it shows a seven percent improvement in sales volume of the company, the PAMA data said. This was mainly accounted for the base effect of lower sales volume in July 2012.

PSMC has been successful in attracting its Alto customers towards Mehran, Cultus and Swift models, which registered YoY enormous sales growth of 40 percent, 21 percent, and 16 percent respectively in August 2012 while other models including Liana, Bolan and Ravi showed YoY decline of 26 percent, 10 percent and 34 percent respectively.

Indus Motor Company Limited (INDU) experienced sales contraction of 28 percent YoY during August 2012 to 3,092 units. During this period, sales went down by 30 percent YoY to 6,179 units. The main reason behind this was a 10-day production halt in July-August 2012 due to higher inventory and pre-buying of buyers and road side dealers in June 2012.

Corolla’s sales decreased by five percent YoY to 2,800 units in August 2012 while Hilux sales improved by three percent YoY to 282 units. MoM sales of the Corolla grew by 14 percent while sales of Hilux drastically decreased by 50 percent, the data said.

Imported Japanese second hand cars are becoming major competitor for INDU flagship brand Corolla as during FY12 about 55,000 units of used Japanese cars were imported in the country.

Hence, it has become a serious threat for INDU as all eyes will now be on the upcoming Auto Industrial Development Program (AIDP 2012-17), which will set the course for future direction for imported cars in the country.

Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan Limited (HCAR’s) experienced a sales drop of 14 percent YoY to 1,241 units in August 2012. The period under consideration portrays an improved picture as sales increases by 20 percent YoY.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Express Tribune on growing food market in Pakistan:

Pakistan is a huge and growing market for food. In big cities like Karachi and Lahore, restaurants of all types and sizes are jam-packed during opening hours. Looking at the restaurant business, it appears that very little, including economic uncertainty, has adversely affected food consumption. The popular media has also picked up on this culinary zeitgeist and almost all the TV channels in the country have programmes on cooking and other aspects of food.

For some years a number of ‘food streets’ have sprouted up in different cities, most notably Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. In terms of growth potential and expansion, Lahore offers exciting opportunities. The area that stands in the shadow of the historical Badshahi Mosque is a great example of regeneration that the government of Punjab successfully undertook. Such regeneration projects in different parts of the country are not only developing a culture of sophisticated culinary habits, but are also creating sustainable employment opportunities for many.

Other newly-established food streets and similar developments include Sea View restaurants and Port Grand Food Street.

Creating business opportunities around the consumption of food is arguably the foundation of a sustainable economy, especially in a country the size of Pakistan. There are numerous examples of successful global food businesses that have contributed immensely to the economies of their respective countries of origins. McDonald’s is perhaps the best example of such a success story, with gross revenues of over $34.17 billion (2012 figures). In terms of financials, McDonald’s is bigger than Latvia, as the latter’s GDP of $26.14 billion (2011 figures) was smaller than McDonald’s annual revenue for the same year ($27 billion). Although Subway is the largest restaurant chain in the world in terms of the number of restaurants (37,000 outlets), McDonald’s remains the largest in terms of total revenue.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET article on private equity and debt markets as propellers of economic growth:

Let’s start by asking why are most investors in financial assets only interested in stock and bond markets, to the extent that even the premier CFA institute examinations and most university programmes almost solely focus on these two.

Here is why. These are the only two saving vehicles (asset classes) that are large, liquid and have visible prices. World public equity market capitalisation at $50 trillion (Bloomberg) and bond market debt outstanding at $95 trillion (CityUK), provides decent saving depth for global GDP (annual income) of $65 trillion.

The tangible asset market, mostly real estate (but including under/over-ground commodities and personal property), is even larger at $150 trillion, but is illiquid, due to relatively large ticket deal sizes and non-standardisation and hence is called an ‘alternative asset class’.

Private equity or shares of unlisted companies are interesting. They are grouped as alternatives due to liquidity constraints and big deal sizes, but otherwise seem the same securities, ie equity.

Before I elaborate, let’s try to ascertain the total size of private equity market. According to Credit Suisse 2011 Global Wealth Report, total net wealth in the world is $231 trillion. From this, we minus the value of ‘real’ assets, stock markets and $5 trillion in cash and demand deposits. The size of bond market is not included in the calculation as one person’s bond asset is another’s liability and it cancels out. Hence, estimated value of private companies comes to $30 trillion, which is smaller than the public equity market but still huge.
Conclusion: Private equity presents a huge universe of opportunities and can certainly add value to High Net Worth (HNW) portfolios containing only stocks and bonds, by both increasing return and lowering true volatility at the same time. It is certainly an alternative investment class, but not only because of low liquidity, but rather because it marries management science with pure investment.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Economic Times' report on Pakistan sugar exports:

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Pakistan has allowed the export of an extra 200,000 tonnes of sugar, on top of the 300,000 tonnes already allowed, as the government aims to trim surplus stocks and bolster local prices.

Higher stocks and expectations of robust output next year encouraged the Islamabad government to allow the export of the additional sugar, Ali Raza Bashir, spokesman for the Finance Ministry, said, though the permission was for less than had been sought.

"There was a request to allow (extra) exports of 400,000 tonnes but the cabinet gave its permission for 200,000," Shunaid Qureshi, chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, said by telephone.

The move came as neighbour India sealed deals to import about 5,000 tonnes of white sugar, despite expectations of a domestic surplus, as some traders seek to capitalise on lower prices in Pakistan and higher prices in India.

In Pakistan, sugar output in the crop year starting Oct. 1 is likely to remain steady at last year's level of around 4.7 million tonnes, Qureshi said.

The country's sugar consumption is between 4 million tonnes and 4.2 million and it started the 2012/13 year with around 400,000 tonnes of stock, said a dealer in Karachi who declined to be named.

Most sugar so far has gone to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and east Africa.

"These countries will again show interest due to lower prices. Millers in Pakistan want cash to start the crushing season ... They can give discounts to world prices," the dealer said.


A New Delhi-based trader, who did not wish to be named, said: "The (Indian) traders who have contracted imports from Pakistan perhaps found the FOB price of $545 per tonne attractive enough to buy.

"They stand to gain $15 to $20 a tonne after paying a duty of 10 percent," the trader added.

The sugar price in western India is around $680 per tonne, while in northern and eastern parts of the country it is as high as $720.

India, the world's top consumer and the biggest producer behind Brazil, has been an exporter for the past two years. Exports in the year to September 2012 totalled 3.3 million tonnes.

Traders in India, which levies a 10 percent tax on sugar imports, have booked whites from Pakistan for delivery at the eastern Haldia port, a second Indian trader said.

India is expected to have a small exportable surplus in 2012/13, though higher production costs could make it difficult to find buyers at prices acceptable to mills.

Last month, Indian mills signed deals to buy up to 450,000 tonnes of Brazilian raw sugar because of the attractive gap between domestic and overseas prices.

The strengthening Indian rupee and a wide gap between Indian and Pakistani prices made these deals attractive, said a Mumbai-based trader with a global trading firm.

India could buy more for delivery in October and November to meet higher festival demand, traders said.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday report on US AID training Pak youth in dairy management:

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director for Punjab Jeff Bakken on Friday awarded graduation certificates to 22 trainees who successfully completed a one-month farm manager training program under USAID Dairy Project. This innovative management training teaches Punjabi youth pursuing a career in dairy farm management to enhance milk production and increase their incomes.
Mr Bakken emphasized U.S. support for improving livelihood for rural communities in the Punjab and Pakistan. He remarked, “today’s event highlights the importance that the United States places on deepening the impact of development assistance to the people of Pakistan and improving the lives of those in rural communities. Your dedication is critical to pave the way for long-term economic gains in the dairy sector.”
Dairy Project Director Jack Moser also congratulated the graduates. “We celebrate the success of farm managers who will make a difference in the livestock sector by offering their services to the commercial dairy farm enterprises in the Punjab. The USAID Dairy Project will continue to mobilize and support farmers in the Punjab by training 400 individuals in dairy farm management,” he said.
USAID’s three-year, $14 million Dairy Project is designed to impact the lives of 9,000 small dairy farmers by enhancing their productivity by at least 10 percent, resulting in at least 10 percent increase in their incomes. The project provides training on the best dairy farm management techniques, including artificial insemination, and provides women livestock workers training in entrepreneurship.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on olive tree planting in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: As many as 1500 hectares of land would be brought under olive cultivation within next three years with an aim to exploit the potential in this particular sector and make the country self-sufficient in olive production.

The three-year project has been launched under the debt swap agreement between Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and Italian government for promotion of olive farming in the country, a top official in the council said.

"The PARC has already identified olive cultivation areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Potohar Region and in Balochistan and has started work on planting olive trees since March this year," Project Direct Olive Production and Senior Director Crops, Dr. Mohammad Munir told APP here.

He said that the PARC has taken all the four province onboard for launching the project.

The land being brought under the cultivation under the project would be in addition to that already utilized for the cultivation of olive.

The official was of the view that olive cultivation needs fewer resources and marginal lands are needed for its cultivation so it is a lucrative engagement for farmers who can take full advantage of this.

Once established, the olive gardens would start bearing fruit after three years (in 2015), so the council would set up four olive oil extraction machinery (plants) to facilitate farmers, he said and elaborated that one each big plant would be established in Balochistan and Potohar region while two units would be installed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA region.

In addition, mobile oil extracting units would also be arranged that would be used for oil extraction in those areas where farmers have no access to these four oil extracting facilities.

He said plantation of the olive plants takes place in March or November of each year adding that the PARC has identified 12 kinds of plants to be planted in these gardens, keeping in view the climatic conditions.

Munir said that the Italian government is also interested in launching research project aimed promoting olive cultivation in the country.

A memorandum of Understanding to this effect would be finalized soon under which Pakistan would become member of the regional centre that has been engaged in research activates for promotion of olive.

The Italian government is already working with Afghanistan and Nepal and Pakistan would be the third member of this centre, he added.

Munir said that Pakistan has been involved with the Italian government since 1984 for the promotion of olive as three projects were initiated by Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) in this regard earlier.

However, he added, the current project was the forth project in this line which the Italian government gave to the PARC for execution under Debt-Swap agreement.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's another BR report on growth of oil seed farming in Pakistan:

Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) is making all out efforts to enhance local production of edible oils in a bid to reduce dependency on imported edible oils, which would save the country valuable foreign exchange to the tune of $2 billion per annum.

This was stated by Chairman Pakistan Oilseed Development Board, Ghulam Idress in an interview with Business Recorder. He said that since the establishment of PODB in 1995 the annual growth of oilseeds in Pakistan was 2.56 percent but at present its growth rate is about 5 percent per annum and the PPP-led federal government is committed to further boosting its growth so that self-sufficiency in edible oils may be achieved.

Ghulam Idrees said that the establishment of such an institution is creating opportunities for the farmers and providing high quality edible oil to the people of Pakistan as was the vision of late PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto. In 1995, keeping in view that the country was an agriculture based economy and was spending huge foreign exchange on the import of oilseeds the PODB was established. At the time Pakistanis were consuming about 1.42 million tons of edible oil per annum.

While giving details of the achievements of the board, he said that in 1995, a total 8,000 acres was under cultivation of Canola seed but in 2008-09 it is cultivated on more than 172,000 acres across the country. Similarly sunflower was cultivated on 185,000 acres in 1995 and now it is being cultivated on 929,000 acres, which is a significant achievement. He said that in financial terms domestic production is saving around Rs112 million for Pakistan in foreign exchange. Husk is a bye-product that is contributing Rs28.3 million per annum to the economy.

Mr. Idrees said that in 1995 PODB started plantation of palm oil trees in costal areas of Sindh and Balochistan and now the trees have started producing fruits.

Mr. Idress further revealed that in year 2000, the Board supported the plantation of olives in Balochistan and Potohar region and now Pakistan is also producing olive oil. He said that PODB is encouraging farmers to plant olive trees and has provided support in establishing two olive oil tree gardens - in Teshil Talagang of District Chakwal, Punjab and District Nowshera in NWFP.

Mr. Ghulam Idrees said that PODB was providing all the facilities to the farmers of District Dera Ismael Khan and some parts of the Balochistan province so that the production of sunflower could be increased. Similarly PODB was working on producing quality Canola oilseed in NWFP province and its efforts have started producing desirable results as at present Pakistan was producing 46 percent of its Canola oilseed requirements.

While talking about the total domestic requirements of edible oil and its local production, Mr. Idress said that in 2009 Pakistan produced 0.684 million tons of edible oil which is about 24 percent of the total needs of the country and the rest was imported from other countries.

He said that 3.015 million tons of cotton seed was produced locally and from it 0.362 tons of edible oil was produced, sunflower production was 0.598 million tons which produced 0.227 million tons of edible oil.

Idrees said that 1.783 million tons of palm oil, 0.092 million tons of soybean and 0.016 million tons of other edible oils was being imported.

Idrees categorically stated that if farmers of the country are provided a favorable environment they could produce sufficient oilseeds in the country to meet local demand.


Riaz Haq said...

Here are a couple of recent stories on Pak agribusiness:

1. Harvard Business School picks Pakistan's K&N for case study:

Karachi: World’s most prestigious business school in the United States of America, Harvard Business School (HBS) has selected a Pakistani company, K&N’s, as a case study.

HBS faculty members select companies from around the world for a written account of a company focusing on strategic business issues, of interest to a global audience, which are then used for classroom discussions. HBS case studies are world renowned, and not only used by HBS faculty, but also by majority of leading business schools and universities around the world for teaching.
K&N’s is greatly honoured with this achievement, as for any company, becoming a HBS case study is a great honour. While felicitating K&N’s, Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) said is proud to have its founding member featured as a HBS case study as it is the only company from Pakistan to have been chosen by HBS to write the case study and use it in its executive education programs. This is also a great achievement as a very positive image of Pakistan will be reflected through the K&N’s case study reading and discussions by thought-leaders and key decision makers from the global food and agribusiness industry, and university students alike, around the world.
K&N’s integrated poultry operations include grand parent breeding, parent breeding, hatching, feed milling, broiler growing, poultry processing, and production of ready-to-cook & fully cooked chicken products. K&N’s Quality Assurance Lab monitors and regulates the integrated poultry operations to ensure K&N’s chicken products are wholesome, safe and healthy. K&N’s manages its own product distribution (including Pakistan’s most extensive cold-chain distribution system) and a chain of chicken stores for its range of chicken products.


2. Japan's JICA helping build vapor heat treatment facility for mango exports to Japan:

Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is likely to extend its help to Pakistan for setting up a vapor heat treatment (VHT) plant worth Rs 170 million in order to tap the higher end Japanese market. The offer was made by Yuji Aoki (Japanese Consultant, TDAP) while speaking at a meeting held at the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC), says a spokesperson here on Monday.

The meeting was informed that PHDEC had already succeeded in sending mangoes to Japan on trial basis in its endeavours to tap higher-end Japanese market. Yuji Aoki speaking on this occasion said that the plant could be installed in Pakistan before the next mango season. He said mango was liked by Japanese people for its sweet taste but there is need to develop certain infrastructure facilities for standardisation at production, packaging and processing level to meet the SPS requirements of Japanese market.

Akram Khalid, Sr. G M Co-ordination, PHDEC chairing the meeting said that PHDEC will network with stakeholders to get their feedback and to assess the viability of this costly initiative. Nudrat H Khan Senior Manager (Marketing) PHDEC said that a comprehensive marketing campaign can be organised in Japan with the collaboration of commercial section of Pakistan Embassy in Japan.

Sarfraz H Iqbal Sr Manager apprised AOKI about the projects and services of PHDEC. It is important to note that in Japanese market mangoes are sold in pieces at a comparatively higher price which is approximately 4 times greater than the price Pakistani mangoes fetch in its traditional markets, concludes the PHDEC spokesperson.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Poultry Production News report o chicken meat and egg consumption in Pakistan:

Pakistan poultry meat consumption up 239% from 2000
These numbers equate to just 0.7% of global poultry production, but represent an infrastructure exceeding Rs300 billion (US$3.41 billion) and an annual commercial turnover of Rs40 billion (US$454.5 million). Pakistan has a total of 105 hatcheries that produce 820 million broiler chicks annually, as well as the capacity for the production of 8.69 billion commercial eggs and 3.74 million rural eggs.
Numbers are growing, but according to Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit, there is a need to increase poultry production further to become more competitive in the global market.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Coke investing to expand in Pakistan:


It was an announcement made so quietly that it did not even make the headlines: having already invested $172 million in Pakistan this past year, The Coca Cola Company – one of the world’s largest beverage companies – is planning on investing another $248 million in the country over the next two years.

It may have something to do with the fact that Pakistanis are estimated to have spent approximately Rs110 billion ($1.3 billion) on carbonated beverages in 2011, according to an analysis by The Express Tribune based on figures compiled from industry sources. Coca Cola currently enjoys a 30% market share, second only to arch-rival PepsiCo.

“We see great potential in Pakistan’s future, which is why the company is investing significantly in upgrading infrastructure and adding value to allied industries,” said Rizwan Khan, general manager for The Coca Cola Company in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The money will be spent on two new bottling plants, one each in Karachi and Multan, as well as investing in more coolers, which will be distributed amongst retailers to help with the company’s retail sales efforts. Company officials were quick to point out that the investment is not simply the recycling of profits and cash flows from existing operations in Pakistan, but green-field foreign direct investment that will flow into the country over the next two years.

The expansion plans come as rising demand makes it difficult for Coca Cola to keep pace with its existing production capacity in Karachi and Punjab. The new plants will follow the establishment of a Coca Cola facility, already completed in 2011, which manufactures Coke cans. Previously, Coca Cola used to import cans from its factories in other countries.

Coca Cola’s business model in Pakistan is somewhat unique. The global US-based parent owns a subsidiary called The Coca Cola Export Company, which has a Pakistan branch. That Pakistan branch conducts all marketing and brand building activities and manufactures the concentrate for the company’s signature beverages from a plant it owns and operates in Raiwind.

The concentrate is then sold to Coca Cola Beverages Pakistan, a joint venture between the US-based parent and Coca Cola Içiçek, a Turkey-based partner of the group. Coca Cola Beverages Pakistan operates six bottling factories in Pakistan, located in Karachi, Gujranwala, Multan, Lahore, Rahimyar Khan, and Faisalabad.

Coca Cola used to have eight franchisees for its bottling facilities in Pakistan, but in the mid-1980s the company felt that the business model was not working. It then spent the next decade buying out every single franchisee in Pakistan, consolidating them under one umbrella to form Coca Cola Beverages Pakistan. This entity was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US-based parent until 2008, when Coca Cola Içiçek took a 49% share.

The company declined to provide a precise revenue figure or growth numbers, but said that it buys close to Rs13 billion in raw materials from its 300 local suppliers. According to Coca Cola Içiçek’s annual report, the company’s revenue growth rate in Pakistan is in the high teens. Coca Cola has over 4,000 employees in Pakistan, and employs another 6,000 indirectly. Company officials say that it paid Rs11 billion in taxes last year.

“Our aim is to inspire economic activity, create employment and increase tax revenue for the government. However, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that a productive investment and business operating environment is provided to local and international companies,” said Khan.



Riaz Haq said...

There are worries about carbonated drink consumption in South Asia. I think these are overblown considering the fact that per capita consumption in Pakistan is just 5 liters and in India 3 liters.

Compare this with milk, a healthier alternative, whose consumption in Pakistan is 223 Kg per person and 96 Kg in India.



Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent Seekingalpha piece on Pepsi growth in South Asia:

Pepsi depends heavily on emerging markets for growth. It experienced a growth of 14% in emerging markets for the quarter. Organic net revenue in Europe grew by 7%, and in Asia, Middle East and Africa it grew by 10%. The company has significant international exposure, which means that the company's top and bottom lines are affected by foreign currency movements. This is made evident by a 5% decrease in company revenues due to foreign currency movement in the recent third quarter.
Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA) unit experienced strong growth for the quarter. Organic net revenue grew by 10%. Within this unit, snacks experienced double-digit volume growth rate. Beverages' volume experienced high single digit growth rate. India and Pakistan experienced snacks volume growth of 12% and 27%, respectively. Beverage volume for India and Pakistan was up 23% and 25%, respectively. Constant currency operating profit for the unit grew by 14%.


Hopewins said...

^^^RiazHaqWrote: "....In terms of financials, McDonald’s is bigger than Latvia, as the latter’s GDP of $26.14 billion (2011 figures) was smaller than McDonald’s annual revenue for the same year ($27 billion)..."


Dr. Haq,

This is a FLAWED comparative analysis based on conceptual misunderstandings.

Latvia's GDP is, by definition, the actual total economic value produced by Latvia.

McDonald's REVENUE is NOT the actual total economic value produced by McDonald's.

If we are going to do a comparative analysis of actual total economic values produced, we must account for the following:

McDonald's Total Economic Value Produced=
McDonald's Total Revenue
MINUS McDonald's Cost of Inputs
MINUS McDonald's Taxes

Cost of Inputs represent economic value produced by NON-McDonald's farmers, butchers, bakers, condiment makers, vendors, suppliers, marketers, consultants and so on. Taxes are merely something added to final sales prices on government instructions and do not represent any value added by McDonald's (see concept of Factor Costs).

So where do we stand?

McD Revenue 2011: 27 Billion $
MINUS Cost of Inputs: -16 Billion $
MINUS Taxes: -2.5 Billion $
McD Total Economic Value Produced (TEVP)= 27- 16- 2.5= 8.5 Billion $

Therefore, the comparison should be
as follows--

LATVIA GDP 2011: 26.1 Billion $
McD's TEVP 2011: 8.5 Billion $

Therefore, Latvia produces 3 times as much total economic value as McDonald's Global Operations.

I hope I have been lucid.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakObserver on Pakistan's rising food exports:

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - Islamabad—Fruit and vegetable export from the country during the first four months of current financial year recorded increase of 4.21 percent and 10.97 percent respectively.

During the period from July-October 2012 about 120,794 metric tons fresh fruits of different varieties worth US$ 81.48 million exported as compared to the 135,323 metric tons valuing US$ 78.18 million during the same period of last year.

According the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), during first four months of current financial year about 65,113 metric tons vegetables costing US$ 31.75 billion exported which was up by 10.97 percent as compared to 106,752 metric tons of US$ 28.6 million during same period of last year.

The export of fruit and vegetables witnessed increase in their exports in dollars term, however, the export in quantity term witnessed reducing trend during last four months of current financial year, the data revealed. Meanwhile, the export of sugar during the period under review recorded 100 percent increase as about 126,819 metric tons of sugar worth US$ 70.29 million exported.

From the period from July-October 2012, the export of meat and meat preparations also increased by 30.64 percent as about 22,836 metric tons of meat and meat preparations valuing US$ 7.37 (73.7?) million exported as compared to 19,062 metric tons worth US$ 59.4 million exports of same period last year,, it added. The data revealed that during the first four months of current financial year the export of all other food items recorded 30.64 percent increase as against the last year’s export.

During the period from July-October country earned US$ 343.26 million by exporting different food commodities where as it was recorded at 328.15 million during same period last year.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakistanToday on raising Pakistan's food exports to Malaysia:

Pakistan and Malaysia have decided to further enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture with Malaysia agreeing to import more livestock, fish, rice, beef, fruits and vegetables from Pakistan.
“We are already importing a considerable amount of rice, fruits and other food products from Pakistan and we want this cooperation to grow further in the coming months,” said Malaysia’s Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar during a meeting with Pakistan’s Minister for National Food Security and Research Israrullah Zehri in Kuala Lumpur.
During the meeting, Malaysia’s Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar recalled his visit to Pakistan in December 2009 and his meeting with the then Minister for Agriculture Nazar Mohammad Gondal. He also mentioned about 171 buffalos which were given to Malaysia by the Government of Punjab and called for relaxing the procedure for importing more animals from Pakistan as Malaysia was in need of many more.
He also appreciated the quality of Pakistani fruits specially mangoes and kinoos and hoped that the quantum of fruits being imported from Pakistan will increase with the passage of time.
Datuk Seri Noh Omar noted that following his visit to Pakistan, three separate Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) had been signed between the two governments for exchange of scientific knowledge and technology cooperation as well as for the import and distribution of fruit juices, fruit-based consumer products and frozen beef from Pakistan to Malaysia. Similarly, a Letter of Intent had also been signed between the Government of Punjab and the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia for expanding cooperation in the veterinary sector.
Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the Malaysian government had moved swiftly on implementing these MoUs and it had already granted license for export of Pakistani beef to Malaysia while a total of 171 animals, including Neeli Ravi buffaloes, had also been imported from Pakistan for developing “our buffalo industry and improving their gene pool”. He also referred to the growing import of Pakistani rice to Malaysia which imported 43,000 MT of Pakistani rice in 2009 but increased it to 123,000 MT in 2010 and to a sizeable 148,000 MT in 2011 respectively.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Israrullah Zehri thanked his Malaysian counterpart for inviting him to attend the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-tourism Show (MAHA) 2012 and urged the Malaysian government to consider increasing import of beef and mutton from Pakistan as quality of meat was very good and the slaughtering of animals was in accordance with Halal standards. He also invited his Malaysian counterpart to visit Pakistan in February 2012 to attend the livestock fair held in Sibi Balochistan.
Later, Israrullah Zehri visited various pavilions and stalls set up at MAHA 2012. He evinced keen interest in various products, food items and livestock put on display. Later, he also spoke to the local media and shared with them various proposals and measures currently being pursued by Pakistan and Malaysia to enhance mutual cooperation in a diverse range of fields, including import of agricultural machinery and equipment; techniques of horticulture fruit-growing and vegetable gardening; plant protection and fertilizers; livestock farming and breeding; Green House technology; feed and feedstuff production; veterinary medicine; fish farming; energy-saving technologies for agriculture; production of biomass fuel, biogas, biodiesel, renewable and alternative energies (Biofuel); and water management and forestry.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Fresh Plaza report on Pakistan kinnow exports:

Exports of Pakistani mandarin may reach the figure of $100 million around in 2012-13. Exports will start from December 1st 2012 and continue till the end of March 2013.

According to Ahmad Jawad, CEO of Harvest Tradings, heavy rains should help increase Kinnow exports for the 2012-13 season compared to last year, despite the fact that this year production is less than last year in Kinnow the farms of Sargodha district, the biggest citrus producing hub.

"For this season, around 1.8 million tons of production are expected and there are prospects that country's exports would be good. A target of 0.2 million tonnes has been fixed this season for Kinnow export."

He explains that Kinnow export to Iran will not take place because of non availability of e-forms by banks.

Indonesia and India have been added as new markets for the coming season. The export of Kinnow from Pakistan to Indonesia is expected to reach 40,000 tonnes during the coming season. Pakistan and Indonesia have already signed a preferential trade agreement to enhance trade between the two countries this year.

Jawad expects a tough time from China on the Indonesian market in terms of price, but in taste he says, "our product is far better than the Chinese Mandarin. Similarly good volumes are expected to go to India as well in the light of Most Favored Nation Status (MFN) which is granted by the Government of Pakistan to increase trade activities on both sides."

Similarly Malaysia also a favorite market for Kinnow due to Free Trade Agreement signed between two countries.

He goes on to say that, "over a period of time, Russia and Ukraine have also emerged as leading importers of Pakistani Kinnow. Total exports to both countries may now contribute to almost half of Pakistan's total exports, provided we deliver required quality to the Russian authorities."

Mr Jawad urged the support of respective commercial counselors for better promotion and level playing field.

He also sees bright prospects for future of Kinnow exports, but says this is subject to proper dedication and more research as the Kinnow is the only fruit whose juice costs as little as a cup of tea.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakObserver report on German packaging form Multivac entering Pakistani market:

Sunday, December 02, 2012 - Karachi—The overall food and beverage trade in Pakistan has surged to $ 6 billion during 2011. Keeping in view the potential in the food sector of Pakistan a German company MULTIVAC has started operations in Pakistan.

The company moves the market with innovative packaging solutions, individual consultation and exceptional service. Said Amir Sotoudeh, MD MULTIVAC Middle East.

The company manufactures machines for the packaging of fresh or processed food, sterile goods and other medical products, today the company has a worldwide organization with more than 3,300 employees in 55 countries, he added.

We want to facilitate food sector of Pakistan with better packaging facilities in sectors especially ready-to-eat meal, fresh and frozen meat, seafood and bakery products, he further said.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's BMI report on Pak agribusiness:

The 2012 monsoon season was relatively kind to Pakistan’s farmers, especially in comparison with the devastating floods of 2010. Although localised flooding caused severe destruction in parts of Sindh and Balochistan, the main breadbasket region of Punjab enjoyed late rains after a dry start to the season, improving the prospects of rice, corn and cotton in particular.

Key Forecasts:

- Corn production to 2016/17: up 30.0% to 5.6mn tonnes. Continually improving yields and high prices on world markets will support an impressive increase in corn production.

- Cotton consumption to 2016/17: up 23.2% to 12.5mn tonnes. Demand for cotton will surge in the early years of our forecast as the EU lifts tariffs for a year, before falling back to steady yearon-
year (y-o-y) growth.

- Rice production to 2016/17: up 16.5% to 7.3mn tonnes. Pakistan will retain its place among the world’s most important exporters of the commodity as its producers look to expand into new markets.

- 2013 real GDP growth: 4.0%. Up from 3.7% y-o-y in 2012.

- Consumer price inflation: 12.4% in 2013 (up from 11% y-o-y in 2012).

Industry Outlook:

The 2012 monsoon season was relatively kind to Pakistan’s farmers, especially relative to the devastating floods of 2010. Although localised flooding caused severe destruction in parts of Sindh and Balochistan,
the main breadbasket region of Punjab enjoyed late rains after a dry start to the season; this has improved the prospects of rice, corn and cotton in particular.

In a major boost to the cotton industry, the EU has finally enacted a long-discussed measure that will suspend import duties on a range of cotton products from Pakistan. The European Parliament finalised the move in September, although the regulation will only apply until the end of 2013, rather than the two-year period initially pushed for by the EU. According to the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, the EU is one of Pakistan’s largest trading partners, accounting for more than 30% of the country’s total exports. Of this, the 75 items allowed under the deal contribute about EUR921mn, or 30% of the country’s total exports into the EU. ...


Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Agri and livestock and dairy exports account for the wealth and prosperity in many US states like California, Wisconsin, Florida, etc.

It's also the source of wealth in countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, etc."


Riaz Haq said...


Your graphs compare GDP percentages, not exports contribution to foreign inflows.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on German Multivac launch in Pakistan:

MULTIVAC the world’s leader in packaging solution has started Pakistan operation. The overall food and beverage trade in Pakistan has surged to $6 billion during 2011. Keeping in view the great potential in the food sector of Pakistan, MULTIVAC moves the market with innovative packaging solutions, individual consultation and exceptional service. We call it better packaging, our customers call it ‘success’, Amir Sotoudeh MD MULTIVAC Middle East


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Olive Oil Times report on olive cultivation in Pakistan:

Pakistan has announced plans to boost olive cultivation with a plantation of four million olive saplings in the northwest tribal province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Arbab Ayub Jan said that the goal is to make the region self-sufficient in olive oil.

The government of Pakistan has already launched a Rs. 500 million mechanized farming program to usher in a revolution in the country’s agriculture. Minister Ayub Jan, while speaking to a group of farmers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said that a major distribution plan is underway to ensure that the olive saplings get distributed to various areas of the province that are well-suited for the cultivation of olives.

The government is devising a multi-pronged strategy to achieve its long-term goal of self-sufficiency. Well-distributed olive cultivation across the province would help achieve maximum produce in the shortest timeframe. At the same time, the government is looking at other key areas to boost olive production.

The minister said that the government is investing in the establishment of new cold storages and installation of plants to grade and polish fruits. Such improvements in agricultural infrastructure would support the government’s targets of achieving superior produce, low wastage and self-sufficiency in critical food products such as olive oil. The minister pointed out that two new cold storages at a cost of Rs. 360 million had already been established with financial assistance from Italy.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's ET report on tea cultivation research in Pakistan:

A modern tea research laboratory has been set up in the National Tea Research Institute (NTRI) Manshera. The laboratory will process and cultivate tea on a commercial basis to enhance domestic production and reduce the import bill of the commodity.

The laboratory consists of departments for soil sciences, entomology, biochemistry and horticulture for research and development of tea production in the country.

The project, initiated by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, will be completed within the next two years at a cost of Rs490 million.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony at NTRI, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Muhammad Afzal said that the import bill for tea was around Rs 20 to 22 billion per annum, which is a huge burden on the national exchequer. The biggest relief, he said, would be the reduction in foreign exchange spent on tea imports.

He said that the forest departments of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) had provided 1,000 acres for research purposes.

In addition, three tea nurseries have been set up in AJK, Swat and Bajaur Agency, with 32 acres being cultivated in Abbaspur in AJK, and 29 acres in Bajaur. The chairman said, “These nurseries now have million of plants which are ready for cultivation.”

The PARC Chairman also added that the laboratory has the capacity to process 10 tons of high quality green teas. He said that the NTRI would help the country become self-sufficient in tea production, while also increasing farm income and alleviating rural poverty.



Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on green tea production opportunities in Pakistan:

Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmed has stressed the need for focusing on domestic green tea production to meet the requirements of the country.

During his visit to National Tea Research Institute (NTRI) Shinkiari, the PARC chairman said that the country could be self-sufficient in green tea, imports of which have now risen to 33,000 metric tonnes.

He said that NTRI should focus on green tea cultivation to make the country self-sufficient in green tea production.

NTRI Chairman Dr M Azeem, Sardar Ghulam Mustafa, Dr Naseer Malik, Dr Abdul Hayee Qureshi, NTRI Director Dr Farrukh S Hamid and other senior scientists were also present during the visit of PARC chairman.

On the occasion, Hamid briefed the chairman about the history of tea cultivation and present status of its expansion in the potential area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He also gave a detailed briefing about the present import of tea in the country, like, 127,000 metric tonnes of black tea during the fiscal year 2011-12.

The NTRI director said that Pakistan was the third largest importer of tea in the world.

The PARC chairman was also informed that NTRI has produced 12 clones of high-yielding potential and has established the progeny garden.

The tea germplasm available in Pakistan are of Chinese origin and best suited for the production of green tea, moreover, the market price and consumer acceptability demands that green tea production is more economical compared to the black tea.

Green tea has been enjoyed by the people in China and Japan for thousands of years, not only for its taste but also for the health benefits associated with it.

The secret of green tea lies in the fact that it is rich in catechin, polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful anti-oxidant.

The positive health effects of green tea are that it prevents cancer, reduces high blood pressure, anti-diabetes effects, prevents liver disease, food poisoning, has antidepressant properties and weight loss factors.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on wheat seed resistant to rust disease:

The above wheat seed variety has the potential to resist the virus UG99, said PARC Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad while briefing the committee. He further said, “Experts say it is only a matter of time before wind carries a deadly wheat stem pathogen into Pakistan, the ninth largest wheat-producing nation in the world. Known as UG99, the disease could potentially decimate the country’s highly vulnerable wheat crop and cause a huge food security problem.”

Crop scientists say that next destination of this ‘time bomb’ is obviously Pakistan and then India.

UG99 originated in Uganda in 1999 and has migrated to many countries. It has reached Iran and become a regional threat that now confronts wheat production and stability. The PARC has established the UG99 resistance variety and multiplied and provided to farmers at the time of wheat sowing. For this year, the PARC chairman said 72 tonnes UG99 resistance wheat seed is available and being provided on demand. Every year, the seed is multiplying and soon the country will be able to fully protect against the UG99 deadly disease.

Apart from, Ahmad said that PARC is coordinating with all research institutes across the country. We have commodities base coordination on wheat, maize, sorghum and millet, pulses, oilseed crops, fodder crops, rice and rice hybrid and sugar crops. The PARC also helps the government in mechanisation and coordinattion between private sector and concerned departments. Apart from it, there are a number of collaborations with Punjab in promotion of agriculture research and projects.

The committee was also briefed about the livestock department in federal government after devolution process in the country. Livestock Department Head Dr Khurshid told the committee that livestock has 55.1 percent contribution to agriculture value addition and 11.6 percent share in national gross domestic product. During the year 2011-12, the livestock share in total foreign exchange earning is 8.3 percent. During the year 2012-13, the livestock population is; cattle 38.3 million, buffalo 33.7 million, sheep 28.8 million, goat 64.9 million, camels 1.0 million, horses 400,000, asses 4.9 million and mules 200,000 million.

He told the committee that livestock sector’s prospective role towards rural economic development may well be recognised from the fact that nearly 8.0 million families involved in livestock raising are deriving more than 35 percent income from livestock production activities. He said the government has taken a number of measures to improve the pace of development in livestock sector with focus on value addition.

The import of agro based machinery and equipment including machinery and equipment related to livestock farming and dairy processing units is allowed at zero tariff. Import of high-yielding exotic dairy and beef animals and their semen and embryo are allowed. He also informed the committee that sales tax exemption has been allowed to processed milk, yogurt, cheese and flavored milk, butter and cream.

About future plan, he said the department is planning to persuade the polices to achieve 5.0 percent more growth in meat and 8.0 percent or more in milk production through shifting from subsistence livestock farming to market-oriented and commercial farming with a focus on entire market chain. The future road map is to enter into global Halal food trade market, controlling trans-boundary animal diseases of trade and economic importance through provincial participation and rural socio-economic uplift....


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on progress in fighting ug99:

Aug. 30, 2012 — The world's top wheat experts have reported a breakthrough in their ability to track Ug99 and related strains of a deadly and rapidly mutating wheat pathogen called stem rust that threatens wheat fields from East Africa to South Asia. With data submitted by farmers and scientists from fields and laboratories, the creators of the "Rust-Tracker" say they now can monitor an unprecedented 42 million hectares of wheat in 27 developing countries in the path of a windborne disease so virulent it could quickly turn a healthy field of wheat into a black mass of twisted stems and dried-up grains.

"Wheat rusts are global travellers with no respect for political boundaries, and it is highly likely that some of the virulent new strains related to Ug99 will eventually be carried across the Middle East and Central Asia and into the breadbaskets of Pakistan, China and India," said Dave Hodson, developer of Rust-Tracker and a scientist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). "Effective control often depends on finding out what is happening in distant regions, and the Rust-Tracker can help scientists assess the status of stem rust and other rust diseases, not only in their own countries, but also in neighboring countries."
An estimated 85 percent of wheat now in production, including most wheat grown in the Americas, Asia and Africa, is susceptible to Ug99 and its variants. For now, however, only the original mutation, Ug99, has been found outside of Africa -- in Yemen and Iran. Stem rust can cause farmers to lose their entire crop, but a second rust disease is already causing severe losses worldwide. Like stem rust, yellow rust (also known as stripe rust) has in recent years become more of an immediate threat, with the emergence of new, highly-aggressive strains that are able to knock out genetic resistance in many of the most popular varieties of wheat. Among the countries that have suffered devastating yellow rust epidemics are Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with yield losses as high as 40 percent.

"We need urgent concerted action to address yellow rust," said Mahmoud Solh, director general of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). "It is a significant problem from the Middle East all the way to China. In any new varieties of wheat we develop, we need to build in durable resistance to both stem rust and yellow rust."

Using Rust-Tracker data, Hodson and his colleagues in Beijing are developing "risk maps" that can assist researchers in countries in the path of virulent strains of stem rust and yellow rust to assess the severity of the threat and prepare to resist it...
The BGRI was launched in 2005 by Dr. Norman Borlaug, who often said that "rust never sleeps." He was right. After confirming that Ug99 had overcome the resistance gene he and others had developed for wheat more than 50 years before, Borlaug began his campaign to make the world pay attention to the new threat to global food security.

Borlaug received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for fighting stem rust, while developing and introducing new varieties of wheat that saved some of the world's poorest people from famine. In the last four years of his life, he took up the battle anew against his ancient enemy, urging significant investments in agricultural research and leaving behind an army of scientists with the means to continue the work.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's bloomberg on fast food craze in Pakistan:

...Local and overseas business groups are queuing up to buy franchise rights in Pakistan for an array of popular food sold from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur, driven by rising demand from a booming middle class in South Asia’s second-biggest economy after India. Pakistanis increasingly flock to American food outlets even as ties between the two nations are strained by U.S. drone missile strikes in the northwest of the country.

Johnny Rockets Group Inc., another American fast-food group based in Aliso Viejo, California, that operates or franchises 68 hamburger restaurants in 16 countries, Second Cup Ltd., a coffee shop chain based in Missisauga, Canada, with over 360 cafes and Malaysia’s MammaRoti and PappaRoti are set to open their first stores in Pakistan this year.


Fatburger joins Hardee’s Food Systems Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, Atlanta-based cinnamon roll maker Cinnabon International Inc., The Noodle House of the United Arab Emirates, and five foreign frozen yoghurt chains that opened their first outlets in the world’s sixth-most populous nation since 2011. Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased at a 26 percent average pace the past three years, compared with 7.7 percent for Asia, according to data compiled by Euromonitor International, a consumer research firm.

...Pakistan’s middle class has doubled to 70 million people in the past decade as booms in agriculture and residential property, as well as jobs in telecom and media have helped people prosper, according to Sakib Sherani, chief executive officer at Macroeconomic Insights in Islamabad.

Franchising is also booming as businesses battling Pakistan’s record energy outages seek alternatives to factories that can’t run without adequate power, said Samiullah Mohabbat, chief executive officer of Fatburger Pakistan and the country representative for the World Franchise Association. Mohabbat received over 100 queries this year from entrepreneurs wanting to buy franchise rights for international food chains.

The number of foreign food franchises in Pakistan will “easily double” in the next two years as more coffee houses and casual dining outlets enter the country, Mohabbat said. About two dozen foreign food franchises operate in Pakistan since Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum! Brands Inc.’s Pizza Hut opened two decades ago, followed by the same company’s KFC in 1997 and Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, the following year.

KFC plans to open 40 more stores in Pakistan over the next five years to expand its network of 64 outlets in 18 cities, said Rafiq Rangoonwala, chief executive officer of Cupola, the company with the franchise rights for KFC, the biggest fast-food chain by outlets in Pakistan.
Salt Lake City-based Mrs Field’s Original Cookies Inc., that opened an outlet in Lahore in 2011, plans to start 15 more this year, said Rashed Siddiqui, franchise owner.

Second Cup will open its first outlet in Islamabad within the next six months and Red Mango Inc., a Dallas-based frozen yoghurt retailer, will enter Pakistan this year, Mohabbat said.

Fullerton, California-based Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt, that has 20 outlets in Pakistan since opening in late 2011, plans to start 100 more this year, said Naeem Niazi, director for international business development at Wellspring Industry Inc., owner of Tutti Frutti.

Pakistanis spend 90 billion rupees ($924 million) a year on eating out at the 20,000 restaurants nationwide because of a paucity of other entertainment facilities, said Nauman Mirza, founder and chief executive officer of Food Connection Pakistan, an online restaurant guide.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on livestock research in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: During the past decade, livestock growth in Pakistan has outstripped the growth of major and minor crops. Currently, there are 10 animal sciences research projects underway across the country, valuing about Rs130 million, that are aimed at promoting the livestock and fisheries sectors, said Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad. He was speaking at a day-long inspection workshop of the Agriculture Linkage Programme (ALP) – a PARC funded, nationally coordinated, animal sciences projects at NARC.

Ahmad said, “Although the PARC has no research establishment exclusively mandated to undertake animal science research in provinces, the ALP is a major source of funding for such research projects.”

The workshop was organised to coordinate the efforts of the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir for the development of the livestock sector.

“In the post devolution scenario, the PARC is focusing on providing financial support for nationally coordinated projects instead of individual institutional projects,” said Ahmad. “And, of the issues, growth of livestock and fisheries sector is addressed through these national coordinated projects.”

These projects focus on improving feeding management, development of breeding and reproduction strategies, controlling peste des petits ruminants (PPR) disease among goats, major infectious diseases among poultry and intensification of fish culture.

Member (Animal Sciences) PARC, Dr. R. H. Usmani said that ALP projects have components in all the provinces and the federation units and are intended to improve per unit productivity of livestock and fisheries sectors.

He said, “The livestock sector’s contribution to agriculture GDP is more than 51 percent and it contributes 11 percent to agriculture exports. The sector has shown a higher growth rate than the crops sectors over the last decade.”

“However, there are several major issues which need attention. Of the 10 ongoing projects, five are on national coordination, which has become a major function after devolution under the 18th amendment,” said Usmani.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on Pepsi sales in Pakistan:

Pakistan is one of the top 10 markets outside the United States for PepsiCo, says Qasim Khan, a senior executive in the global food and beverage giant’s management team for Asia.

Somewhat surprisingly for PepsiCo, its biggest brand in Pakistan is not the signature Pepsi cola, but rather Mountain Dew. “Pakistan is the second-largest market in the world for Mountain Dew after the United States,” said Muhammad Khosa, head of corporate affairs at PepsiCo Pakistan.

Pepsi began its operations in Pakistan with carbonated beverages in 1967, and currently has eight bottling franchisees operating throughout the country. In addition to Pepsi and Mountain Dew, they produce 7up and Mirinda in the carbonated beverage category, and Sting in the energy drink segment. Over the past decade, Pepsi has added snack foods and fruit juices to its portfolio of products in Pakistan, which it manufactures primarily out of a factory in Lahore.

The addition of the snack food business – as well as strong growth in its beverage lines – has resulted in PepsiCo becoming the largest food and beverage company in Pakistan. According to sources familiar with the matter, the revenues of PepsiCo Pakistan and its eight bottlers came to a combined Rs82 billion for the financial year ending June 30, 2012, up 19% compared to the previous year.

Growth seems to be moving at breakneck speed in the snack food business, which the company started in 2006. “The Pakistan snack food business was the fastest growing in the Asia Pacific region for PepsiCo last year,” said Khan.

Indeed, growth was so fast that the company’s manufacturing plant for snacks reached its peak production capacity within its first year of operations. The company had initially estimated that it would be able to handle at least three years’ growth: it is now scrambling to add capacity as quickly as possible.

Pakistan’s growing importance for PepsiCo is increasingly being reflected in different ways. A television commercial produced in Pakistan for Mountain Dew is now used worldwide. Pakistani technical staff members are occasionally sent to PepsiCo’s divisions around the world to train others. And the PepsiCo food laboratory in Lahore is now used as one of the main labs for products being tested for the Middle East and Africa.

The company’s business unit, under which Pakistan falls, is headed by Qasim Khan, a 1979 graduate of Hailey College in Lahore. After a brief stint at Procter & Gamble, Khan joined PepsiCo in 1986 and has been with the company ever since; serving in senior positions throughout the world.
PepsiCo and its bottlers combined have over 15,000 employees in Pakistan. And it is among the highest taxpaying entities in the country.

Yet not everything is going well for PepsiCo in Pakistan. The natural gas shortage has meant that gas supply to its captive power generation unit at its manufacturing facility has been cut off, forcing it towards alternative, and more expensive, fuel sources. “The cost savings we had managed in our logistics operations were wiped out by higher energy costs,” said Khan.

Nonetheless, the company plans to continue growing its operations in Pakistan and make it part of the global supply chain. Kurkure, spicy corn-based snack currently available only in India and Pakistan, will soon be exported to Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore from Pakistan, owing to the fact that the chips produced in Pakistan are already certified ‘halal’.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on cutting out middlemen in Pak agriculture value chain:


In the food business, there is one strategy that works better than most others: disintermediation, or in layman’s terms, cutting out the middleman.

That is exactly the strategy being pursued by one of the world’s largest privately-held food companies, which is in the process of entering into an agreement to buy its supply of rice directly from Pakistani corporatised farms, cutting out the dozens of layers of commodity traders in between, increasing profits for both the Pakistani farmer and the foreign retailer.

The food company, one of the most significant players in the North American and European markets, has decided that it will source up to 30% of its basmati rice requirements from Pakistan through a company called Rice Partners, a corporate farming outfit being financed by Indus Holdings, an Islamabad-based venture capital and private equity firm.

With all the brouhaha about companies and governments from richer countries coming into poorer nations and buying up agricultural land, the arrangement being pursued by Rice Partners is a decidedly interesting one: the company will not own the farms, but instead will have contracts with farmers for both quality and quantity of produce that it will buy.

Rice Partners has selected about 27 farmers small and medium sized farms that collectively spread over 2,500 acres in and around Muridke in Punjab, in collaboration with their foreign partner. (Rice Partners has asked The Express Tribune not to disclose the name of their partner, since it is not a publicly listed company.)

The company will provide equipment to the farmers, assist them in improving their growing techniques and improve their overall productivity. The rice grown will be expected to meet some of the most rigorous regulatory standards and its quality will be audited by URS Pakistan, a leading quality certification and assurance company.

As a result of the higher quality and strict audits, the farmers will be paid a premium over market rates.

The difference in farm-gate prices (what the farmer gets) and retail prices (what the end user pays), are some of the highest in rice, with the retail price often being four to five times higher than the farm-gate price. Since Rice Partners will be selling directly to a retail brand, instead of going through the 10 to 12 intermediaries, it can afford to pay a much higher price while still remaining competitive.

For its part, the foreign food giant gets an assurance of quality that reduces its rejection rates which, company executives say, can reach as high as 50% in India. Rice Partners will be placing radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in every bag of rice produced, which will offer its foreign partner an unmatched level of traceability – the ability to know precisely where the rice was grown in case there is ever a problem.

The first shipments of rice under the project are expected to be dispatched in early 2012.

While Pakistan is only the 11th largest producer of rice, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, it is the world’s fourth largest exporter, since rice is not a staple part of the Pakistani diet. Yet most of the exports are commodity based, rather than value-added.



Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation newspaper report on PASSCO ending middle men in wheat procurement:

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supply Corporation (PASSCO) is working on a plan to end the role of middle-man to purchase wheat in bulk rather than bardana.According to sources the move will go a long way to help reduce the rising trend of corruption in wheat procurement process and will help to discourage the role of middle-man in wheat purchase operation. It has also plan to register farmers and issue PASSCO cards during wheat sale operation and under the proposed plan wheat can only be procured in bulk without bardana in order to curtail the role of middle-man.It proposed by PASSCO to minimize the subsidy burden on the government of Pakistan and also to minimize the carrying cost wheat procurement targets allocated to PASSCO should be need driven and wheat procurement target to be given keeping in view the average requirement of dependent provinces .Armed forces plus strategic and any unforeseen factors."A payment mechanism be developed wherein the cost of wheat dispatched to Gilgit-Baltistan and Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) are directly paid at source in advance to PASSCO by the Federal government which, will save the national exchequer heavy mark-up which keeps accumulating due to present payment mechanism," sources said."PASSCO requires minimum storage capacity of 1.5 million tons because its godowns has the capacity of only 0.431 million (28 per cent) tons and the remaining 72 per cent wheat stocks were stored in open under tarpaulins," official date reveals." the situation is precarious at 2.039 million tons wheat stocks are lying in the open in far-flung areas (as on 24.09.2012) which has more susceptible to climatic hazards and pest attack,".It said there was a dire need to create additional storage facilities for PASSC and in this regard proposal and offer of Islamic Development Bank for construction of silos with capacity of .65 million tons need to be persuade at war footing on government level.It is quite relevant to mention here that PASSCO has to pay Rs12 billion mark-up on Rs93.54 billion of loans taken from commercial banks in current financial year 2011-12 to run its operations whereas it has to recover Rs19.7 billion dues from regional and provincial governments and other organisations, including the Pakistan Army, on account of wheat supply. In addition to these, PASSCO was to receive Rs3.8 billion on account of mark-up and financial charges from different agencies.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation report on Nestle training Pak dairy farmers:

LAHORE – The Nestlé Pakistan has planned to train 30,000 dairy farmers in next five years through its training centers established at Nestle Farmhouses with a view to improve milk quality as well as production.

This was observed by Nestle Pakistan Manager Corporate Media Relations & Policy Networking Saira Iftikhar, Regional Milk Collection Manager Syed Naveedul Hassan and Assistant Training Manager Salman Umer while briefing The Nation during a visit to Okara Nestle Farmhouse.

“The farmhouse training centers, including training centre of district Okara, are imparting training to around 2,000 dairy farmers annually, besides educating around 4,500 lady dairy farmers so far,” they observed.

Saira observed that Okara training project, started in July 2007, is providing technical assistance and advice about animal health, breeding and fodder production to female dairy farmers also in Punjab as well as half of Sindh to raise the quality and value of the milk they supply, which in turn boosts the local economy.

She maintained that Nestlé Pakistan has taken a key role in the country’s dairy development and is keen to bring new knowledge into the sector, both to build a better future for farmers and to improve the rural economy.

Regional Milk Collection Manager Syed Naveedul Hassan informed that the training is aimed at helping both small scale producers and large commercial farms to improve milk quality and increase milk production in a country which is seeing a growing demand for milk products.

Naveed explained: “We believe that Pakistan will grow very fast as a milk supplier and it has great potential for development into a leading milk exporter.”

“We hope that, through training, we can help our farmers to turn their herds into profit making ventures by improving farm management, efficiency and dairy animal welfare.

“As well as bringing in a valuable source of income, an increase in quality milk production will also provide a source of employment within communities and a significant boost to the economy, he elaborated. He added that it will also help to uplift the socio economic status of the rural workforce.

Assistant Training Manager of Milk Collection & Dairy Development Salman Umer expressed that the course was designed specifically to cover farm management, milk production, cattle health, nutrition and breeding.

The training is providing an excellent opportunity for farmers to learn from the mature international dairy sector, he said and added that Pakistan has the potential to double its milk production if just a few international good practices can be adopted into local conditions.

“Although the vast majority of our farms are small enterprises, the overall volume of milk produced makes Pakistan the fourth largest producer in the world. Just a 10 per cent rise in yield would make a significant difference, he added.” The participants of training said: “The training offered through Nestle Sarsabz Farm has been very effective in helping us towards this goal. The training programme has been making a strong impact on milk production.”

“This has been a very good experience which has exceeded expectations, stated farmers who were getting training. They added that there is a very keen and supportive culture at Nestle Training Centre which allows us to share experience and knowledge.

“We have seen many things which we can use as a benchmark to help us make improvements in our dairy farm. We have been delighted at the success of this very exciting and worthwhile programme with Nestlé Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on Pak food exports:

ISLAMABAD - The food exports of the country during first half of financial year 2012-13 increased by 4.82 percent as compared to same period of last year. The exports of overall food group were recorded at $2,054 million during July-December (2012-13) against the exports of $ 1,959 million during July-December (2011-12).
According to data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the food exports from the country on month on month basis also increased by 14.34 percent and 18.01 percent during December 2012 when compared with December 2011 and November 2012 respectively.
The food exports increased from $ 384.493 million in December 2011 and $ 374.465 million in November 2012 to $ 441.923 million in December 2012.
The major food items which recorded increase in their exports during the first six months of current financial year over same period of last year include sugar (100%), meat and meat preparations (43.74%), fish and fish preparations (2.64%), vegetables (38.28%), spices (25.07%), oil seeds, nuts and kernels (41.6%%) and all other food items (17.31%).
Similarly the food items which recorded decrease in their exports include rice (12.33%), fruits (1.77%), pulses (56.68%), tobacco (40.91%) and wheat (61.49%). The overall exports from the country witnessed growth of 7.58 percent during the period July-December (2012-13) as compared to same period of last year.
Exports from the country during July-December (2012-13) were recorded at $ 12.0513 billion against the exports of $ 11.201 billion during the same period of last year.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Fresh Plaza on Pak potato export effort:

Pakistan's first state of the art potato washing and grading machine was installed in Karachi and is hoped to boost the dwindling export of potatoes.

The machine was imported at a cost of Rs 10 million and is of Indian and Mexican construction.

Abdul Wahid a leading fruit exporter and former Chairman of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Importers and Exporters Association said that, despite bumper crops, a lack of modern processing and grading of the potato hindered its export.

The lack of modern equipment, for washing, for one thing, has limited export to a few markets, including Sri Lanka, Malaysia and some Gulf Countries.

The lucrative European, Central Asian and Russian markets have so far remained out of reach, with few exceptions.

The new machine is thought to be the first in the country that will wash and grade the potatoes, preparing them to a standard suitable for international trade.

To have a real impact there will need to be many more such machines imported into the country.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR story on Tetrapak growth in Pakistan:

Tetra Pak sees tremendous potential for growth in Pakistan as its liquid packaged food industry (dairy and beverage) will grow on an average compound annual growth rate of 15 to 16 percent over the next five years. Pakistan is the 6th largest market in terms of population and for the past several years has consistently registered one of the highest growth rates globally.

Tetra Pak factory will meet the rapidly growing demands of Pakistan's dairy and beverage industries as well as growing demand from other emerging markets in the cluster 'greater middle east', said Tetra Pak factory Production Manager Ihsan Ullah Khan while talking to members of the Agricultural Journalists Association (AJA) at factory premises on Wednesday.

He said that the factory which was constructed with an investment of over Rs 10 billion started its operations on December 01, 2010 has been declared 'Factory of the Year Award' in recognition of its achievement in operational efficiency, environment and safety performance within two years since it commenced operation. The factory has production capacity of eight billion packages per year, with the potential to double production to 16 billion packages.

He said hard work and dedication of local people have proved Tetra Pak administration right in their taking decision of investment in Pakistan. By pursuing continuous improvement in operation, our factory has outperformed previous benchmarks in world class performance and productivity. "I am pleased to be a part of the winning team and I believe, passion of our people and mental fortitude is the driving force behind our success in such a short span of time," remarks Tahir Hafeez, Factory Director.

The selection process for the Factory of the Year Award is based on a selection of key performance indicators, employee satisfaction and management voting. The Lahore factory is World Class Manufacturing (WCM) certified, following manufacturing best practices, for leaner production such as limiting waste level to a minimum, reducing energy consumption by almost 20 percent from 2011. The factory has successfully established a working environment that aims at zero accidents.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's ET on Coke's planned investment in Pakistan:

KARACHI: Optimistic about its growth prospects in Pakistan, the Coca-Cola Company – one of the world’s largest beverage companies – will invest $379 million on manufacturing facilities across Pakistan over the next three years to expand its business, the company’s Pakistani subsidiary announced on Monday.

The announcement comes on top of the $172 million already invested by Coca-Cola in the country in 2011. The beverage giant will be spending the money on three new bottling plants, one each in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad. The announcement was made in the ground-breaking ceremony of the Multan plant on Monday.

The funds will be utilised for expansion and bringing about infrastructure changes and systemic improvements in the Coca-Cola system, an official press release said.

The expansion plans come as rising demand makes it difficult for Coca-Cola to keep pace with its existing production capacity in Karachi and Punjab, according to company officials. A decent growth in its top-line may also be another factor encouraging more investments.

Owing to its strategic location, Multan can not only serve southern and northern Punjab – which alone accounts for more than 60% of Coca-Cola’s business – but can also cater to Karachi’s market, company spokesman Fahad Qadir told The Express Tribune.

Greenfield investment refers to new foreign direct investment that will be utilised in setting up a completely new project, as opposed to an existing business expanding operations with its free cash flows.

Qadir says the plant will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art production equipment and product warehousing facilities. The plant will also have a much higher manufacturing capacity, he said.

Besides the three Greenfield plants announced, Coca-Cola Pakistan already operates six bottling factories in Pakistan, located in Karachi, Gujranwala, Multan, Lahore, Rahimyar Khan, and Faisalabad. It buys close to Rs13 billion in raw materials from around 300 local suppliers.

The Coca-Cola System, according to the press release, provides direct and indirect employment to more than 8,000 people in Pakistan; while another 35,000 people are employed through its supply chain, and another 100,000 benefit through employment in allied industries.

Coco-Cola Pakistan refused to comment on its revenues: but our sources say the company earned over Rs50 billion in revenues for the financial year ending June 30, 2012; a 55% increase when compared with the previous year. It also paid Rs10 billion in taxes.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation newspaper article on food marketing in Pakistan:

FOOD marketing is such a process that usually brings together the producer and consumer. The marketing of even a single food product can be a convoluted process involving many producers and companies. For example, Pakistan has seen a fabulous growth in frozen foods market by the development of the ice-cream segment. The frozen food ice cream segment’s market size enormously expanded as a result of two entrants: a multinational company and a large local company.
Product development is systematic, commercially sloping way to develop products and processes satisfying a known or alleged consumer need. There are four basic stages for every product development process: product strategy development, product design and development, product commercialisation and product launch or post-launch. The vital test of product development occurs in the market and a new product can only be considered flourishing if it is a market and financial success.
There are three historical phases of frozen food marketing: the transportation phase, the distribution phase and the capacity of the retailers.
Today foods are not anticipated to merely satisfy hunger and to endow with necessary nutrients for humans but also to prevent nutrition-related diseases and improve physical and mental well-being of the consumers. The increasing demand of such ‘functional foods’ can be explained by the increasing cost of healthcare, the sturdy increase in life expectancy and the desire of older people for enhanced quality of life in later years.
Product development is now indispensable to scrutinize the issue of what constitutes a new or innovative product. Newness of a product may be judged differently according to those who pick it.
To mull over food product sales it is essential to look at the retail sector; this sector is characterised by intense competition and the dominant position held by supermarkets in many regions of the Pakistan. There is competition not only for sales between retailers but competition between food product suppliers. Pakistan has about 200,000 stores in the urban markets. These account for 90pc of the trade.
The development of the frozen food industry impacts farmers. The farmer directly benefits as he gets a better price, whether he owns a cow/buffalo or grows wheat and grains used in poultry feeds, or produces fruits and vegetables.
Pakistan has abundant sources of raw material. It is the 4th prevalent producer of milk and is one of the top ten producers of poultry in the world. 40pc of the horticulture produce is exhausted in post-harvest losses.
The global market of frozen vegetables alone is more than $3 billion with Japan and USA as the biggest importers of frozen vegetables while Malaysia imported $23 million worth of frozen vegetables in 2004.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakObserver on US help to improve Pak agri productivity:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - Islamabad—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) launched a new project to expand the use of modern technologies in Pakistan’s agriculture sector.

“Boosting Pakistan’s economy is one of our top assistance priorities. That’s why this project will work to modernize agricultural practices to increase the production and quality of livestock and horticultural goods. This in turn will enhance economic development in the country,” said USAID Country Director Jonathan M. Conly at the launch of the project in Islamabad on March 8.

Innovative technologies, introduced in Pakistan with support from the U.S. Government, spurred the Green Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. The adoption of improved rice and wheat varieties, combined with strategic policies and investments, led to a doubling of yields and output in those two decades. With investment in research, Pakistan transformed its agricultural sector into a driver for economic growth.

Currently, Pakistan’s agricultural sector is growing at a much slower pace than other sectors. “Pakistan’s agricultural productivity has fallen behind comparable countries with similar agro-ecologies,” said Thomas Lumpkin, Director General of CIMMYT. “There is a tremendous potential for growth, but we must act now.”

Through its new four-year, $30 million project, USAID will sponsor research to encourage adoption of new technologies in agriculture, such as laser land leveling, zero tillage, residue management, introducing short duration legumes into rice-wheat cropping systems, and custom service systems for machinery.

The project will also offer short and long-term training. The U.S.-funded project will be implemented by CIMMYT and PARC in cooperation with the International Livestock Research Institute, the World Vegetable Center, the International Rice Research Institute, and the University of California, Davis.

Promoting economic growth is one of the many ways that the United States is helping to create a brighter future for the people of Pakistan. The United States funds large-scale energy projects that will provide electricity to two million households by the end of 2013. The U.S. has rebuilt and renovated 800 schools and has provided scholarships to 12,000 students to attend universities in Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post piece on popularity of camel milk in Pakistan:

During the evening rush hour in central Karachi, Nadeem Mutloob can barely keep up with demand at his curbside Marhaba milk bar, a popular stop for workers on their way home.

Customers line up for cool bottles of what Mutloob and some medical researchers tout as an unbeatable health supplement: camel milk, or as the label says, “the world’s next super food.”

“It’s useful; that’s why they buy it,” Mutloob said.

He and others think camel milk can treat a range of ailments, including liver problems, hepatitis and diabetes.

“I use it for ‘man power,’ ” said Mohammad Ashfaq, a 36-year-old gas station employee, referring to virility.

As he bellied up to the shop’s counter, Ashfaq said his wife drinks the milk and gives it to their children, too.

And there might be something to the hype surrounding the age-old nostrum. The milk, indeed, is often used by diabetics and hepatitis patients. It has three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk and is a rich source of iron.

Nomadic Bedouins have relied on camel milk as a staple for eons; today Somalia and Saudi Arabia are the biggest producers. Processors are also developing markets in countries such as Kenya, Australia and the United States.

Karachi is at the center of the trend imported from Africa and the Middle East. Several camel-milk vendors have set up shop in the past year or so.

They range from small stalls like the Marhaba shop to a family operation called Wondermilk that offers flavors such as chocolate, banana and strawberry and takes Internet orders.

The white frothy liquid’s resemblance to its bovine equivalent does not extend to its flavor or its price.

“Tastes salty,” said Syed Sanaullah, proprietor of a shop called al-Habib, when asked to describe the beverage. The shopkeeper, 36, sells single-serve plastic bottles of milk at a roadside stand next to his small convenience store.

He said camel milk costs nearly five times more than regular milk because of shortages in supply — about $3.60 for about 35 ounces, while regular milk fetches only 80 cents. But customers who can afford it continue to purchase the milk because they are convinced of its efficacy.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has noted the commercial value of camel dairy products, saying they could provide nomadic herders “a rich source of income.” The organization estimates a potential world market of $10 billion for the product.

The FAO notes that doctors are prescribing camel milk to patients in Russia, Kazakhstan and India and might be recommending it for people living with AIDS in Africa.

London’s Guardian newspaper recently reported that in Kenya, camel milkshakes and “camelcinos” (camel cappuccinos) are selling in cafes. It said camel-milk production is on par with the country’s coffee industry.

In addition to cosmopolitan Karachi, camel-milk consumption is catching on elsewhere in Pakistan, in cities such as the far less hip capital, Islamabad. There, individual sellers have been seen parking camels at the side of the road near bustling shopping centers.

While the bottled product is often boiled or pasteurized, these dairy entrepreneurs sell the milk in plastic baggies — or even offer “it-doesn’t-get-any-fresher” squirts directly from the source.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday report on raising wheat yield in Pakistan:

American scientists and Pakistani wheat experts are collaborating to increase Pakistan’s wheat harvest and ensure greater prosperity to farmers nationwide.
A bi-national team of scientists, sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), met in Faisalabad last week to evaluate wheat varieties for disease-resistance, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy.
In order to determine which wheat varieties will perform best in Pakistan’s unique ecosystem, US and Pakistani researchers studied the effects of heat and other types of environmental stress on the different varieties of wheat that can be planted in Pakistan.
USDA, through its Wheat Productivity Enhancement Project (WPEP), currently helps evaluate 60 wheat varieties planted in 115 wheat trials throughout Pakistan. In order to increase the quality of this joint research, last week USDA also provided Pakistani research institutions specialized wheat planting and harvesting equipment. The new machines, which replaced equipment over 25 years old, will allow scientists to study more wheat varieties each year and more rapidly improve Pakistani farmers’ harvest yields.
“Wheat is critical to the food security of both Pakistan and the United States,” said USDA Plant Health Advisor Ian Winborne after a ceremony at Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) celebrating the handover of the new equipment. He added, “Lasting links between Pakistani and US scientists can help improve and protect agricultural harvests in both our countries.”
WPEP facilitates scientific collaboration between USDA, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and Pakistan’s national wheat programs. WPEP funds scientific exchanges to develop, introduce, and test disease-resistant wheat varieties; improve agronomic practices; and upgrade research capacity in Pakistan.
This initiative is just one part of a comprehensive US economic growth assistance program which includes expanding irrigation by more than 200,000 acres near the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams; constructing more than 1,000 km of roads to connect communities and facilitate trade; modernizing dairy farms in Punjab; and launching private equity investment funds to help small and medium businesses grow.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation report on Nestle's $104 million investment in Pakistan:

AHORE – SALMAN ABDUHU - The Nestle Pakistan has announced the completion of its new milk powder drying facility plant with additional investment of $104 million at Nestle Sheikhupura factory.

Nestlé Executive Vice President and Operations and Globe System In-charge Joze Lopez, who is on three three-day visit to Pakistan, inaugurated the $104 million Egron Project and visited the whole plant.

Lopez, addressing the opening ceremony, said that the existing Milk Powder Plant has now been modified with new technology and has an additional yearly capacity of 30,000 tons. The power generation capacity and waste water management system have also been upgraded and additional filling lines have been set up, he added.

He stated the Nestlé is the largest food and beverage company in the world and the Sheikhupura dairy, juice and water factory embodies Nestlé’s increased investment in Pakistan. As part of its three-year plan to expand the production capacity in the country, Nestlé has invested a total of $148 million over the past two years in various factory expansion projects to meet rising consumer demands.

He added that wherever Nestlé is present, the company works and invests in the long term. We are convinced that in order to be successful in the long-term we have to create value for our shareholders, as well as for society. This Creating Shared Value approach encourages businesses to create economic and social value simultaneously by focusing on the social issues that they are uniquely capable of addressing. He observed that Nestlé Pakistan is committed to creating shared value for the communities it works and lives with. The company has made many contributions in this regard, by providing free technical and veterinary advisory and training support to thousands of dairy farmers in the milk districts who now have more sustainable opportunities to gain their living.

Lopez said, “Pakistan is an important growth market for us and we are dedicated to meet the growing demands of our consumers. Major capacity increases, such as the one just inaugurated in Sheikhupura, allow us to constantly upgrade our facilities to the latest standards in global technology.”

MD Magdi Batato, on this occasion said that Nestlé Pakistan is the leading food and beverage company in Pakistan and meets international standards in the manufacturing of its products. In 2012, the company grew by 22 per cent to reach an annual turnover of Rs79 billion (Approximately $800million). Nestlé Pakistan is serving the Pakistani consumers since 1988 and it also associates itself with 200,000 farmers in collecting milk and engages in a number of rural development programme for community development.

“Our reality is ‘Har Dam Pakistani’, (Every Moment Pakistani) and we are delighted to provide our consumers with products manufactured in Pakistan. More than one million Pakistanis, mostly dairy farmers, participate in our value chain and this investment is a further commitment to Pakistan and its people, and to our vision of providing Behtar Kal Hamara, (A Better Tomorrow For Us) to all,” said Magdi Batato, Managing Director, Nestlé Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Unilever announces $514 million investment in Pakistan, reports News Tribe:

Karachi: Unilever Plc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Unilever Overseas Holdings Limited on Tuesday committed to invest circa €400 Million (US$514m Million, Rs.50 Billion) in acquiring the 24.92% of issued shares in its Pakistan subsidiary, Unilever Pakistan Limited, that it does not already own.

This follows price and buyout threshold determined by the Special Committee constituted at the Karachi Stock Exchange as per applicable delisting regulations.

€400 Million is the single largest foreign direct investment in the recent history of Pakistan and underlines Unilever’s commitment to a business established in the country in 1948.

For the last 65 years, Unilever has been working to create a better future every day for millions of Pakistanis, with brands and services that help people make sustainable living a common place. There is hardly a household that does not daily use one of its 27 brands in the home care, personal care, foods, beverages and ice cream categories.

It directly employs 2,000 individuals in addition to generating a further 6,000 jobs in the value chain. Over 95% of what it sells is manufactured in Pakistan. The company ranks as the Most Preferred Employer amongst business graduates.

Under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the company focuses on improving health and well-being, enhancing livelihoods and reducing the environmental impact.

The aforementioned investment is subject to approval by Unilever Pakistan’s shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held shortly.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Frontier Post piece on USAID helping dairy sector in Pakistan:

The USAID Dairy Project has spurred growth in Pakistan’s rural economy by helping women farmers increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods.

Realizing the pivotal role rural women play in Pakistan’s livestock sector, USAID is creating a pool of up to 5,000 locally-trained and readily-available female livestock extension workers to provide veterinary services and advice on the care and feeding of cattle to rural dairy farmers. The project also meets farmers’ basic needs by providing them with quality supplies for their animals, such as feed, vitamins, and medication.

The USAID Dairy Project is a catalyst to create new jobs and improve rural livelihoods in Pakistan. “My husband used to work at a private school, but he had to quit his job because of an illness. Now he is unemployed. I was educated through the 12th grade, but I could not find a job,” said Asma, a resident of Toba Tek Singh in Punjab.

“I was worried about my husband’s health and the fact that I couldn’t do anything for my children’s future even though I am educated. I couldn’t sleep at night. But then I heard about this USAID project. I am happy to say that I am now working in my village as a livestock extension worker, providing basic animal healthcare services in my village.”

USAID’s Dairy Project, launched in July 2011, selects dynamic rural women with a high school diploma and trains them in basic animal health management techniques and entrepreneurship. The program has already trained 2,470 unemployed rural women, helping them earn an average of 2,500 rupees per month. It aims to train an additional 2,530 farmers.

“I am advising people in my village about how to improve milk production,” Asma added. “This USAID project has connected us with livestock experts and pharmaceutical companies we didn’t know about before. So far, I have treated around 600 animals and earned 46,000 rupees. Now, our household is prosperous and my sick husband is getting treatment. I am also re-investing in my own agriculture business.”

Naazra, another beneficiary of the project and a resident of Cheechawatnee, was trained as a livestock extension worker and is now successfully running her own business supplying concentrated feed to local dairy farmers.

“USAID trainers introduced me to a quality manufacturer of cattle feed and gave me a mobile phone so I could easily contact suppliers and customers. I have earned 30,000 rupees in three months by selling quality feed. I used the money to develop my business and meet the basic needs of my family. I even bought a refrigerator, which has been very useful for the summer season.”

These women represent a symbol of change and are a testimony to the fact that careful interventions, designed based on community needs, can truly transform rural livelihoods. Women like Aasma and Naazra are helping to modernize Pakistan’s dairy sector in line with international practices.

The dairy and livestock sectors contribute about 11 percent to the gross domestic product of Pakistan. Forty-five percent of Pakistanis are employed in the agricultural sector. Most dairy farmers have only two to three cattle, and few have access to veterinary services that are crucial to improving milk yields.

Dairy farming is vital for the rural economy of Pakistan, and USAID’s extensive training programs for dairy farmers, women livestock extension workers, and artificial insemination technicians will continue to play an important role in transforming livelihoods in rural communities...


Riaz Haq said...

Junaid Jamshed, former Vital Signs singer, has started Meat One, a branded meat service in Pakistan.

Here's the link to it: http://www.meatone.net/

Here's a description from its website:

With a vow to supply supreme quality meat, Meat One is the very first of a new, specialized chain of meat stores in Karachi. Meat One is a subsidiary of the Al Shaheer Corporation, a very successful venture that has been exporting meat to the Middle East and GCC countries since 2008. We presently operate 12 outlets across the city of Karachi with plans to open additional shops. Retailing export quality beef, lamb and mutton, Meat One is the first of its kind in the meat shop space. The meat is supplied by our own abattoir located in Karachi, which currently exports beef and mutton to the Middle East. This plant is certified by health and food import departments of most Middle East and GCC countries. The free range, lean meat that Meat One offers you every day is natural and wholesome!

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on Burger King planned franchises in Pakistan:

As anticipated for long, Burger King is finally coming to Pakistan, most likely in mid-2014, as MCR Pakistan, the franchisee of Pizza Hut in Pakistan, has entered into a master franchise agreement with Burger King Worldwide Inc, The Express Tribune has learnt.
While BK and MCR didn’t disclose the details of the agreement, sources familiar with the matter said that the bidding took place in Dubai a few weeks ago. Three parties, including a Dubai-based investor, participated in the bidding, which went in favour of the MCR Group.
There is not much skilled staff in the market, which may require engaging foreign trainers and the company hasn’t yet identified locations. According to the Dawn ad, BK’s first outlet will be opened in Karachi.


Related ET story on fast food:

The fast food boom in Pakistan is a really practical example. It was well-received by the local community and now enjoys healthy growth and stellar profitability despite fierce competition.
Introduction of multinational food franchises, initiated in the 1990s, was in the midst of non-existent local fast food restaurants. Today, the trend is spreading fast and the industry experts believe this to be just the beginning for the flourishing industry.
Some reasons for the spectacular rise of the industry are that Pakistani middle-class has welcomed the cuisine due to variety of bargain deals, products, atmosphere, attitude and strict hygiene standards, not to mention more disposable income.
“It is true that the middle-class is now the priority for many franchisers. At lease for us (McDonalds) the middle-class is the real target as they spend more on fast food of their disposable income,” said Sohail Malik, country manager of McDonalds Pakistan, while speaking to The Express Tribune. “With the introduction of plenty of choices available in the industry, the masses have gained awareness and this awareness is the key to healthy competition, he added.
Marketing is the other key for franchises to grow their respective businesses. Previously amid insignificant competition, the restaurants did not really latch on to the importance of marketing, but it is completely inverse in the present scenario as competition has grown and major international brands such as Hardees Incorporated, Fatburger and Kentucky Fried Chicken already operate in the country.
“Tough competition also proves to be a blessing for the consumers because of the choices and great bargain and promotional deals available,” said Bilal Hanif, a fast food enthusiast.
As far as the growth of the industry is concerned, according to McDonalds Pakistan’s country director, this is just the beginning...


Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakistanToday on Pak trade figures in FY 2012-13:

KARACHI - The country’s trade balance slid by a significant 19.7% MoM to a comfortable $ 1.743 billion in Jun-13, said the analysts at InvestCap Research citing data recently issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Whereas the exports on a monthly basis inched up slightly by 1% MoM to $2.197 billion in Jun-13, the imports stepped down by 9.4% MoM to USD3.940 billion. “Such a trend can be explained by the absence of fertilizer imports in Jun-13, whereas the same stood at 97k tons in May-13 (USD53.7mn), the contribution of Urea to Jun-13 figures was absent due to delay in supply which is now expected to be received by the end of July-13,” said InvestCap analyst Muniba Saeed. Further, she said, contributors to the declining imports are expected to be fall in palm oil imports (importers already having stocked up for Ramadan), decline in imports of textile machinery and falling imports of generators. On an annual basis, the imports remained essentially stagnant increasing by a meager 0.08% YoY, climbing to a level of $44.950 billion in FY13. “Such a trend was witnessed despite decline in imports of petroleum products, fertilizer and the food group; the three heads combined contributing roughly 60% to total imports for the year,” the analyst said. The same was, however, negated by increased imports of machinery and the textile group leading to the imports head remaining effectively the same as last year, she said. Exports on the other hand increased by 3.78% YoY adding an additional USD894mn to the head to reach USD24,518mn. Such expansion is expected to be led by increased exports from the food group where sugar is projected to be the major contributor in fuelling such growth. Exports from the other heads are however expected to have subsided during the same period where major contribution is anticipated from the textile and petroleum group. The trade balance for FY13 as a result posted a decline of 4% YoY, descending to an amount of USD 20,432mn.


Saeed said...

Per acre yield in India is almost double of Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Saeed: "Per acre yield in India is almost double of Pakistan"

Cereal yield, measured as kilograms per hectare of harvested land (including wheat, rice, maize, barley, oats, rye, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and mixed grains) for India and Pakistan are about the same...India is slightly ahead with 2800 Kg vs Pakistan's 2700 Kg, according to World Bank


India stands at the bottom in terms of maize and pulses productivity compared to China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Bangladesh leads the tally in terms of maize yields with 5,837 kg per hectare, followed by China at 5,459 kg a hectare, Myanmar 3,636 kg/hectare, Pakistan 3,558 kg per hectare, Nepal 2,118 kg every hectare, Sri Lanka 2,806 kg a hectare and in India it is 1,958 kg/hectare.

In pulses, China tops the list with 1,567 kg per hectare followed by Myanmar at 1,114 kg a hectare, Bangladesh at 871 kg/hectare, Nepal 791 kg per hectare, Pakistan 762 kg every hectare, while in India it stands at 694 kg per hectare. http://zeenews.india.com/business/news/economy/major-crop-productivity-in-india-just-half-of-that-in-china_44529.html

Riaz Haq said...

Nature Magazine published a recent study which showed India and China are driving meat consumption growth in the world.

The researchers calculated the human trophic level for each year from 1961 to 2009 using a data on 102 types of food compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.The metric puts plants and algae, at trophic level 1, and polar bears and orcas, on top positions at levels of up to 5.5.

India's trophic level has now risen to 2.1 while Pakistan's is 2.4.

The countries with the highest trophic levels include Mongolia, Sweden and Finland, which have levels of 2.5, and the whole of Western Europe, USA, Australia, Argentina, Sudan, Mauritania, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, which all have a level of 2.4.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story on educating Pakistani workers on value added agriculture:

The scope of corporate farming in Pakistan is growing, showing even greater potential for this sector in the coming years, mainly due to product diversification from many local and multinationals in food, beverages and dairy segments. But are the human resources of Pakistan related to this particular sector ready to convert threats in to opportunities, in terms of technology, innovation, researches.
For local companies and corporate farmers, finding such human resources might be a little tough, unlike multinationals which can rely on the transfer of knowledge from their global headquarters. Take for example the recent diversifications in the juices and dairy sectors in the past few years, from local and multinational consumer goods and food companies. Although these companies are now making profits, they are perturbed by the increasing gap of knowledge and human resources.
A few universities and government/NGO-supported institutions are working in this sector, providing basic and slightly advanced education and field training to students and farmers.
“There are basically two groups at the business level in this sector, corporate farmers who don’t know how to improve productivity and make greater financial gains; and those who know about business but don’t know much about practical farming,” said Magdi Batato, Nestle Pakistan’s Managing Director, while talking with The Express Tribune. Pakistan as an agrarian economy needs to develop a class of professionals educated and trained in the relevant discipline, he added.
One such initiative however has already been taken by Lahore university of Management Sciences (Lums) with collaborations of Nestle Pakistan. Economic development, poverty alleviation, enhancing productivity, managing supply chain issues, and research for further innovations through agribusiness is what the market wants. The success of the initiative taken by Lums and Nestle might force other business schools to introduce similar or more up to date courses.
“Such courses/certifications will have a cascading effect on the market as more entrepreneurs will be formed which will deliver much better then now”, said Doctor Arif Nazir Butt, Dean Suleman Dawood School of Business, Lums.
Companies related to dairy segments like Nestle, Engro Foods, Haleeb Foods are all contributing positively in rural economy by involving local dairy farmers in their network. Many locals have started successful modern dairy farming, JDW dairies among which is a prominent example.
Companies have now started projects of modern orchard farms for their survival. This once again is providing opportunities for locals to start modern orchard and tunnel farming. This portfolio would benefit low line farmers in future in terms of technical assistance, education, innovation, though the high price factor which the end consumer will pay to buy such products, as in case of dairy segment, is another story.


Riaz Haq said...

Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) expects to start production in five new factories in Egypt and Pakistan over the next 18 months, seeing double-digit percentage growth in sales for both markets this year, its Middle East and North Africa president told Reuters.
Surpassing Egypt for its sales growth, Pakistan will see three new plants open in the next 18 months in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad to serve the domestic market with sparkling drinks such as Coke, Fanta and Sprite.

"We watch the needle in Pakistan and almost every month we red-line on what our capacity is," Ferguson said, adding he expected sales growth of around 20 percent in Pakistan this year. "We're just scratching the surface there."
"Egypt is going to be one of our key anchor countries," Curt Ferguson said on Wednesday, citing the country's large and growing population as a big positive. "For sure the other key anchor will be Pakistan."

As part of a $500 million investment plan announced for Egypt in March, Coca-Cola will start constructing a new juice plant in 6th of October city near Cairo next year in a joint $100 million dollar project with Saudi Arabia's Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company.

The $500 million will be spent over the next three years, Ferguson said.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Bloomberg on growing demand for processed milk in Pakistan:

Engro Foods Ltd., Pakistan’s second-largest dairy company, expects sales to increase 20 percent this year as an expanding middle class boosts demand for processed milk products in a nation where most people still buy the liquid raw and boil it.
Engro is seeking to almost quadruple annual revenue to 150 billion rupees ($1.52 billion) in seven years by adding higher-margin products such as infant formula and yogurt to cater to the world’s sixth-largest population, Chief Executive Officer Sarfaraz Ahmed Rehman said in an interview.
....Billionaire Mian Muhammad Mansha and the Fauji Foundation, a business group run by retired military officers, are seeking to enter the market dominated by Engro and Nestle Pakistan Ltd.
“I think the market will open up again, and there will be some growth coming through,” Rehman, 56, said. “Some of it might mean new competitors.”
Engro Foods shares rose 1.6 percent to 104.2 rupees at 9:35 a.m. in Karachi. They have declined 1 percent this year, valuing the company at 79.4 billion rupees. The KSE-100 Index has gained 15 percent.
Pakistan’s middle class has doubled to 70 million people in the past decade, driven by booms in agriculture and residential property, as well as jobs in telecom and media, according to Sakib Sherani, chief executive officer at Macroeconomic Insights in Islamabad. South Asia’s second-largest economy has a population of about 196 million.
Engro Foods is controlled by Engro Corp. a holding company with eight different businesses that has its origins in fertilizer manufacturing. Engro Corp. is controlled by Chairman Hussain Dawood, one of Pakistan’s most prominent businesspeople. Engro Foods started operating in 2006.
Among Engro Food’s most-popular products are liquid tea whitener Tarang and UHT milk Olpers. It also sells juice, ice cream and lassi, a flavored milk drink. Since February, the company has manufactured powdered milk. Engro may collaborate with global consumer companies in the future, Rehman said.
Consumer Spending
The company has about a dozen shops in Karachi under the Mabrook brand that sell pasteurized fresh milk.
The growth of Engro Foods and the prospects for greater sales of processed dairy products have drawn major Pakistani business groups to announce plans to enter the sector.
Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased at a 9.4 percent average annual pace in the last three years, compared with 4.3 percent for the Asia-Pacific region, according to Euromonitor International.
In addition to the planned dairy investments by billionaire Mansha and Fauji, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s business group has said it will start to make cheese and butter and import Australian buffaloes.
ICI Pakistan Ltd. plans to buy 40 percent of the Pakistani distribution rights for fortified infant formula made by Japan’s Morinaga Milk Industry Company Ltd. from Unibrands Pvt. for 960 million rupees. The company expects to complete the deal in the next few weeks.
“There is huge potential,” ICI Pakistan CEO Asif Jooma said in an interview in Karachi on June 24. “I think we have just touched the tip of the iceberg.”
Tapal, a Pakistani manufacturer of tea products, may enter the dairy business, said Arfa Khatoon, a spokeswoman for Tapal in Karachi.
“In the end, all these consumer businesses are function of volume, you get enough volume, you’ll get profits way above,” said Rehman, who used to be the Pakistan country head for PepsiCo Inc. “Grab volume. That’s what I have grown up with.”


Riaz Haq said...

From FAO on Pak Aquaculture growth:

Aquaculture in Pakistan is a recent development and in many parts of the country the management of the sector is still poor with culture practices varying across the different provinces. Two Asian Development Bank (ADB) assisted projects have assisted in strengthening the institutional structure, with infrastructure development such as the development of hatcheries and juvenile production, model farms, transfer of technology, human resource development as well as the strengthening of extension services.

Aquaculture has also received a substantial amount of government investment over the past decades and facilities are now in place that can provide the basis for a major future expansion in aquaculture production.

With the exception of trout culture in NWFP and the northern region, virtually all aquaculture currently carried out in Pakistan is pond culture of various carp species. Pakistan has not yet begun any coastal aquaculture operations although there is good potential all along Pakistan's 1 100 km coastline. Efforts have been made in the past to start shrimp farming along Sindh coast, which did not succeed, the main constraints being the non-availability of hatchery produced seed and a lack of expertise.

Freshwater fish culture in earthen ponds, both small and large reservoirs as well as community ponds was initiated in late 1960s by the provincial fisheries departments. From 1980 onwards the polyculture of Indian major carps and Chinese carps has been carried out in Punjab, Sindh and to some extent in NWFP.

According to the latest estimates, the total area covered by fish ponds across all provinces is about 60 470 ha, with Sindh having 49 170 ha, Punjab 10 500 ha, NWFP 560 ha and the other provinces (Balochistan, Azad Jammun Kashmir [AJK] and Northern Area [NA]) 240 ha.1.2Human resources:About 13 000 fish farms have so far been established across Pakistan, the size of these farms varies considerably, however, the average farm size ranges form 5-10 ha. No direct data on the number of fish farmers employed in this sector is available as fish farming in most parts of the country is carried out as an integral part of crop farming. According to a best estimates, about 50 000 people are either directly or indirectly employed in the sector.
About 13 000 fish farms have so far been established across Pakistan, the size of these farms varies considerably, however, the average farm size ranges form 5-10 ha. No direct data on the number of fish farmers employed in this sector is available as fish farming in most parts of the country is carried out as an integral part of crop farming. According to a best estimates, about 50 000 people are either directly or indirectly employed in the sector.
There has been a decreasing trend in inland fish production during the period between 2001 and 2003 resulting from severe drought and degradation of natural resources through pollution. Production from the inland capture fisheries has been affected most, inland aquaculture has, however, witnessed a relatively rapid increase....


Riaz Haq said...

Dr. Ishrat Husain on deregulation in Pakistan

As in most debates in Pakistan there are sharply polarised views on the regulation and deregulation of private-sector activities. Some advocate re­gulation by the state as an effective tool to curb the market’s excesses. Others think markets should be left to themselves and the state should have few regulations.


Financial markets have some unique features that are missing in product and factor markets. This distinction is lost sight of in this polarised debate. Shareholders’ equity in bank balance sheets ranges from 8pc to 10pc. The banks are highly leveraged as they raise 90pc to 92pc of their money from depositors and borrowings from other financial institutions and markets. This high leverage effect magnifies both upside gains and downside risks, inducing the bank management, whose compensations are linked to short-term profits, to resort to excessive risk-taking.

The upside gains of the leveraged bets accrue mainly to shareholders and managers, while downside losses are so heavy that the state has to bail them out using taxpayers’ money. This asymmetric treatment of the risks incurred and the accrual of rewards places a heavy responsibility on regulators to ensure that shareholders, and not taxpayers, bear the brunt of excessive risk-taking. Therefore, given the market’s structure in the financial sector, state regulation is not only justifiable but desirable.

The same logic cannot be applied to the market for goods and inputs. If a farmer’s income is determined by forces outside his control he has no incentive for higher production and improved productivity. In Pakistan, the government controls wheat prices, and fertiliser prices are subsidised, largely benefiting big farmers. Irrigation water is allocated in a discriminatory manner inducing inefficiency. The food department procures wheat at official prices from those who are influential or who grease their palms. Under such stringent price and quantity regulation why should the average farmer maximise his efforts to produce more?

The differential in the yield between a progressive and an average farmer ranges between 50pc to 70pc. If there was deregulation of prices and quantity (except for a certain amount of reserves), wheat production could jump to at least 30 million tons — a conservative estimate.

Contrast this with the deregulated milk market. Except for hygiene regulations, milk supply and demand determine the prices. The fastest growth in the average farmer’s cash income has taken place through money from milk. For other non-cereal products, market committees that are inefficient and operate in collusion with officials of the agriculture department have distorted prices.

The sugar market has, at different times, faced waves of regulation, fixed cane price and opaque market interventions. The government steps in when there is surplus production; it procures from local sugar mills and sells in international markets at loss.

In times of shortages, the government imports sugar, and sells at a price mostly to the mills’ advantage. Efficient and inefficient mills are treated equally; there is no pressure on the latter to exit the market as they are insulated from facing the market test. Thus over-regulation, procurement by the government at non-market prices and intrusive and discriminatory practices have tilted the sugar market against the consumers. Here deregulation is badly needed.

In the manufacturing sector, as many as 40 agencies and departments of the federal, provincial and local governments are involved in giving clearances, no-objection certificates, grants of permits, licences, etc. Most factory owners have reconciled to this situation, making monthly payments to functionaries of these departments commensurate with their nuisance value. A labour inspector can arbitrarily shut down a factory, causing enormous loss to the owners, for whom the easy course is to keep the inspector contented.


Riaz Haq said...

KARACHI: Hub Salt Refinery is all set to invest $130 million in establishing its fourth manufacturing plant near the coastal belt of Balochistan to meet the world’s growing demand of the mineral substance, its chief executive Ismail Suttar said.

Suttar, in an interview with The News, said the company is already producing a variety of edible and organic grades of salt for domestic and industrial use. It has a total installed capacity of 620 tons/day.

The major industrial consumers include chloralkali, pharmaceutical, textile dyeing, leather processing, oil drilling and petrochemical industries.

“With the new plant, the company can export $500 million worth of salt every year around the world,” Suttar said. “The project will have a foreign partnership with the local management.”

Currently, the company’s annual sales stand at Rs1.5 billion; 70 percent of incomes come from exports.

He said once the plant is built a dedicated jetty to export bulk salt will also be established.

Pakistan possesses huge reserves of all three grades of salt: rock salt, lake salt and sea (solar) salt.

“The international demand of salt is around 80 million tons and Pakistan can earn huge foreign exchange if it only meets the yearly shortfall of seven to eight million tons,” CE Hub Salt said.

Mexico and Australia are largely meeting the world’s demand. “Pakistan can capture the market share if policy makers think beyond textile and give attention to other potential-laden sectors, which can generate huge foreign exchange for the country,” he said.

He pointed lack of logistics and road network as the major reasons, making the exports unviable.

The company has been operating since 1985 with its plant at Hub Industrial Trading Estate. In 2008, it ventured in two more plants in Tharparkar. One of which was built in Ankerio, four kilometers from Rann of Kutch, with the investment of Rs300 million. It is solely catering to industries. The other plant is 80-kilometer away from the Islam Kot at Mukhai Salt Lake.

Suttar said building plants close to a lake and a mine helps the company to reduce cost of production and transportation.

Hub Salt has also built more than 80 organic salt therapy rooms around the globe, including Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Nestle Pakistan Ltd., a unit of the world’s biggest food company, has started selling pasteurized fresh milk in a pilot project as it seeks to develop a new segment in the South Asian country’s $23 billion dairy market.
The company has been delivering plastic pouches of milk to 100 homes in Lahore for the past three months on motorbikes and three-wheeler taxis.
“It’s like when we started with our water gallons 20 years ago, which started with delivery to offices and households, it starts small and then spreads,” Nestle Pakistan Chief Executive Officer Magdi Batato, 56, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Lahore. “There is a potential, but it’s still niche in my view.”
Nestle wants to diversify in the world’s fifth-largest milk market, where 95 percent of dairy products sold are unprocessed with people buying the liquid raw and then boiling it. Companies already sell milk in ultra-high temperature form that has a longer shelf amid long hours of energy outages in the blackout-prone nation.
Pakistan’s dairy industry has a value of about 2.3 trillion rupees ($23 billion) a year, according to Zoya Ahmed Zaidi, an analyst at AKD Securities in Karachi. She projects the sector will increase in value by about 10 percent over the next five years.
‘Right Direction’
Engro Foods Ltd., a Pakistani dairy and juice company, discontinued branded shop sales of fresh, pasteurized milk after about a year in the southern city of Karachi in December. The company was hampered by the city’s frequent power outages, said Nauman Khan, research head at Foundation Securities.
Nestle is “going in the right direction as demand is rising for branded products with the upper-middle class becoming more hygiene-conscious.” Amreen Soorani, an analyst at Karachi-based JS Global Capital, said by phone. Home delivery “is more convenient and makes it more accessible.”
Pakistan’s sale of processed drinking milk products are projected to have more than double in the past five years to 134.6 billion rupees in 2014, and are forecast to reach 203 billion rupees by 2019, according to Euromonitor International.
Batato said he expects the Pakistani processed milk market to grow to 7 percent or 8 percent in five years. “It won’t be a step change like Turkey.''
Turkey gave farmers incentives to sell milk to documented processing companies as part of its efforts to join the European Union, which boosted the share of the pasteurized-milk sector to 70 percent from 10 percent, according to Batato.
Pakistan’s middle class more than doubled to 84 million in 2002-2011, bringing almost half the nation into that segment for the first time, according to a study by Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, a professor at the Karachi School for Business and Leadership, published last year.
Full Capacity
Nestle started its Pakistani operations in 1988 in a joint venture with Milk Pak Ltd. before taking over management of that company four years later, according to company’s website. About 80 percent of revenue is generated from milk and nutrition products including baby formula and cerelac, while the rest comes from water and beverages, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The company’s powdered milk plants in Pakistan are running at ‘‘full capacity,” Batato said. “We are taking every single drop. There is an opportunity to import tactically a bit, but this is not our business model.”


Riaz Haq said...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Phase Two of the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) FEEDing Pakistan program to further develop Pakistan’s aquaculture sector and its use of feeds made from U.S. soy.

The additional one-year of funding allows WISHH to create even more demand for soy-based feeds, building upon the success of local fish farmers as well as private investment by the Pakistani feed industry.

“USDA support of FEEDing Pakistan boosts the growing soy-based feed industry in Pakistan, which has the sixth largest population in the world,” said WISHH Vice Chairman Lucas Heinen, a Kansas soybean grower. “WISHH’s strategy complements the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s work as Pakistan’s poultry industry now buys U.S. soybean meal and processing industry leaders import U.S. soybeans.”

Launched in 2011, WISHH’s FEEDing Pakistan has assisted approximately 2,000 Pakistani fish farmers and helped increase the market value of fish produced—tilapia—from zero at the beginning of the project to an estimated 450 mill rupees ($4.5 million USD) in 2014.

Photo: ASA WISHH’s FEEDing Pakistan project develops Pakistan’s aquaculture sector and its use of feeds made with soy. A 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture Report projected a 525 percent increase in aquaculture production in Pakistan and a complementary increase in the demand for fish feed between 2012 and 2022.

FEEDing Pakistan tilapia averaged 600 grams per fish–double the weight of traditional Pakistan fish harvests.

“Pakistani fish farmers had never seen such results,” said R.S.N. Janjua, who leads the project as ASA/WISHH Country Representative. “The tilapia received a premium in the local market place and increased enthusiasm for further development of Pakistan’s aquaculture industry with soy-based fish feeds.

“Phase One of FEEDING Pakistan also demonstrated that Pakistan’s fish farmers, academics, private sector, and government officials are ready to help aquaculture fill the protein gap in Pakistan where 44 percent of children under the age of five experience stunting,” Janjua added.

The Kansas Soybean Commission supported WISHH’s Phase One work in Pakistan. Kansas State University conducted training courses on fish feed manufacturing and best management practices. A trainee and co-owner of a Pakistani company learned about potential for growth in the aquaculture industry. As a result, he ordered feed extrusion equipment from Extru-Tech International of Sabetha, Kansas and formally inaugurated Pakistan’s first extruder for the production of floating fish feed in July 2013. USDA’s funding allowed WISHH to ship 25 metric tons of U.S. hi-protein soybean meal, which jump-started the floating fish feed manufacturing.

A 2013 USDA Global Agricultural Information Network report projected a 525 percent increase in aquaculture production in Pakistan and a complementary increase in the demand for fish feed. Aquaculture production would increase from 120,000 tons in 2012 to 750,000 tons in 2022. The demand for fish feed will increase from 210,000 tons to 1.3 million tons, and soybean meal demand from 42,000 tons to 260,000 tons.

Phase Two will allow WISHH to provide additional training to improve feed management and increase feed production as well as feed demand, largely in Punjab and Sindh. Training will reach both large-holder farmers with 20-200 acres of ponds as well as farmers with 1-2 acres. WISHH will also assist the private sector that is interested in expanding feed manufacturing.


Riaz Haq said...

#India to import cows from #Pakistan to improve breed: Dhankar http://www.hindustantimes.com/haryana/will-import-cows-from-pakistan-to-improve-breed-dhankar/article1-1371490.aspx … via @htTweets

Haryana agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar has said that the state government may take help from Pakistan to improve breeding of cows and “restore the old glory” of the indigenous cow.

Dhankar, who was addressing a gathering of dairy farmers at Rohtak on Monday, said that Pakistan was known for the best Sahiwal breed of cows, so he might visit the neighbouring country to bring Sahiwal cows to improve the cow breed in Haryana.

The agriculture minister also said that Haryana’s cows had improved milk production in Brazil and Israel. “Now, the Haryana government may take help of Brazil and Israel to improve cow breeding of the state, if the need be,” he added.

He said that the state government had already inked an agreement with the Brazilian government to improve milk production, quality of cattle feed and environment for the animals.

The minister said that the state government had decided to increase daily milk production of the state to 2.5 crore litres from existing 2 crore litres and steps would be taken to increase milk production of the state from Punjab and Gujarat.

Later, Dhankar also honoured dairy farmers with cash awards up to Rs 20,000 for having highest milk producing cows.


Dhankar also announced that the Haryana government would organise a cow beauty contest, under which finest cows and calves from the state would be brought at one place. This would also help to improve the cow breed, he added.

The minister also announced a fund of Rs 2.10 crore to accommodate 1.17 lakh stray cows and calves in the gaushalas of the state.

Riaz Haq said...

The latest tunnel technology is being introduced among progressive growers of the Punjab to grow off-season vegetables as it is impossible to grow summer vegetables without tunnels during December and January.

A spokesman of the agriculture department told here on Wednesday that summer vegetables like cucumber, tomato, sweet chilies, green chilies, pumpkin, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, vegetable marrow, red gourd, Brinjal, water melon, musk melon could easily and successfully be grown in low, walk-in and high tunnels.

He said that the tunnel grown vegetables were covered by green fiber sheets to protect these vegetables from severe cold and frost during December and January. He recommended the vegetable growers to get proper training of tunnel farming and start nursery cultivation of tomato, sweet chilies, green chilies, and Brinjal from the mid of September.


Riaz Haq said...

Beverage Giant Coca Cola to invest $350m in #Pakistan. New plants in #Karachi #Lahore #Islamabad http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=449113 via @ePakistanToday

A delegation of the Coca Cola Company led by its President Eurasia & Africa Group, Nathan Kalumbu, met Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday and briefed him about the company’s investment plans in Pakistan.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar welcomed the delegation and said the present government offered a liberal investment regime and facilitated all foreign investors in accordance with existing regulations of the country. He briefed Kalumbu about the economic achievements of the government and said having achieved economic stability it was now on the path of economic growth and job creation.

Nathan Kalumbu apprised the finance minister that encouraged by the economic turnaround and stability achieved by Pakistan in the last two years and the positive rating accorded to it by international rating agencies, the Coca Cola Company has already started implementing its plan to invest over US$350 million in the country. He added that Coca Cola was already a leading US investor in Pakistan.

Unveiling the investment plan, Kalumbu stated that three new Coca Cola plants were being established at Karachi, Multan and Islamabad and the fresh investment would further contribute to strengthening of economy and job creation. He said Pakistan was ranked 7th in size in Coca Cola’s Eurasia and Africa group which includes 84 countries and the company accords it due importance in terms of production, marketing and other commercial activities.

Members of the delegation which also included Curtis A. Ferguson, President Coca Cola Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Rizwanullah Khan General Manger Pakistan and Afghanistan Region, John Mathew Galvin, General Manger Coca Cola Beverages Pakistan Ltd and Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs & Communications Pakistan & Afghanistan Region, thanked the finance minister for sparing time out of his busy schedule to meet them and assured that the Coca Cola company would do its utmost to contribute positively to Pakistan’s economy.

Riaz Haq said...

Over last two years: #Pakistan’s food, beverage exports to #UAE increase 27% http://tribune.com.pk/story/1046415/over-last-two-years-pakistans-food-beverage-exports-to-uae-increase-27/ …

Pakistan’s food and beverage exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have increased 27% in the last three years, making it an area worthy of attention after textiles, said the consul general of Pakistan in Dubai.

While rice remains the country’s top export commodity to the Emirates, the food segment remains a potential area as Pakistan continues its fight to increase foreign exchange revenue through exports.

“Pakistan’s food and agro-products exports touched $0.5 billion last year compared to 2012’s number of $362.4 million,” said Commercial Counsellor of Dubai Consulate Saeed Qadir, adding that Pakistan had boosted sale of its traditional agricultural products and expanded reach into areas such as processed meat and poultry products, tea, concentrated milk and cream, certain fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs and confectionaries.

Rice remains Pakistan’s leading food export to the UAE. According to TDAP figures, Pakistan’s rice sales jumped 11 fold to $207.8 million compared to the last two years. Meat and processed frozen food exports crossed the $100 million mark in the last three years.

As for fruits and vegetables, exports increased over 100% in three years. Sales of dried fruits and vegetables to the UAE rose to $9.7 million and $7.8 million, respectively. Exports of potatoes reached $5.9 million last year – an eight-fold increase compared to the 2012 figures, while fresh and frozen meat exports crossed the $50 million mark.

“Moreover, for this sector, there awaits a major export push as more than 90 Pakistani companies are taking part in the Gulfood 2016; the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade platform, scheduled in Dubai later this month,” said the CG.

“In this exhibition, Pakistani exhibitors will be looking to source new buyers for a wide range of Pakistani food and agro sector products including fresh and frozen foods, rice, fruits and vegetables, sauces, nuts, sweets, confectionery and tea,” said Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai Consul General Javed Jalil Khattak.

“Buyers can leverage Pakistan’s cost-competitiveness, lower transport costs and delivery time, and the quality, freshness, taste and aroma of our diverse produce”, he added.

The Pakistan pavilion at Gulfood 2016 will feature among 117 national and trade association pavilions. There will also be a first-time group participation from Russia, Costa Rica, Belarus, Mauritius and New Zealand (returning after a six-year break). In all, some 5,000 international companies from 120 countries and more than 85,000 food and beverage, wholesale, retail, distribution and hospitality professionals from five continents will take part in the event.

Data released by global macroeconomic research firm, BMI International, shows that Pakistan remains a buoyant market for consumer sales and food and beverage investment. The firm is forecasting a 9.9% per capita compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in food consumption until 2019, a 3.2% per capita CAGR growth in domestic soft drinks sales and 9.5% per capital CAGR in mass grocery retail sales.

“There are enormous business opportunities emerging in Pakistan for both food and beverage imports and exports, as evident by the recent international investment in manufacturing plants in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad,” explained the Exhibitions and Events Management Dubai World Trade Centre Senior Vice President Trixie Lohmirmand.

Riaz Haq said...

#Netherland's FrieslandCampina International Holding BV to buy #Pakistan's #Engro Foods for $460 million. http://tribune.com.pk/story/1058739/dutch-company-to-acquire-engro-foods-with-an-investment-of-around-460-million/ …

A Dutch dairy cooperative is set to buy out a Pakistani food giant with an investment of around $460 million, in what would amount to the largest private sector takeover by a foreign firm in the country’s history.

FrieslandCampina International Holding BV intends to acquire a 51 per cent stake of Engro Foods Limited, one of the largest listed companies at the benchmark Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), a notification on the bourse’s website said Thursday.

The deal would bring in a minimum investment of $460 million based on the Pakistani firm’s present stock value.

Engro Foods’ 2015 profit up 256%

“Yes, it is the largest ever deal in the private sector,” analyst Faisal Shaji, head of research at Standard Capital Securities, said.

Citibank Pakistan is the financial advisor.

Shahji added the deal would be closely watched by international investors eyeing the emerging South Asian economy.

“Pakistan is already in the radar range of the world corporate sector and this deal further lifts its image outside,” he said.

If finalised the Dutch takeover would boost Pakistan’s foreign direct investment statistics.

FDI was down by 57 per cent to $336 million in Pakistan for the first seven months of the current financial year compared to the corresponding period in the last financial year ending June 2015.

Pakistan expects its economy to grow by 4.5 percent for the 2015-16 financial year due to lower oil prices, planned improvements in the energy supply, investment related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), buoyant construction activity, and acceleration of credit growth.

Riaz Haq said...

Over 300 #US dairy cows worth $700K exported to #Sialkot #Pakistan by Boeing 747 flight from #Miami on March 1, 2016 http://www.bradenton.com/news/business/article64983542.html …

Renee Strickland opened the door to U.S. cattle exports to Pakistan when she chartered a Boeing 747 and flew with 302 dairy cattle to Sialkot, Pakistan, on March 1.

The long flight was the easy part. It came after five years of frustration, planning, perseverance and negotiation.

"This was a real nail biter. We had three weeks to put this shipment together, and I got my passport at midnight, three hours before the departure to Pakistan," she said.

"It was a pressure-cooker experience," Strickland said, recalling how she brokered the sale and gathered cattle from Okeechobee dairies, north Florida and Kansas.

She could only wrangle those cattle after getting clearance from the U.S. and Pakistani governments, securing a health protocol, overcoming the language barrier and closing the deal with tough negotiators in Pakistan.

"A lot of times, I just kind of thought, my gosh, I am knocking my head against a brick wall," Strickland said.

Even so, Strickland said a lot of people "jumped through hoops to make this happen," citing her partners in Pakistan and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"I have a well-respected partner in Pakistan whose family has been in agriculture for 500 years. He is a gentleman, a good person and well respected," she said.

Dix Harrell of the USDA said the beef export market to Pakistan and many other countries closed after the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as mad cow disease, in the United States.

Mad cow disease can have an incubation period as long as eight years.

"I know that in the last 10 years, the market wasn't really open to us," Harrell said. "After we had our first case, a lot of countries banned live cattle."

Strickland always flies with the cattle she brokers in sales to ensure no animal is hurt or stressed.

"The cattle traveled great and the unloading went smoothly," she said.

She has previously brokered and delivered cattle to Cuba, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Guyana and Ecuador.

Pakistan is an attractive market because, with 182.1 million people, it has one of the world's largest populations. In addition, Pakistan is one of the world's largest dairy producers, ranking fifth globally in milk production.

As recently as 1986, buffalo produced most of the milk in Pakistan. Pakistani dairies, however, have been improving their cattle herds and dairy cows are now the dominant producers.

"We are known to have some of the best milking cattle in the world," Strickland said of the attractiveness of U.S. stock.

The Pakistani deal was valued at about $700,000.

"They are getting one heck of a deal," Strickland said, noting she had to sharpen her pencil in dealing with Pakistani buyers. "We are trying to open up this market. It's the most challenging export I have ever had in so many ways."

Renee Strickland, and her husband, Jim Strickland, are preparing a second airborne delivery of cattle to Pakistan for the first week of April. Jim Strickland will be the one handling escort duties next time.

While in Pakistan, Renee Strickland, an avid polo player, got to visit the Lahore Polo Club.

"I will be sending some polo ponies on my next shipment. Polo is a huge sport in that country," she said.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/business/article64983542.html#storylink=cpy

Riaz Haq said...

#Japan's Ajinomoto to offer #halal seasonings in #Pakistan in collaboration with Lakson Group- Nikkei Asian Review http://s.nikkei.com/1SsHHLV

TOKYO -- Ajinomoto will set up a company in Pakistan to sell halal-certified seasonings, aiming to tap a market of nearly 200 million people as well as gain a firmer foothold near the Middle East and its heavily Muslim population.

The Japanese company will form a joint venture with Pakistani conglomerate Lakson Group in Karachi, Pakistan's largest commercial center. The venture will be capitalized at about 1.2 billion yen ($10.7 million), with Ajinomoto owning 85% and Lakson 15%. It will import such products as fried chicken coating and meat-flavored Masako seasoning from Indonesia and market them across Asia using Lakson's sales network. The two companies are targeting about 1.3 billion yen in sales by fiscal 2022, aiming to eventually turn this into a 10 billion yen business.

Ajinomoto set up an office in Pakistan in July 2014 and has studied trends in the country's food markets and logistics industry. Although it sells its namesake monosodium glutamate flavoring through local stores, it apparently faces an uphill battle against more established Chinese rivals.

Lakson, which works in finance and information technology, also partners with foreign companies to manufacture and sell such items as tea, detergents and soap. Its products are carried by 180,000 retailers across the country. The partnership with Ajinomoto will add high-value-added seasonings such as meat flavorings for lentil soup -- an important part of home cooking -- to Lakson's portfolio.

Ajinomoto expects to report group sales of 1.26 trillion yen for fiscal 2015, with the food segment accounting for about 70%. Domestic food sales are seen totaling 404.5 billion yen and overseas sales 502.7 billion yen. The company has focused on such countries as Brazil, the Philippines and Indonesia as foreign growth drivers. It considers Indonesia key to future growth, positioning it as a base for cultivating the Muslim market.

The company will spend 360 billion rupiah ($27.3 million) to boost Masako production capacity by 30% in Indonesia, where it has had success making and selling halal products. For Pakistan, whose Muslim population is second only to Indonesia's, Ajinomoto will develop products tailored to Muslim dietary habits as well as consider local production.

Riaz Haq said...

#Canada based #middleeast food restaurant chain Paramount Fine Foods comes to #Pakistan. #shawarma #falafel

KARACHI: Paramount Fine Foods, a Canada-based Middle Eastern cuisine franchise, is set to open its doors in Pakistan, aiming for 30 restaurants across the country in the next five years and creating employment opportunities for the youth.

Set up 17 years ago in Ontario, Canada, by Leba­nese immigrant Mohammad Fakih, Paramount now has 36 locations across Canada and plans to add another 60 restaurants around the world by the end of this year.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Paramount Fine Foods and Pakistan Beverage Ltd (PBL) on Wednesday.

CEO and Managing Director of PBL Yasin H. Kassam and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods Saad Saleem signed the agreement for supply of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages to Paramount Fine Foods in Pakistan.

The ceremony was witnessed by Paramount Inter­na­­tional Chief Operating Officer Ali Khalil, ASA Corporation Partners Atif Khan and Shahrum Saleem, Director Operations of ASA Corporation Aman Virji, Director of PBL Zaid Yasin and General Manager of PBL Agha Muhammad Khan.

Mr Saleem said the Pakistani consumers’ food palate is expanding thanks to their travel. “With more and more people going to Dubai for vacations and getting a taste of Arab cuisine, there is demand for fine Middle Eastern dining. The roadside shawarma just doesn’t cut it. We picked the biggest Middle Eastern food chain and look forward to expanding,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Int'l #consumer giant #ProctorGamble CEO expresses strong commitment to #Pakistan #economy http://pakobserver.net/pg-ceo-expresses-strong-commitment-to-pakistan-economy/ … via @Pakistan Observer

P&G Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, David Taylor met the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Mohammad Nawaz Sharif in Davos on the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum confirming P&G’s commitment to serve Pakistani consumers and expressing optimism about the potential and business climate of Pakistan. David Taylor shared with the Prime Minister facts about P&G’s operations in Pakistan which has enabled P&G to celebrate 25 years of its presence in the country with great success.
He said P&G’s presence in Pakistan is strong and getting stronger. Since its first shipment in Pakistan in August 1991, P&G has grown to be amongst the top fast moving consumer goods companies in Pakistan and has launched premium quality brands which are amongst leading household names in their categories. “For the past 25 years, we have improved Pakistani lives through P&G’s iconic and consumer-preferred brands, our investment in local manufacturing facilities, the creation of direct and indirect employment, and our contributions to help communities in need.
With the potential Pakistan has to offer as well as the strong partnership we enjoy with the both the Government of Pakistan and local retailers, we remain committed to serving Pakistani consumers in the years ahead.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Rice Bran Oil, high in healthy fats, and Economic Diplomacy in #Pakistan, #India, #SouthAsia http://on.natgeo.com/2mTOjvC via @NatGeo

Across super markets worldwide, a new product is showing up rather unobtrusively called “rice bran oil” (RBO). For the healthy shopper, the labeling on the product will usually reveal its health benefits in terms high omega fatty acids which promote cardiovascular stability. The origins of this new product can be traced back to Asia as well but not any particular traditional diet but to a salubrious confluence of resource economics and chemical engineering. The diminutive rice grain has multiple layers. The outer layer is referred to as the hull and is often discarded for animal feed. There is also an inner layer of bran, which is only 8% of the weight of the grain capsule but contains over 75% of the oil content. Over the past three decades, Indian and Chinese scientists have developed complex chemical engineering processes to extract this oil in edible form.

India can claim ascendancy in developing rice bran oil as a commercially viable alternative to other high temperature oils from soybeans, cottonseeds and peanuts. The country is now the world’s largest producer and the Indian rice bran oil market size was valued over $600 million in 2014. This market is likely to continue growth as the country has 1.4 million tons of RBO production potential of which only around 900 kilotons is currently produced. In 2015, Government of India lifted ban on RBO exports, thus opening the way for major international competition for world markets.

The rice bran industry in India has added considerable value to the most ubiquitous of agricultural products but the other major rice producer of South Asia – Pakistan (the world’s fourth largest producer of rice) – has not been a beneficiary of this new growth opportunity. Enter, Abid Butt, a self-made serial entrepreneur from Karachi and a World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader.” When Abid saw the rise of RBO products on his grocery store shelves, he saw an opportunity for growth in this sector for Pakistan. Moving from his usual comfort zone of logistics supply chain commerce, he took the plunge in developing Pakistan’s first rice bran oil extraction plant.

Soon, Abid was on a steep learning curve in complex solvent extraction technologies and industrial catalysts that are needed to extract the precious oil from the thin layer of rice bran that coats the kernel of the grain. The complexity of the process was daunting but the nearest supplier of the equipment was of course in neighboring India. The only challenge was that the lack of trust between India and Pakistan at the political level made technology transfer between the two countries highly contentious. Yet, Abid was not deterred by the saber-rattling that warrior hawks from both countries frequently display. He managed to work through a business visa process to get Indian engineers to Lahore over a period of several months to literally build the RBO plant in Pakistan on a fair contract for the Indian suppliers.

Earlier this year, I had a chance to visit the facility an hour’s drive from Lahore, near Muridke, which is in the heart of northern Punjab’s rice growing district. The facility stands as a beacon of hope for economic diplomacy between these two acrimonious nuclear powers. If commercializable chemical engineering technology can be shared and developed between the two countries, there are clearly many other opportunities for knowledge-sharing that can bring mutual benefit. All we need is a willingness to see creative synergies of cooperation rather than constant fear-mongering of competition and discord.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan urged to export apples to Russia


Pakistan has an opportunity to capture the Russian market, as importers have expressed an interest in importing Pakistani apples. According to a private news channel report, Pakistan, with a production of 1.495 million tonnes of apple, stands at number 10 in global ranking.

The overall trade of apple has surpassed 6.5 million tonnes. Analysts believe that Pakistan can earn foreign exchange by capturing the soaring global apple market. They urge the government to facilitate farmers with the provision of the latest technology in this field and help them discover new markets. A spokesperson for the Apple Growers and Exporters Association said that demand for Pakistani apples was surging in the international market.

He said that with the adoption of modern techniques in farming, apple production could be increased by two tonnes per acre and the country could earn Rs30 billion additional income from apple exports. He said that France, Belgium, Chile, the Netherlands and the US were countries that topped the list in apple production.

source: nation.com.pk

Riaz Haq said...

Livestock is an important sector of
agriculture (in Pakistan). Its role is pivotal towards rural
socio economic development. Nearly 8
million families involved in livestock raising
deriving more than 35% income from
livestock production activities. It is central
to the livelihood of the rural poor in the
country. It is a source of cash income,
providing a vital and often the only
source of income for the rural and most
marginal people. It can play an important
role in poverty alleviation and foreign
exchange earnings for the country.
Livestock contributed approximately
58.6% to the agriculture value added and
11.6% to the overall GDP during 2015-
16 compared to 56.4% and 11.7%
during the corresponding period last year,
respectively. Gross value addition of livestock
at constant cost factor of 2005-06
has increased from Rs. 1247 billion
(2014-15) to Rs.1292 billion (2015-16),
showing an increase of 3.63% over the
same period last year.
Livestock of Pakistan include cattle,
buffalo, sheep, goat, camels, horses, asses
and mules and they produce milk, meat,
wool, hair, bones, fat, blood
eggs, hides and skins
among which milk and meet
are the major products.
Besides production, these
animals are also used for
draught purposes. As per
IFCN (International Farms
Comparison Network) Dairy
Report 2014, Pakistan is 3rd
largest milk producing country
in the world. Milk is produced
by buffalo, cattle, sheep, goat and
camel but being major contributor in milk
production, cattle and buffalo are considered
as major dairy animals.
More than 96% of the milk produced
in Pakistan comes from cattle and buffalo.
The rest of it is collectively produced by
sheep, goat and camel which, most of the
time, is not sold as such, rather consumed
domestically or mixed with buffalo and
cow milk. Estimated current National
livestock Population based on National
Livestock Census 2006 and Economic
Survey of Pakistan 2014-15 are given in


Riaz Haq said...

#Qatar to import #food products worth $1 billion from #Pakistan | Pakistan | http://thenews.com.pk


In the wake of strained relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Doha’s high-powered trade delegation has visited Pakistan last week for exploring opportunities for importing meat including beef and mutton, chicken, rice and dairy products worth over a billion dollar.

Qatar is a rich country having potential to import over a billion dollar food items from Pakistan. “In the upcoming Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which will be established with the help of China, proposals are under consideration to establish modernised farm houses with the purpose to boost exports of live animals as well as of both beef and mutton manifold in years ahead,” said the official sources.

Earlier, Qatar used to import major chunk of food items from Saudi Arabia but after strained relationship with Gulf States now Qatar is exploring new markets to import food items and Pakistan can become potential player in this regard in weeks and months ahead.

Qatar is the 38th largest export economy in the world as in 2015, their exports stood at $79.9 billion while imports were $34.7 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $45.2 billion. In 2015 the GDP of Qatar was $164 billion.

The top exports of Qatar are Petroleum Gas($44.3B), Crude Petroleum ($17.3B), Refined Petroleum ($6.47B), Ethylene Polymers($2.26B) and Nitrogenous Fertilizers ($1.22B), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification.

Its top imports are Cars($2.87B), Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft ($2.6B), Gas Turbines ($1.09B),Aircraft Parts ($1.04B) and Jewellery ($970M).

The top import origins are China ($3.51B), France ($3.23B), the United Kingdom ($3.08B), the United States ($2.96B) and the United Arab Emirates ($2.76B).

Qatar borders Saudi Arabia by land and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Iran by sea. In 2015, Qatar imported $34.7 billion worth of products making it the 58th largest importer in the world. During the last five years, the imports of Qatar have increased at rate of 8.5 percent increased from $22.8 billion in 2010 to $37.7 billion in 2015.

The recent imports are led by cars, which represents 8.27 percent of total imports of Qatar, followed by planes and then other items.

President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Tufail on Monday confirmed to this paper that Qatar’s trade delegation paid visit to Pakistan last week for exploring trade opportunities and they were interested in importing food items.

“We have helped them to establish contacts with major business houses involved in food items’ export from Pakistan and it is expected that exporters could get their potential shares in months and years ahead,” he concluded.

Riaz Haq said...

Equipped With New Test Capabilities, Laboratory in #Pakistan Helps Improve #FoodSafety, Increase #Meat #Exports https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/equipped-with-new-capabilities-laboratory-in-pakistan-helps-improve-food-safety-increase-exports#.WXp1USN5gMA.twitter …
The Pakistani Veterinary Residue Laboratory in Faisalabad, a food laboratory supported by the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has acquired the capability to undertake state-of-the-art tests to certify the safety of food. It has recently earned International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation, and officials expect this to contribute to increased meat exports thanks to food safety certificates the lab will be able to issue for the first time.

“Pakistan produces some of the world’s finest tasting foods, especially meat and other animal products,” said Ahmad Waqar, who is in charge of this cooperation at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the IAEA. “In the past, Pakistan has had exports rejected because they did not comply with the food safety standards of importing countries. This resulted in safety concerns, significant economic losses and food waste.”

The livestock sector contributes 12 percent of Pakistan’s GDP. In 2010, the European Union rejected 134 food export consignments due to the presence of contaminants. This raised concerns in Pakistan about the need to improve its food safety control system.

Veterinary drug misuse comes with consequences

As with many farmers around the world, it is common practice to administer medicines to animals to keep them healthy, rather than to treat disease when it occurs. “From a food safety point of view, problems especially arise when farmers do not have correct advice on what drug to buy and use, or do not follow instructions on how, when and how much to administer or how long to wait until the drugs have cleared out of the animal’s body,” said James Jacob Sasanya, food safety specialist at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. If drugs remain in the animals, they, or their residues, may end up in food products and could pose a health hazard to consumers.

For meat and other food products to be accepted as safe for consumption, they must be tested, among others, for veterinary drug residues to ensure these residues do not exceed safety or reference limits. “Pakistan did not have the capacity to conduct these tests until the new laboratory became operational,” Waqar said.

The laboratory was established by Pakistan’s Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. The IAEA’s technical cooperation programme helped by providing the laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, and supported training opportunities at various European reference laboratories and expert missions to assist with implementing measurement protocols and methods as well as regular technical advice. Through this support, the laboratory has increased its testing capability and received the accreditation.

The certificate is valid for three years for the analysis of seven types of antibiotics and hormone analyses in food products. As a result, Pakistan now has the capacity to process over a thousand food samples each year.

Sheep products used to make sausages are one of the key export products and are monitored by 13 quarantine centers in Pakistan. These centers rely on credible laboratory testing, which for the first time is now available at the Veterinary Residue Laboratory and internationally recognized. “In the absence of its own national analytical capabilities, tests had to be outsourced to other countries, which is both expensive and time-consuming,” Sasanya said. “With this new achievement, Pakistan can now rely on its own analytical capabilities.”

Several countries from around the world are benefitting from this nuclear-derived technique and the assistance of the IAEA and the FAO for its implementation, including Botswana and Morocco.

Riaz Haq said...

#CPEC provides avenues for #Pakistan to get a big slice of $100 billion #China's food imports


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a golden opportunity for overall development of this region and Pakistan should reorganise its agriculture sector to get a major slice of the $100 billion worth of agriculture produce imports by China, suggested Muhammad Mehmood, Punjab Agriculture Secretary.

Speaking at the launch of a study on “CPEC – Prospects & Challenges for Agriculture”, Mehmood pointed out that nearly one-fourth of the world’s population was living in China and most of its exports would be routed through Pakistan after the completion of CPEC. “Containers full of exportable surplus will be sent to various international markets, but on their return, these containers will be empty and we must capitalise on the opportunity to export our surplus agriculture produce to China,” he said.

Mehmood revealed that per capita income of China was increasing substantially, bringing a visible change in people’s lifestyle and food habits there. “Like other affluent societies, they also prefer rich and costly food and fruits,” he said, adding Pakistan could get maximum benefit of the emerging change.

“We are concentrating on high-value crops and a 10-year programme has been evolved to develop one lakh acres of land in the Potohar region for planting grape and other high-value crops.”

Major Chinese importers will also be invited to utilise this land for growing high-value fruits in addition to developing the agriculture processing industry on modern scientific lines.

“Its trickle-down effect will provide an opportunity to our farmers to upgrade their technologies and develop agriculture as a profitable business by shunning centuries-old practices,” Mehmood said.

He told the audience that foreign consultants had been engaged to analyse why Pakistan had not been able to get its due share in Chinese imports despite its friendly relations and close proximity.

He suggested that Pakistan should renegotiate the bilateral trade agreement and a meeting was expected in the current or next month. After that, “we would be in a position to decide which strategy is suitable for Pakistan to enhance its share in Chinese imports.”

Responding to a question about a research project on the China-Pakistan agricultural technical cooperation, the agriculture secretary insisted that the Punjab Agriculture Research Board was extending liberal grants to the viable projects planned by the public and private sectors.

“Initially, Rs259 million had been allocated for this purpose. The funding was immediately increased to Rs750 million and it would be further enhanced to Rs3 billion in the next three years,” he said.

He asked the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president to send the project to the research board where a group of experts would review its viability and approve the requisite grant.

Riaz Haq said...

#Qatar taps #Pakistan market with direct #Karachi-#Doha route amid #Gulf blockade @AJENews


With UAE’s regional hub off-limits, direct trade routes are opening between Doha and Karachi to boost economic ties.

Doha, Qatar - A Qatari shipping company is set to launch what it calls the fastest direct service between Doha and the Pakistani port city of Karachi this week, as the Gulf state seeks to establish new trade routes amid a land, air and sea blockade from its Arab neighbours.

State-run conglomerate Milaha is overseeing the weekly venture, with the first vessel due to arrive at the newly-inaugurated Hamad Port outside the Qatari capital on September 11 following a transit time of four days - compared to a normally six-to-seven-day journey.

"We have been vigorously ramping up our operations between Qatar and key Asian markets in response to growing demand from traders, importers, and exporters on both sides," said Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, Milaha president and chief executive officer, in a statement ahead of the launch.

The move comes as Qatar counters economic sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt three months ago.

The four Arab nations severed all diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5 over allegations of supporting "terrorism". Qatar strongly denies the claims.

Prior to the dispute, most of Doha's shipments to and from Pakistan docked at Dubai's Jebel Ali port - a regional hub.

But with the Emirati port now out of bounds as a trans-shipment centre, Qatari companies are increasingly exploring alternative links to effectively penetrate the Asian market.

Besides the direct route, Qatar and Pakistan are also trading via Oman's Sohar port.

"We used to trade via Jebel Ali in Dubai, but because of the restrictions and the ongoing Gulf situation, we are now going direct so Qatar can capture Pakistan's market," Babar Rauf, sales and marketing manager of Rahmat Shipping, Milaha's Pakistani agent, told Al Jazeera.

Earlier in August, Qatar Ports Management Company, Mwani, also kickstarted its direct shipping line between Doha and Karachi operated by the Asian firm Wan Hai.

Milaha's new service, called PQX, will mainly bring perishable products and other food items, such as seafood, fruits and vegetables, from Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in Pakistan



Ice cream and frozen desserts grew by 10% in current value terms to reach PKR16 billion in 2016, boosted by continued product innovation, promotions and investments in the distribution network by leading manufacturers.


Engro Foods (Pvt) Ltd is set to take over the leadership of ice cream and frozen desserts from Unilever Pakistan with a value share of 42% in 2016, with the former leader trailing second with a value share of 40%.


New product launches are expected to continue positively impacting the category’s size. In addition, enhancements in cold chains and distribution networks will bring more remote and rural areas under the reach of leading manufacturers.

Riaz Haq said...

Baskin Robbins appoints creative agency in Pakistan Shortly after signing a master licensing agreement with Baskin Robbins, AHG Flavours has hired Ogilvy & Mather to help develop the brand in Pakistan.

Read more at: http://www.campaignasia.com/article/baskin-robbins-appoints-creative-agency-in-pakistan/440192


Baskin Robbins has named Ogilvy & Mather as its creative agency in Pakistan, charged with its go to market strategy and launch campaign. AHG Flavours Limited has a master licensing agreement with Baskin Robbins to develop the brand in Pakistan and launch 35 shops across the country, with the primary focus on the city of Lahore. Ogilvy & Mather was tasked to aid in the brand awareness across the portfolio of classic ice cream flavours as well as the range of custom ice cream cakes, frozen beverages, ice cream sundaes, and takehome ice cream treats. According to Asim Naqvi, the CEO of Ogilvy & Mather in Pakistan, his agency was tasked with creating the digital strategy and create a campaign deployed with outdoor media, social media, and the upcoming launch event. "We are pleased to be collaborating with Irfan, Harris and their team to begin developing the Baskin-Robbins brand in Pakistan by bringing our wide range of delicious ice cream flavours, cakes and other treats to Pakistani customers," said John Varughese, Vice President, Dunkin' Brands International. According to a study by Euromonitor in 2016, the ice cream and frozen desserts market in Pakistan was valued at US$152 million, with Unilever and Engro Foods categorized as market leaders from a volume perspective, due in large part to their low price point. Brand marketers distinguish ice cream brands into three distinct categories based on consumption behaviour: in-home, impulse, and out of home. The in-home ice cream category refers to the large tubs of ice cream that are purchased for family consumption in a home or large gathering. The impulse ice cream category refers to those sold in sticks, cups, and cones. The out of home ice cream category refers to what is consumed in HoReCa, recreational areas, and cinemas. Baskin Robbins effectively operates in all three categories with its own retail presence with a dine-in option, a distribution presence in major retail outlets, and as an option on the dessert menu. In Pakistan, the impulse category makes up roughly 70 percent of the category according to Falak Jalil, the former brand manager for Walls at Unilever. She says that in Pakistan half of ice cream consumption consists of kulfi (a local delicacy) with the majority being flavoured. The impulse category in Pakistan is dominated by Unilever's Walls and Engro Foods' Omore. On the international modern trade retail side, Baskin Robbins will be competing with London Dairy, Ben & Jerry's, Haagen Dazs, and Movenpick. On the dine-in side within its price points, Baskin Robbins will compete for the share of the throat with Johny Rockets, Movenpick, and Cold Stone. The first store of Baskin Robbins will open tomorrow in Lahore.

Read more at: http://www.campaignasia.com/article/baskin-robbins-appoints-creative-agency-in-pakistan/440192

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan launches its biggest halal plant
01-Jun-2016 By Shahid Husain, in Karachi
Pakistan’s largest conglomerate, the Fauji Group, has launched the country’s biggest halal abattoir, meat processing and exporting unit near Port Qasim, Karachi.

Fauji Meat — a subsidiary of Fauji Fertiliser that commenced operations in April 2015 — and Al-Shaheer Corporation, an old meat exporting company, are doing big business in meat marketing at home and abroad.

Both companies have their own large animal breeding farms to ensure uninterrupted supply of healthy animals for regular slaughtering.

Exports of meat and meat preparations have grown rapidly — from 72$m in FY09 to $269m in FY16 though a decline has set in during the first seven months of FY17, due to a growing consumption in local markets and smuggling of live animals to neighbouring countries.

Marketing infrastructure of dairy and meat products has also seen a big improvement over the years. Large milk processing companies are successfully operating hundreds of milk collection centres in the country. Small dairy farmers also have more access to better ways of dairy farming and marketing now than in the past, thanks to targeted public-private partnership programme.

In January this year, dairy farmers in Punjab celebrated successful completion of a five-year $21m project of sustainable dairy development. Through a partnership with the Punjab government and Nestle Pakistan, the project improved the lives of over 50,000 small dairy farmers through its skills-based training programmes, resulting in a 17pc increase in the average milk yield and an over 10pc boost in farmers’ incomes, according to media report.

The project generated income for small farmers and created jobs for rural men and women. The project also upgraded 118 farms, now serving as training hubs for small dairy farmers.

It also helped install a pilot 50 cubic metre biogas plant for a dairy cooperative milk chiller in Vehari and constructed a 375 cubic metre biogas plant at the government-owned Bahadurnagar Farm in Okara.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani farmers fast adopting tunnel farming techniques
November 11, 2017 By:Samaa Web Desk Published in Blogs Be the first to comment!


Tunnel farming is not less than a windfall for farmers in Punjab and other upper parts of Pakistan as vegetables grown two months ahead of the actual time window fetch three to five times more price.

Recent uppish trends in the prices of the kitchen crops especially tomatoes and onions have made off-season veggies technology more popular among the farmers.

“I sold cucumbers grown at my farm at a rate of Rs 50 per kilogram last month. But these are now fetching now Rs 22 per kilogram in the whole sale market, almost twice the prices these are sold for in season,” says Allah Rakha, an owner of a farm in Kharianwala in Central Pakistan province of Punjab.

Tunnels, the structures comprising steel pipes covered by plastic sheets have lately mushroomed in Pakistan’s plains, mostly in central Punjab districts of Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib and Gujranwala, following the suit of farms in Khyber Pakhtun Khawa, the north-western province.

Besides Cucumbers, other high-value vegetables grown in Pakistan through tunnel farming include- tomatoes, chilies, Caspicum (Shimla Mirch) and gourds.

The nurseries of tomatoes, chilies and caspcus are being transplanted these days in Punjab and the crop is expected to be at fruiting stage by February.

The technology not only helps produce the crop at least two months earlier than the traditional cultivation season but also saves the crop from all sorts of severe weather and handling related problems. In Punjab, the provincial government is providing subsidy for the purchase of drip irrigation gadgets while USAID is providing technical and financial assistance to growers in Khyber Pakhtun Khawa. But due to lack of awareness, the area under tunnel farms in Punjab is not more than 350 acres which is just iota when compared to millions of acres of agriculture land in the province.

“More and more growers should turn to this technology; We are ready to provide all sorts of assistance,” says Dr. Zafaryab Hyder , Director General Agriculture Extension, Punjab.

In spite all the constraints, the new technology has opened new vistas of prosperity for the farmers who had been victim of subsistence culture over the last several decades. Just a decade ago, the people of Punjab had to relish on the vegetables grown in the neighboring provinces of Sindh, Khyber PakhtunKhawa and Balochistan at exorbitant prices. The vegetables like bitter gourd, okra, peas , tomatoes, chilies , cucumbers from other provinces fetched atleast twice as compared to those produced in the Punjab just a couple of months later. However, the introduction of tunnel farming has produced new array of opportunities, initially for the progressive farmers who can get price for tomatoes, capsicum (Bell Peppers) thrice in early time window than the traditional season of cultivation. The owners of land tracts with tunnel farming are mostly educated youth, mostly agriculture graduates and Masters’ in Business Administration. They are no more being exploited by the middle man.

Rather, they provide high-value off-season vegetables directly to hotels and departmental stores. Besides vegetables, even the growers of strawberry in Lahore and Sheikhupura districts have adopted the tunnel farming to protect their crops from the severe weather conditions. With the passage of every day, the future of this new technology is becoming more and more bright especially the fertile agricultural lands of Punjab. The future of tunnel farming seems bright in Pakistan as growers have started embracing the technology lately.

However, the ongoing smoggy weather in the Central Pakistan has cast ill-effects on the crop with hindering the photosynthesis process much needed for the plant growth. Growers fear that per acre yield may decline drastically if the unfavorable weather conditions continue.

Riaz Haq said...


Rags to riches: Tunnel farming: the swift money maker

By Saquib Saeed
Published: June 7, 2015


Tunnel farming is a low-tech, but highly unconventional vegetable growing technique that started in the early 2000s in Pakistan. Currently, it is centred in the districts of Arifwala, Vehari and Mailsi in central Punjab with little emerging pockets in Faisalabad, Jhang, Multan and Rahim Yar Khan.

According to estimates of the Punjab agricultural department, there are more than 200,000 acres of tunnel farms in Punjab and the trend is growing. A very high urbanisation rate in Pakistan keeps creating greater demand for vegetables in the urban centres.

Currently, most tunnel farms remain between 10 to 20 acres in size and begin cultivation in autumn. That’s when support structures made out of bamboos, steel or aluminum pipes and steel wire ropes are erected around the plantation. These structures form rows that are 4 to 5 feet wide and have a height that’s between 3 to 12 feet. Known as low tunnels, walk through tunnels or high tunnels in their parlance. The higher the structure the more expensive it is to erect. Polythene sheets are spread on top of the structures, creating tunnel like cocoons within which vegetables are grown.

The winter sunshine passes through the transparent polythene sheets and its heat is trapped inside; while in the cold weather, the frost and the winter rains are kept well outside. This makeshift greenhouse deceives the vegetables into believing that it’s time to flower and fruit. As the weather warms up, the polythene sheets are removed.
The vegetables from tunnel farms arrive two to three months earlier than the same varieties grown conventionally in the open. Consumers no longer have to wait till April; they can savor their favourite vegetables in early spring or even in the middle of winters. Off-season arrival ensures that they command higher prices. This remains the single most important economic driver for tunnel farming.
Tunnel farmers routinely achieve an astonishing 500% yield over conventional farmers. Surprisingly, it’s not done by using exotic seeds or fertilisers. Instead, tunnel farmers adopt low-tech methods. All of their inputs such as the bamboo sticks, metal pipes, steel wire ropes, and polythene sheets, fishing lines, seeds, fertilisers and insecticides remain mundanely commonplace. What’s surprising is the innovative use that they put these inputs to; and with stunning results.
Mulching is one such technique in which they cover the ground with black polythene sheets and puncture evenly-spaced holes in it. Vegetable seeds are sown into these holes. This eliminates weeds that consume and ultimately waste the nutrients. Devoid of sunlight, nothing else apart from the plant itself can grow. The sheet also trap moisture in the ground and prevents its rapid evaporation. Conventional farming loses up to 50% of its water to rapid evaporation, tunnel arming doesn’t.
While within each row, thin fishing lines are strung as mesh to provide vertical space for the vegetables to grow. Most vegetables have indeterminate growth, much like creepers and vines. These mesh provide vertical pathways for the plant to grow. Depending on the height of the tunnel, each plant therefore grows at least three to five times larger in size and its reach than its conventionally grown, on ground twin. Consequently, it also bears more fruits.
Tunnel farmers also apply three to five times more chemical fertilisers and micro nutrients than conventional farmers. Every day, they patrol their tunnels much like a spinning mill owner would patrol his spindle frames. The ripe vegetables are identified, picked, weighed and sold daily under their watchful eyes.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan among top three dairy producers
Amin Ahmed Updated June 01, 2017


ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations says Pakistan is among the three countries in Asia and Pacific region which are the world’s top dairy producing countries.

The total value of Asian dairy production exceeded $110 billion in 2013, and figured in the three top commodities in the region in terms of gross value of production. While the dairy production in Pakistan, India and China largely meet domestic consumption, Australia and New Zealand produce a surplus, FAO says on the occasion of World Milk Day being celebrated on June 1 (Thursday).

According to latest figures published in Pakistan Economic Survey 2016-17, milk production in the country is on the increase and during the current fiscal year the gross production of milk was estimated to be 56,080,000 tonnes.

FAO warned that while dairy has big potential, the sector needs to be more sustainable and competitive in Asia and Pacific region. This means helping smallholder farmers gain greater access to markets and services and develop successful dairy business models to increase domestic production.

The aim is to create a sector, which is socially responsible and produces safe and healthy food making more efficient use of the natural resources and reduces the effects on the environment. Only by doing so, will the sector become more sustainable for the benefit of future generations. FAO remains committed to working with all stakeholders to achieve a dairy sector that contributes to health and prosperity of the world.

An Asia Pacific Regional Audit done by the International Osteoporosis Foundation has concluded that the average dietary calcium intake in Asia is well below the FAO-WHO recommendation of 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams per day and most Asian countries have seen a two-to-three fold increase in the incidence of hip fractures during the past 30 years.

In order to facilitate dairy farmers, duty free import of calf milk replacer and cattle feed premix was allowed. During the current fiscal year, 310.2 metric tonnes of calf milk replacer and 298.9 metric tons of cattle feed premix was imported.

Last December, the Royal Friesland Company acquired 51 per cent of Engro Foods Pakistan, which was one of the largest private sector foreign direct investments in Pakistan’s dairy sector, amounting to $450 million.

Under the new deal and 2020 strategy arrangements, Engro Foods will aim for higher milk quality, variety of milk packages and products and farmers’ capacity building leading to a reduction in poverty.

In addition, regulatory duties to the tune of 25pc have been imposed on the import of skimmed milk powder and whey powder. This is to attract further investments in the dairy sector along with protecting small dairy farmers.

Riaz Haq said...

#American #agribusiness giant Cargill to grow #Pakistan business with US$200 million investment for expansion across its #agriculture trading and supply chain, edible #oils, #dairy, #meat and animal feed businesses while ensuring safety, food traceability. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/420270-cargill-to-grow-pakistan-business-with-us200-million-investment

Cargill renewed its long standing commitment to Pakistan by announcing plans to invest more than US$200 million in the next three-to-five years.

The announcement was made soon after Cargill’s global executive team, led by Marcel Smits, head of Global Strategy and Chairman, Cargill Asia Pacific region, and Gert-Jan van den Akker, president, Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain, met with the Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior government officials to discuss the company’s future investment plans.

Being a global food and agriculture producer with a strong focus on Asia, Cargill aims to partner on Pakistan’s growth by bringing its global expertise and investment into the country.

The company’s strategy includes expansion across its agricultural trading and supply chain, edible oils, dairy, meat and animal feed businesses while ensuring safety and food traceability.

Cargill will bring world class innovations to support the flourishing dairy industry in Pakistan, which is already moving toward modernization, as well as the rising demand for edible oils backed by evolving consumption patterns and a growing market for animal feed driven by sustained progress made by the poultry industry in Pakistan.

Cargill’s proposed investments will support Pakistan’s overall economic development and contribute to local employment.

The visiting delegation informed the Prime Minister that M/s Cargill intended to invest in Pakistan as back as 2012 but were discouraged by mismanagement, corruption and non-availability of level playing field during the previous governments. However, investor’s confidence has restored after the incumbent Government and the policies being pursued by it.

The prime minister welcomed investment plans of M/s Cargill in the area of agriculture development, import substitution and enhancement of agricultural products.

He highlighted the efforts of the government towards ensuring transparency, providing the business community with level playing field and improving ease of doing business in the country.

The PM assured the delegation full support from the government.

Riaz Haq said...

Cargill details major investment in Pakistan


Cargill has announced plans to invest more than $200 million in Pakistan over the next three to five years. The funds will be used to expand Cargill’s agricultural trading and supply chain, edible oils, dairy, meat and animal feed businesses in the country. Additionally, the company has earmarked funds for safety and food traceability efforts.

“Having been in Pakistan for more than 30 years, Cargill is happy to demonstrate our commitment to the country’s future through investment in our business and communities here,” said Imran Nasrullah, country head, Cargill Pakistan. “Finalizing one of our first investments in the agricultural supply chain in Pakistan is our top priority. We have received a very positive response from the Pakistani government, and we value their support as we expand our presence here, helping industries, farmers and communities succeed.”

Cargill started its Pakistan operations in 1984 and today has business interests in refined oils, animal feed, grains and oilseeds, cotton, sugar and metals. Cargill is one of the largest suppliers of palm oil and soybeans and cocoa powder to Pakistan. With the head office in Karachi, Cargill currently employs 50 people in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Dairy Sector: Time to Go All Out for Bolstering Performance
August 8, 2019


in Asia, strong output growth is forecast in the large traditional milk producers: India is expected to sustain its normal growth, while Pakistan looks set to increase production as high internal prices have stimulated investments in the sector. However, all of Pakistan’s increased production will be absorbed domestically. South America is all set to be the fastest-growing milk production region. Argentina’s milk production growth has been limited by lower returns due to large export taxes on milk products, whereby taxes are adjusted to maintain lower domestic prices. This policy-induced some milk producers to participate in national strikes and blockades in early 2008. Brazil may soon be the second largest exporter in the region, or even the largest if current trends continue over the next several years. In other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico, one of the world’s largest importers of milk powders, will post limited milk production gains given high feed costs and a shortage of domestic available feed.

As a whole milk production in Africa is anticipated to be consistently below world average growth, showing weaker supply response to the price spike. But the United States’ dairy sector responded significantly to attractive internal and external prices in the last couple of years. However, this growth is lower than expected, due to the downturn in profitability experienced so far this year, as indicated by the milk to feed price ratio. This has limited milk yield growth and has induced higher culling of cows. In addition, the recent appreciation of the United States dollar has lowered the competitiveness of the United States’ industry on international markets compared with the situation of even a couple of years back. In Canada, higher feed costs have induced yet higher target prices, and this has limited domestic market growth; production is expected to remain stable.

Riaz Haq said...

Nestlé opens #juice #manufacturing plant in #Pakistan with $22 million. Nestle procuring Chaunsa #mangoes from 110 farms. It's world’s largest Milo (#chocolate malt drink) plant with the capacity to export the product to more than 20 countries worldwide. https://www.drinks-insight-network.com/news/nestle-juice-plant-pakistan/

Global food and beverage company Nestlé has expanded its juice production capacity in Pakistan with the opening of a $22m plant at its Sheikhupura Factory.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar inaugurated the company’s Nestlé Fruita Vitals plant.

The plant is the newest edition to the company’s facilities operating in Pakistan and has 24,000 units per hour production capacity. It produces Nestlé’s range of juices, nectars and drinks.

Sarwar said: “We aim to create conditions in which foreign companies are attracted towards making new investments. At present, the government is making concerted efforts to revive the nation’s economy.

“I am really pleased to see that Nestlé, one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, is making such good progress in Pakistan.”

The investment is reported to be one of the largest investments made by Nestlé in Pakistan in recent times.

Nestlé Pakistan CEO Samer Chedid said: “Nestlé’s recent investment is a testament to our continuous trust in Pakistan and its growth potential. We are also excited about integrating our Chaunsa value chain.

“We are procuring Chaunsa mangoes from the 110 farms that we introduced interventions to improve their yield’s quantity and quality.

“This integration demonstrates our Creating Shared Value approach in which we ensure that our activities and products are making a positive difference to society while contributing to Nestlé’s ongoing success.”

Last month, Nestlé Malaysia opened its expanded Milo manufacturing facility at Chembong, Negeri Sembilan.

The facility is claimed to be the world’s largest Milo manufacturing site, with the capacity to export the product to more than 20 countries worldwide.

Riaz Haq said...

Trade churn: Who will milk the benefits?


According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation 2017, India is the largest milk producer in the world which contributes 21% to the world milk production followed by the United States (12%), Pakistan (5.3%), China (4.2%), Brazil (4%), Germany (3.9%), Russia (3.7%), New Zealand (2.5%), Netherlands (1.7%) and Australia (1%). In terms of numbers of dairy farmers, India is followed by Pakistan (7 million), the United States (0.038 million), China (0.013 million), New Zealand (0.012 million) and Australia (0.005 million).

India has around 73 million dairy farmers mostly holding one or two milch animal per farmer. Also, in India, farmers share in the retail price of milk is around 60%, the highest amongst other countries (International Farm Comparison Network, Dairy Report, 2018). Whereas, in the case of New Zealand and Australia, where average holding is 430 and 263 milch animals per farmer, respectively, price share is only 23% and 24%. Similar is the situation in the United States, Germany, France, and Denmark, where farmers receive only 43%, 45%, 34% and 43% of consumers’ price on milk and milk products, respectively.


India’s livestock sector ensures food security, provides employment, which leads to a reduction poverty and, more importantly, rural inequity. This is also evident from the increasing dependence of Indian farmers on livestock. Share of livestock sector to Gross Value Added (GVA) increased from 4% in 2011 to 4.6% in 2016. While share of agriculture and allied sector to gross value added consistently declined from 18.5% to 17.9%, during this period share of livestock in agricultural and allied gross value added increased from 22% to 26%. Among the livestock products, milk and milk product consist the highest share (67%) in the value of output from the livestock sector. Besides, this sector has been growing 11%, compounded annually, whereas the agricultural and allied sectors have grown 9% over this period. In recent years, milk and milk products are the largest agricultural commodity generating 32% more output than combined output of paddy and wheat.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is producing more than 30 types of different fruits of which citrus fruit is leading among all fruit and constitutes about 30% of total fruit production in the country.


The overall trend for all fruit production in Pakistan is increasing except for the year 2006–2007, when a great decrease of production of all fruits as well as citrus fruits was observed due to unfavourable weather (hailstorm) and water shortage, as shown in Figure 1. The area under all fruits and production both has been increasing gradually. Citrus fruit is prominent in terms of its production followed by mango, dates and guava. The total citrus production was 2.4 million tonnes in 2014–2015 that constitutes 35.2% of total fruit production) [3]. Citrus fruit includes mandarins (Kinnow), oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, of which mandarin (Kinnow) is of significant importance to Pakistan.

Above 90% of citrus fruits are produced in Punjab province and distributed through different value chains in domestic as well as in international markets. A large part of citrus fruit produced in Pakistan is mostly consumed locally without much value addition; however, 10–12% of total production is exported after value addition. The value chains are very diverse, and a number of different players actively participate in these chains, which ultimately decide the destination of citrus fruit in these supply chain(s). Knowing all these facts, the main aim of this research is to identify different value chains of citrus fruit (Kinnow) in Pakistan and also to identify and discuss the role and function of different value chain players in the citrus industry in Pakistan. A survey involving of different players of Pakistan’s citrus industry was conducted in 2013–2014 to better understand the citrus value chain(s). Using a convenience sampling technique, a total of 245 respondents were interviewed during a period of 4–5 months from three leading citrus-producing districts. It was found that citrus value chains can be classified into two major types: unprocessed citrus value chain and processed citrus value chains. It was also found that in the past, a large number of citrus growers were involved in preharvest contracting for their orchards and only a small number of citrus growers sold their orchards directly into local and foreign markets. The proportion has been gradually changed now and growers are becoming progressive and more market oriented.


Pakistan’s total production of citrus fruit (primarily Kinnow) is approximately 2.0 million metric tonnes annually. Although there is no remarkable increase in area under citrus production, the production has increased up to 30.8% since 1991–1992. In 1991–1992, Pakistan produced 1.62 million tonnes citrus, which increased to 2.1 million tonnes in 2008–2009 and 2.4 million tonnes in 2014–2015 [3].

Riaz Haq said...

Mango is the second largest fruit crop in Pakistan following citrus. Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of mangoes in world (The Daily Records, 2017). In 2016 it supplied about 3.5% of the world's total mango production ( (FAO, 2018). Punjab and Sindh together produce about 98% of Pakistan's total mango.


Like the other horticulture products in Pakistan, mango suffers from low productivity,
low quality, high wastage and low exports. Fruit quality is generally good but 30 to 40 percent
of fruit gets wasted during post-harvest handling. There is a lack of modern storage facility;
and postharvest treatment and transport mechanism is almost non-existent. Periodic gluts occur
on domestic markets as the markets lack the capacity to store fruit. The export market faces
similar challenges. In general, a value oriented supply chain mechanism is absent in the mango
market in Pakistan and there are concerns that current returns for growers are unsustainable
(Collins, Dunne, Campbell, Jhonson, & Malik, 2006). There are several other impediments in
the supply chain management. Most market power is concentrated to commission agents
(Mehdi, 2012). Besides, the lack of any direct relationship between growers and
processors/exporters make the supply chain protracted.

Riaz Haq said...

Apples are generally known as the “sweet gold” of Pakistan and are among the most popular fruits. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, during 2012/13 apples were produced over an area of 110,000 hectares with a total production of 556,000 metric tons, placing Pakistan among the top 25 producers globally.


--------------FRUIT 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Citrus 2147340 2001685 2167719 2395550 2344086 Mango 1700010 1680388 1658562 1716882 1336473 Banana 96545 115552 118756 118044 134634 Apple 598804 556307 606016 616748 620481 Grapes 64317 64353 66244 66036 65854 Pomegranate 48589 46081 45318 42641 40125 Guava 495231 499845 496008 488017 522573 Dates 557279 524612 526749 537204 467756 Apricot 189420 178489 177630 170504 172933 Peach 54378 55621 60880 66792 70750 Pear 19071 18789 18726 17012 16569 Plum 56223 55701 55241 54304 54634 Almond 21440 22330 21649 21881 21451 Fig 525 494 500 459 423 Jaman 7536 7398 6407 6364 5453 Litchy 1736 1811 1666 1644 1755 Phalsa 3991 3902 3851 4063 3848 Walnut 10640 9926 10094 14831 13751 Ber 28377 25634 25309 24635 24320 Loquat 8731 9304 9002 8823 9900 Mulberry 2615 2325 2530 2100 2134 Strawbery 292 312 591 609 767 Chikoo 6789 6890 6647 6677 6782 Coconut 10027 10010 10007 10030 10040 Cherry 1999 1981 2027 2083 2140 Pistachio 655 659 659 659 706 Papaya 6861 6932 6898 6743 6185 Percimen 21828 24355 24580 26760 26879 Melons 597296 583820 567506 544966 537198 Others(K+R) 56494 48099 62480 49899 46686 Total 6815037 6524522 6637831 7018002 6567286


Riaz Haq said...

Vegetables account for 5.5 million tons in 2018 where 40% of production is only attributed to onions with 2.1 million tons of production followed by tomatoes, carrots, and turnip considered as major crops. Vegetable production increased to 5,45 compare to last year's production of 5.0 million tons in 2017.

Fruits and Vegetables Market in Pakistan is expected to register a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period of (2020-2025). Pakistan has a wide range of agro-climatic conditions which is allowing the country to produce a wide variety of tropical and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables. According to FAO, Fruits accounts for 9 million tons in 2018. Mangoes with the highest production of 2.3 million metric tons followed by oranges with the production of 1.5 million metric tons. Similarly, vegetable production accounts for 5.4 million tons where 40% of production is only attributed to onions with 2.1 million tons of production followed by tomatoes, carrots, and turnip. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in 2018 Pakistan exported 768,200 metric tons of fruit worth of USD 415 million.


Riaz Haq said...



Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable market is segmented on the basis of Production, Consumption and Trade in terms of Import and Export of Fruits and Vegetables. Some of the major fruits and vegetables produced in Pakistan are mangoes, oranges, apples, onions, tomatoes, carrots and watermelons among others.

Fruits and Vegetables Market in Pakistan is expected to register a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period of (2020-2025). Pakistan has a wide range of agro-climatic conditions which is allowing the country to produce a wide variety of tropical and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables. According to FAO, Fruits accounts for 9 million tons in 2018. Mangoes with the highest production of 2.3 million metric tons followed by oranges with the production of 1.5 million metric tons. Similarly, vegetable production accounts for 5.4 million tons where 40% of production is only attributed to onions with 2.1 million tons of production followed by tomatoes, carrots, and turnip. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in 2018 Pakistan exported 768,200 metric tons of fruit worth of USD 415 million.

Riaz Haq said...

'Pakistan government to establish cold storages on airports and shipping ports across nation'


An agreement has been made by the government and the Representatives of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters to establish cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan.

This weekend, the Ministry of Commerce hosted a video-link session to address the issues surrounding mango exports. In the consultative session, an agreement was made by the government and the Representatives of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters to establish cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan.

Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood: “Held a fruitful consultative session with the growers, farmers, and exporters of Mangoes at the MOC. We discussed problems facing the exports of mango and discussed the way forward. We agreed to explore establishing cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports. We also agreed to establish a Mango Development Council under the forthcoming STPF.”

According to an article on globalvillagespace.com, this significant decision would have a positive effect on Pakistan’s exports. Most fruits and vegetables do not last long in warmer weather, hence why they need to be placed in cold storage to prevent their degeneration, especially in airports and shipping ports where they need to be sent for exports. Pakistan’s harsh weather conditions do not favor fruits and vegetables’ longevity, which ultimately affects our exports. Establishing cold storage would prevent this issue and benefit our agriculture industry as well as exports.

Riaz Haq said...

Dysfunctional Horticulture Value Chains and
the Need for Modern Marketing Infrastructure:
The Case of Pakistan


Total cereal production in the country increased to 38.34 million
MT in 2016 from 25.99 million MT in 2001, registering a growth of
47.52%. More than 70% of this growth was contributed by growth
in yield, while the rest was contributed by growth in cultivated land.
The country produced 6.64 MT vegetables and 5.89 MT of fruits in
2001, which increased to 9.77 MT and 6.8 MT, respectively, in 2015.
Yields of fruits and vegetables remain low. For example, yield
of potato (in tons per hectare) in Pakistan is significantly lower
compared to European countries like Belgium, the Netherlands,
Spain, and Turkey; and the United States (US) (Figure 2). Overall,
growth of yield played a small role in the growth of production of
fruits of vegetables during 1990–2016.3
Total production of potato, onion, and tomato was about 6.23 MT
in 2015, which accounted for about 64% of quantity and about 70%
of value of all vegetables produced in Pakistan. Punjab, Sindh, Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan provinces accounted for 83%, 1%,
9%, and 7%, respectively, of total potato production. Shares of these
provinces in total tomato production were 9%, 10%, 45%, and 26%,
respectively. Sindh (40%) and Balochistan (28%) led in total onion
production, followed by Punjab (21%) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (11%).
Pakistan exports different types of fruits and vegetables. The value
of the country’s export of fruits and vegetables in 2016–2017 was
about $568 million. Per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables
in Pakistan is low compared to Europe and America, and roughly at
par with South Asian comparators like Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
In 2013, per capita consumption of fruits was only about 29
kilograms (kg) in Pakistan compared to 95 kg in Europe and 105 kg in
the US. Per capita consumption of vegetables was 26 kg in Pakistan
compared to 115 kg in the European Union and 114 kg in the US in
the same year.4
Current Horticulture Value Chain
Several players are involved in different segments of the horticulture
value chain in Pakistan.

Collection and Shipment
Majority of the farmers sell their produce at wholesale markets. Most
farmers contract out fruit orchards during the flowering stage to the
middlemen, commission agent, and/or wholesalers who provide
loans to the farmers over the course of production. Vegetables and
fruits are transported by the same cart or truck from farms to the main
markets in the absence of specialized vehicles for specific products.
The same vehicle is used for many other purposes including animal
transportation. Recently however, reefer trucks have been introduced
on a limited scale in some parts of Pakistan. In the absence of direct
access of carrier vehicles to the farms, farmers gather their products
in a convenient spot along the roadside for pickup. When middlemen
or contractors are involved, it is their responsibility to collect and
transport the produce. The unsold or unauctioned produce in one
market is sent to other markets in the same locality.
Fruits and vegetables are packaged using local materials before
shipment. In most cases such packaging fails to preserve the
freshness and quality of the products. Another problem is absence of
cooling and packaging centers, and inadequate cold storage facilities
to preserve the produce at or near the wholesale markets. More than
555 cold storage units have been identified in Pakistan with about
0.9 million MT storage capacity, against more than 15 million MT of
production of fruits and vegetables. There are no available cooling
and packaging houses, and cold storage facilities close to the farms
that can be used by the producers.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s cash crops — vegetable production


Vegetables constitute an integral component of our cropping pattern but the increasing pressure on food and cash crops has limited the area under vegetables to about 3.1% of the total cropped area. Because they have a shorter maturity period vegetables fit well in most farming systems. Vegetables provide proteins, minerals and vitamins required for human nutrition. In Pakistan though, the daily per capita intake is low, being about 100 grams compared to the recommended consumption of about 285 grams. Vegetables are very important due to their higher yield potential, higher return and high nutritional value while being suitable for small land holding farmers. Most Pakistanis prefer cooked vegetables over raw vegetables, use plenty of fat during cooking and like to stir-fry their vegetables but high heat kills many of the beneficial nutrients and vitamins, and the excessive fat intake encourages obesity and high cholesterol.

However, according to the Asian Development Bank until today Pakistan remains a low level producer of vegetables basically for the domestic market only. In some instances, Pakistan has to import vegetables. One such example is pulses. Pulses are the most important source of vegetable protein in Pakistan. The demand for pulses is increasing because of the population growth and the fact that dal is cheap staple food for the poor. There is a need to develop varieties with higher yield potential that respond to improved management practices so as to meet the increasing demand of pulses and for import substitution. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council has started a program in order to develop varieties of chickpea, lentil, mung bean and black gram through breeding, molecular techniques and selection. The new varieties should be responsive to high inputs like irrigation, fertilizers and inoculation and be resistant to disease, drought and cold. Last year a four-person U.S. pulse industry team visited Karachi during April 29-May 1 to attend the first U.S. pulses seminar, hold industry meetings, visit a processing facility, see a traditional grain market and tour a hypermarket. But instead of helping Pakistani agro-industry the visit resulted in Pakistani buyers contracting for import of American pulses for the coming year. Overall, Pakistan is spending Rs. 102 billion annually on import of pulses. Among the reasons for that is that pulses were grown in marginalized land which has low productivity due to lack of water.

As can be seen there are multiple factors constraining not only the production of pulses but of all vegetables. One important factor apart from seeds quality, diseases and others is the human factor. The majority of the population in Pakistan lives in rural areas where poverty is deep and widespread. People are not only poor but mostly uneducated. Whatever knowledge farmers have is from their fathers and grandfathers. Not or insufficiently able to read and write is another major constraint. New seeds and how to handle them, use of new fertilizers are incomprehensible to them. Moreover, many of them are landless or small farmers with holdings too small to be profitable. And the number of such people is increasing with the passage of time. Has there ever been an attempt to bring small landowners in a cooperative together? That would solve the problem of too small holdings, access to credits, training-on the job and others.

Riaz Haq said...

Dysfunctional Horticulture Value Chains and
the Need for Modern Marketing Infrastructure:
The Case of Pakistan


Negative Impacts of the Current Value Chain The negative impacts of the current value chain can be assessed in terms of the low share of farmers in consumer prices . Usually producers get 15% to 20% of the retail price. Production of perishables like potato, onion and tomato suffers from a major setback every 3–4 years. Usually two or three good harvests are followed by a bad harvest. Besides, natural factors like unfavorable weather also negatively affect production. Producers do not get price dividends when production is low, shooting the retail price. Benefits of high retail prices are disproportionately expropriated by the middlemen. When there is a market glut where perishables and their prices fall, producers suffer as their share in retail prices also falls significantly. Sometimes producers throw away their perishable produce to protest their low prices. It emerged from discussions with the traders in Badami Bagh Ravi Link wholesale market that producers’ share in retail prices is inversely related with the perishability of the crop. Both seasonal and spatial price fluctuations of fruits and vegetables are high in Pakistan. For instance, in 2017, the price of 100 kg of tomato in Lahore fluctuated between 1,450 Pakistan rupees (PRs) to PRs13,150, or more than 800%. In the same year, price fluctuation for fresh potato was between PRs1,550 to PRs4,300 for 100 kg, or 177%. The annual cost of price fluctuations of fruits and vegetables is estimated to be about $825 million. Postharvest losses in fruits and vegetables due to mishandling of the perishable product, poor transportation, and inadequate storage facilities and market infrastructure account for about 30%–40% of total production. The annual value of postharvest losses of potato, tomato, peas, cauliflowers, carrots, turnip, radish, brinjal, squash, okra, onion, grapes, and mango in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh, valued at the respective 2016 provincial wholesale prices, is about $700 million to $934 million. An alternative estimate suggests that a reduction of around 75% of the current postharvest loss, when valued at export premium prices, would be equivalent to an annual saving of approximately $1.13 billion.

Due to low economies of scale, lack of synergies and collaboration among traders, high loading and unloading time, and hightransportation cost, overall marketing cost is very high. A reduction of marketing cost by $0.025 per kilogram would save about $55 million annually in the Ravi Link wholesale market in Lahore. It is difficult to comply with food safety, sanitary, and phytosanitary standards with the current value chain. The income and corporate tax revenues foregone due to the current value chain and marketing structure are also potentially high. Current Situation of the Main Wholesale Markets in Lahore The situation of four wholesale markets located in Lahore were analyzed, namely, (i) Badami Bagh Ravi Link, (ii) Akbari Mandi, (iii) a fish market at Urdu bazaar, and (iv) a flower market in Sughian Pul Shekhopura Road. The key findings are as follows. Physical Limitations The main problem is inadequate space for activities, forcing the commission agents and wholesalers to operate in open spaces with consequent spoilage. The average size of stalls is about 16 square meters only, which makes sorting, grading, and display of products difficult. Most of the corridors and offices in the premises have little active ventilation as required by international standards.

Riaz Haq said...

Speaking at a Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry webinar in December, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Husain stressed the importance of looking beyond the textile sector and diversifying Pakistan’s exports. Otherwise, he warned, we will remain “stuck” at 25 to 30 billion dollars in exports per year.


“If we can capture just one percent of the Chinese market by providing components, raw materials [and] intermediate goods to the Chinese supply chain,” he had said, “we can get 23 billion dollars in exports to China, which is very favourably inclined towards Pakistan...”

From the looks of it, others were on the same page as Husain. Last month, it was reported by China Economic Net (CEN) that China will import dairy products from Pakistan. The Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing, Badar uz Zaman, told CEN that Pakistan got this opportunity due to its high quality dairy products, available at a low price.

Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producer globally, Zaman pointed out.

Indeed, the country’s dairy industry has great potential and can prove to be ‘white gold’ for Pakistan. Unfortunately, the sector is currently struggling due to various reasons but, if its export potential is realised, it can transform not only the sector itself but Pakistan’s economy as well.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the United Nations, in the last three decades, global milk production has increased by more than 59 percent, from 530 million tonnes in 1998 to 843 million tonnes in 2018.

This rise in global milk consumption is an opportunity for countries such as Pakistan to earn foreign exchange by exporting milk and dairy products to countries which have insufficient milk production. According to a Pakistan Dairy Association estimate, with support from the government, Pakistan can earn up to 30 billion dollars from exports of only dairy products and milk.

Unfortunately, this potential is being wasted. As per statistics provided by the Pakistan Dairy Association, livestock and dairy currently make up approximately only 3.1 percent of Pakistan’s total exports; which would mean about a mere 0.68 billion dollars in FY2020.

Riaz Haq said...

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that with the introduction of better mechanization tools and ICT-enabled extension services, agriculture sector in Pakistan will be revolutionized.


“Olive cultivation and shrimp farming on commercial scale are need of the hour to ensure food security in the country. It will also help in improving exports”, he said while chairing a meeting on Agriculture Transformation Plan in the country, one of the Prime Minister’s Priority Sectors for economic turn-around.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the launch of Kissan Card will facilitate farmers to buy machinery and agriculture inputs.

He directed the authorities concerned to establish centers of excellence in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for research in major crops like cotton, wheat and rice.

The Prime Minister also directed to set up calf-raising centers and introduce better artificial insemination techniques for the growth of livestock and the improvement of milk production in the country.

He directed all the provincial Chief Secretaries to take effective steps for the availability of urea by putting a check on its illegal transportation to neighboring countries, especially Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister was informed that administrative steps were being taken against individuals involved in creating artificial shortage of urea.

The meeting was attended by Industries Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Dr Shehbaz Gill, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizengo and senior officers concerned.

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar and Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan joined the meeting via video link.

Riaz Haq said...

Improving milk production and its marketing in rural Sindh, Pakistan


SAGP (World Bank funded Sindh Agricultural Growth Project) established 484 livestock management training departments for its beneficiaries, which included both farmers and members of government institutions in charge of trainings, and the project rehabilitated 121 veterinary units.

To date, approximately 5753 farmers have benefited from livestock management trainings. The 203 Livestock Department staff equipped to deliver trainings will continue to provide extension services during field visits for vaccination and treatments to villages. Moreover, over 100 farmers and the staff of the Livestock Department were trained to implement artificial insemination to contribute to the breed improvement program, and utrasound training was offered to 76 beneficiaries. 18 beneficiaries beneficiaries have had the opportunity to visit state-of-the-art livestock training centers overseas: to Zimbabwe to observe Holistic Land and Livestock Management design and implementation; to Turkey to learn Dairy Farming practices, Dairy Machinery preparation factories; camel farming in the UAE; and Kenya's established dairy value chain.

SAGP has helped in rescuing the unique traits of the two main breeds of the cows found in Tharparkar district. One is 'Thari' and the other is 'Concrej.' Regarding this matter, Dr. Ashok Kumar said, "Tharkparkar cattle is losing its original traits by crossing with other breeds. Now we have promoted it through Artificial Insemination."

An Artificial Insemination Training Center at Tandojam is making a difference in restoring the original traits of Sindh's native breeds. Dr. Abdullah Sethar, deputy director, said, "This Artificial Insemination Center was developed in August 2019. We started offering Artificial Insemination training here. We have already trained 762 families, veterinarians, paramedics, and breeders in this center."

Trainings have also helped improved milk production. Previously, cows produced around 4.1 liters of milk and buffaloes produced 5.2 liters. By following the best practices learnt during various trainings, farmers increased the production of milk to 5.1 and 6.9 liters, respectively.

Beneficiary Abdul Aleem Soomro commented on how adopting new techniques resulted in a high milk yield. He said, "Our local cows had low milk yield. A practical demonstration was given to us and we changed our ways of breeding livestock. This has already started creating noticeable results."

Creating more jobs

The project not only strengthened milk production and its supply chain in the Rural Sindh, but also benefitted people in other ways, by creating jobs in other sectors.

5753 MPG members were able to upgrade their skills through three trainings. Additionally, 40 milk sell points were established by MPG members, with each outlet staffed by three farmers from the center's local village. Each milk outlet has provided employment opportunities to the local village, as 149 milk technicians are employed to collect and dispatch milk across these MPG collection centers.

Riaz Haq said...

FrieslandCampina Engro #Pakistan launches Pakistan–#Netherlands Dairy Development Centre at University of Veterinary and Animal Science in #Lahore. Pakistan's #dairy sector is the 4th largest in the world. #DairyMilk #livestock https://www.dairyreporter.com/Article/2022/02/07/frieslandcampina-engro-pakistan-launches-dairy-development-centre#.YgE8szkss4s.twitter

Riaz Haq said...

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Pakistani Beverages (1/3)
Pakola was the creation of seven brothers from the Teli family of Dhoraji in India who migrated to Pakistan in 1947. The idea of Pakola came from its founder Haji Ali Mohammad, who dreamed of developing a drink that portrayed the true reflection and taste of Pakistan. In order to pursue his dream, Haji Ali Mohammad opened a small factory with only two machines at Lawrence Road in Karachi, Pakistan with Pakola Ice-cream Soda being the initial product.
The drink was launched at Pakistan Air Force base on the anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence, 14 August 1950, in the presence of the first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan.
Later when Pakistan Beverages (PB) came into existence at SITE (Karachi), the brand Pakola was produced there. In 1979, when Pakistan Beverages location was announced as a production facility for Pepsi, Mehran Bottlers came into existence and continued to produce the drink along with other products such as Apple Sidra and Bubble Up.
Pakola is now available in America, Africa, Australia, Canada, Middle East, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It is the only carbonated beverage manufactured in Pakistan that is exported globally.

Riaz Haq said...

PABC raises Rs4.6b through IPO
Can maker secures maximum allowed price of Rs49 per share


Pakistan Aluminium Beverage Cans (PABC) raised Rs4.6 billion by selling one-fourth of the stake in the company to institutional, individual and retail investors at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday.

The company secured the maximum allowed price of Rs49 per share, which it determined by holding the Dutch auction (book building process) on Tuesday and Wednesday. It kick-started the auction at the minimum (floor) price of Rs35 per share.

Rules in place allowed the company to sell shares at 40% higher price against its floor price of Rs35 per share. The company sold a total of 93.88 million (26%) shares in the auction at the PSX.

The IPO was oversubscribed by 2.5 times at 233.23 million shares against the offer to sell 93.88 million shares.

It was the second largest initial public offering (IPO) in the private sector in terms of size of raised funds at Rs4.6 billion.

Funds gathered through the listing would go to UK-based asset management firm Ashmore that plans to break away from the company. It held a total of 51% stake in the company, out of which it sold almost half (26%) through the auction at the PSX.

Ashmore has also entered into agreements to sell rest of its holding in the company at a price of Rs30.80-31.85 to two major investors including Hamida Salim Mukaty (part of Liberty Group) and Soorty Enterprises (Private) Limited in private deals. PABC has shared plans to enhance its annual capacity from 700 million cans to 950 million cans. It aims to complete the expansion by July 2022.

The expansion is being financed through the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) at an attractive rate of 3% (inclusive of bank margin of 1%). The company has established relationship with key beverage bottlers in Pakistan and Afghanistan such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Mehran Bottlers (Pakola) and Zalal Mowafaq, Afghanistan.

In addition to this, the company also supplies aluminium beverage cans to Nestle Pakistan, Murree Brewery, King Beverages, Super Cola Beverages, Sufi Group of Companies, Six B, Daani International, Master Beverages and Foods and Afghan Red Pomegranate.

As per company estimates, the can penetration in the beverage packaging market is roughly 3-4%.

The off-trade consumption in soft drinks market of Pakistan stood at 3.13 billion litres in 2020 and it is expected to hit 4.34 billion litres by 2025, registering a five-year CAGR of 6.7% on volume basis, as per Euromonitor International.