Sunday, June 19, 2016

Is Chicken Really More Affordable Than Daal in Pakistan?

Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar has suggested to his countrymen to eat chicken instead of daal (pulses or legumes). Does the minister sound like Queen Marie-Antoinette (wife of France's King Louis XVI) who reportedly said to hungry rioters during the French Revolution:  “Qu'ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake”? Let's look into it.

It is indeed true that some varieties of daal are priced higher than chicken. For example, maash is selling at Rs. 260 per kilo, higher than chicken meat at Rs. 200 per kilo. But other daals such as mung, masur and chana are cheaper than chicken.

The reason for higher daal prices and relatively lower chicken prices can be found in the fact that Pakistan's livestock industry, particularly poultry farming, has seen significant growth that the nation's pulse crop harvests have not.

Poultry Farm in Pakistan

Pakistan's poultry industry achieved 127% growth in the total number of birds produced, 126% growth in the total meat production and 71%growth in terms of total eggs produced between 2000 and 2010, according to government data. As a result, the cheapest sources of animal protein in Pakistan are the eggs and meat from the poultry sector.  As of 2013, the per capita availability of poultry meat in Pakistan is 5 kg. In addition, Pakistanis consume 51 eggs per year per capita.

Major Pulse Producing Nations in 2011

Poultry share of meat consumption in Pakistan has steadily increased over the years.  In 1971, the market share of beef was 61%, mutton was 37%, and poultry meat a mere 2-2.5%. In 2010 the market share of poultry meat had increased to 25%, while beef and mutton declined to 55% and 20% respectively.  This increase in the overall size of the poultry sector has decreased the gap between the supply and demand of animal proteins and helped stabilize beef and mutton prices, making meat relatively more affordable to more people.

Production of daal, another important source of protein in Pakistan, has not kept pace with demand. Domestic production is not enough to provide 6-7 kilos of daal per person consumed in the country. Pakistan is forced to resort to imports to meet demand. Pakistan spent $139 million to import 628,000 tons of pulses in fiscal year 2010-2011. Pulse imports jumped to $224 million in July 2014 to January 2015 period, according to a report.

Overall, livestock contribution to agriculture in Pakistan has now risen to 58.55 percent, with the rest coming from crops, fisheries and forestry, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16. The agriculture sector accounts for 19.82 percent of GDP and 42.3 percent of employment with strong backward and forward linkages. Dairy farming has grown in Pakistan by leaps and bounds, making the country the third largest milk producer in the world.

Services sector now accounts for 59.16% of Pakistan's GDP,  the largest sector of the economy, followed by industrial sector that contributes 21.02%. Manufacturing is the most important sub-sector of the industrial sector containing 64.71 percent share in the overall industrial sector.

There has been significant progress in increasing animal protein supply via growth in Pakistan's livestock sector over the last few decades. Nations' policymakers now need to focus on increasing plant protein sources to close the gap between protein supply and demand in an affordable manner.

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Singh said...

Chicken is cheaper than Daal in India . Dal ~200 per Kg Chicken around 120-140 .

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: "Chicken is cheaper than Daal in India . Dal ~200 per Kg Chicken around 120-140 "

It's the basic law of supply and demand.

Being mostly vegetarian, neighboring Indians consume only 3.2 Kg of meat per capita, less than one-fifth of Pakistan's 18 Kg. Daal (legumes or pulses) are popular in South Asia as a protein source. Indians consume 11.68 Kg of daal per capita, about twice as much as Pakistan's 6.57 Kg.

Riaz Haq said...

#India May Grow Dal (Pulses) In #Mozambique, #Myanmar To Counter Shortage … via @ndtv

India is sending teams to Mozambique and Myanmar to explore the possibility of growing pulses or dal as it battles burgeoning demand and steep prices, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan has told NDTV.

"We may cultivate pulses there or sign a long-term agreement (to procure). For this, we are sending a team to Mozambique and another to Myanmar," he said, adding that the visits are likely to happen in the coming week.

He admitted that the production of pulses has declined in the country. "It has been happening since the last three years that the monsoon has affected the production of pulses," Mr Paswan said.

His comments come as prices of pulses have touched Rs. 200 per kg (Pak Rs 310), while two key vegetables - tomato and potato - staying costly at up to Rs. 80 and Rs. 35 per kg despite efforts by authorities to check the rise.

Mr Paswan also said that he suspected rumours to be one the reasons for price rise of vegetables like tomato even as production has gone up.

"I am also surprised that the production of onion, potato and tomato have all increased this year, and there is general consensus that the consumption has not changed much. So in these conditions, I think the reason for price rise is rumours," Mr Paswan told NDTV.

Riaz Haq said...

Himalayan nations of #India, #Bangladesh, #China and #Nepal may face unprecedented food crisis: The Economic Times

The challenge to food, water and energy security is immense in Himalyan region countries as more than 40 percent of the world's poor live there and about 51 per cent of their population is food-energy deficient.

"Feeding more than 700 million people in the Himalyan region, about two-thirds of the world population, is something we need to think about very seriously," ICIMOD's livelihood expert Golam Rasul said.

IEG Director Manoj Panda said regional collaboration is need ..

Read more at:

Tambi Dude said...

indians are not mostly vegetarian.

Riaz Haq said...

RK: " indians are not mostly vegetarian."

So why do they eat only 3.2 Kg of meat per capita per year? I guess the real reason in the Hindu story you shared is as follows:

The most alarming signal from this survey comes in response to a question about the experience of hunger. As many as 35 per cent say that, at least once during the last year, they or someone in their family could not have two square meals a day. Seven per cent say this happened `often.' This incidence is higher among the Dalits, the Adivasis, and the urban and rural poor. The survey is a reminder that hunger is not related only to natural calamities or famine. It is a living everyday reality in our country.

Tambi Dude said...

"So why do they eat only 3.2 Kg of meat per capita per year?"

It did not occur to you that one can be a non vegetarian without eating it daily. I was merely answering to your question that indians are predominately vegetarians.

Baba said...

Also need to see a kilo of Chicken is only good enough for 2 meal portions on average.
and a kilo of daal is good enough for 10-12 meal portions on average.

Riaz Haq said...

Baba:"Also need to see a kilo of Chicken is only good enough for 2 meal portions on average."

The usual portion in a carnivorous country like the United States s one-quarter pound of meat per person.

A kilo of chicken would be good enough for at least eight portions by US could be stretched to 10 or 12 in South Asia.

Tambi Dude said...

BTW for the sake of environment beef consumption should be reduced. Producing beef is so stressful for water. There are many research paper on that.

Baba said...

What are you saying? In my house of 4 members, 1 kg of chicken gets over in a single sitting. Mind you, we are average eaters

Riaz Haq said...

Baba: "What are you saying? In my house of 4 members, 1 kg of chicken gets over in a single sitting. Mind you, we are average eaters"

The average weight for one boneless, skinless chicken breast lobe is 5.25 ounces, a little more than a quarter pound (4 ounces)

You are probably not eating a balanced meal that includes more than just meat. Quarter pound is the standard with bigger portions being one-third of a pound when served with carbs (nan, rice, potatoes or pasta) and a side of veggies.

Kailash said...

I was introduced to chicken by my best friend in college and I was vegetarian till then. Shortly thereafter I found out my uncle was not vegetarian because he also started in college. I had thought my joint family was strict vegetarian but turns out only my parents and grandparents - 4 out of 15 are vegetarian
The survey of 70% non veg in India is believable

Pak said...

1 kg meat in Pak is hardly enough for 3-4 people

Riaz Haq said...

Pak: "1 kg meat in Pak is hardly enough for 3-4 people"

A typical steak served in a restaurant weighs 6 to 9 ounces. A typical cooked chicken breast contains three
ounces of meat. A typical chicken thigh contains almost 2ounces, a typical drumstick 1-1/2 ounces, and a typical wing has less than an ounce.

Riaz Haq said...

Kailash: "The survey of 70% non veg in India is believable"

My own experience with many of my Hindu friends in US is that they are only part-time vegetarians... they're vegetarians at home but carnivores elsewhere :-)

Baba said...

Sorry, I never saw 10 people sharing a complete tandoori chicken... can lead to riot among siblings

Riaz Haq said...

Baba: "Sorry, I never saw 10 people sharing a complete tandoori chicken... can lead to riot among siblings"

Yes, it's hard to share a whole tandoori chicken among more than 4 or 5 people... two breast pieces, two legs and wings etc. But curry chicken with nan or rice can be shared among more people.

Ravi Krishna said...

Per capita calorie consumption in pakistan is 2250 and in India 2300.

Riaz Haq said...

RK: "Per capita calorie consumption in pakistan is 2250 and in India 2300. "

This is a dubious claim that is contradicted by several key indicators.

1. Average body mass index (BMI) of Pakistanis (23) is higher than that of Indians (21). It's not possible on a lower calorie intake.

2. Pakistanis are on average two inches taller than Indians. It's not possible on a lower protein intake.

3. Per capital consumption of meat, milk, oil and sugar is significantly higher in Pakistan than in India. This can not lead to lower calorie intake in Pakistan than in India.

RaviKrishna said...

Pls challenge this site, not me:

And this refers to UN data:

If you think you know more than them, you can definitely challenge them.

Riaz Haq said...

RK: "If you think you know more than them, you can definitely challenge them."

That's what I just did.

It shows calorie intake decreasing in both India and Pakistan since mid-1990s that makes absolutely no sense. All credible indictors show people in South Asia eating better than before with declining poverty rates.

This data is as suspicious as Modi's GDP of India that even his Central Bank Chief Raghu Rajan questions and ends up losing his job recently.

AJ said...

In Pakistan we have plenty of dishes with chiken, a salan or qoorma can serve as many people as you want to on lamba or chota pani. make palaoo biryani salan can consume with boil rice or chappati so yes 1 Kg can easily serve 10+ people depend on dish, plus 1KG can easily make 4 different veggies dishes more tasty by adding a minor quality, so yes they can even use as flavor booster :),also even in daal people add chicken or chicken cubes.
So Chicken is every where.... and cheaper too...

Riaz Haq said...

From Pakistan Poultry Association:
In our country per capita consumption of (poultry) meat is only 7 kilo grams and 65-70 eggs annually. Whereas developed world is consuming about 40 kilo grams meat and over 300 eggs per capita per year.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan shares index plummets 848 points ( 2.22%) on #Brexit vote via Reuters

Pakistan stocks plunged more than 2 percent and recorded their biggest percentage loss in more than five months as Britain's exit from the European Union rattled global markets.

The benchmark 100-share index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange closed down 2.22 percent, or 848.01 points, at 37,389.88, after recovering from an intraday low of 36,826.

"Markets fell as an impact of Britain's exit from EU, Asian markets fell as well as commodity prices. Oil prices are also down by five percent," said Fawad Khan, head of research, KASB Securities Private Limited.

Index heavyweights that led the losses include Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd, which slipped 4.18 percent, while Pakistan Petroleum Limited declined 4.34 percent and Pakistan Oil fields Ltd fell 3.93 percent.

Yen has appreciated as a result of Britain's exit, hurting auto sector stocks.

Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Ltd lost 5 percent and Pak Suzuki Motor Co Ltd declined 5 percent.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: ""

The key to innovation is not necessarily advanced education and training in a certain field. It is out-of-the-box thinking. Major innovations have often come from people working in unrelated fields. Recent examples of such innovations from people of South Asian origin include Zia Chisti's Invisalign and Salman Khan's Khan Academy. Both Zia and Salman came from investment banking background before they revolutionized the fields of orthodontics and education.

Encouragement of the culture of innovation should begin during children's formative years in primary and secondary schools. Innovation requires free out-of-the-box thinking. History tells us that some of the biggest innovators were tinkerers with little or no formal education in the fields of their biggest and most transformative innovations. Groups and foundations promoting innovation in Pakistan need to increase their outreach to the school kids. As a start, they can expand inquiry-based learning and build more makerspaces like Karachi's Robotics Lab in partnership with private industries and foundations in major cities.

Riaz Haq said...

35% of what #Indians eat today is of `foreign' origin. #India #food via @timesofindia

Most of us know exotic new veggies and grains like kale and quinoa are "imported" but even ordinary staples like potato, onion, tomato and chilli came from elsewhere, reports Subodh Varma.
A study of 177 countries by scientists from the International Center of Tropical Agriculture has found that in India, more than a third of all food items derived from plants -grains, vegetables, fruits, spices, oils, sugar etc. -originated and developed elsewhere, and came to this subcontinent by trade or migration over centuries.

In terms of calorific value, such `foreign' origin foods make up 45 per cent of the national food production. It's not just India. At the global level, 66 per cent of calories consumed are derived from foreign origin foods on an average as was 71 per cent of production.
Onions and wheat have their origins in West Asia, potatoes and tomatoes came from South America, while mustard seeds came from the Mediterranean. Likewise, chillies came to India from Central America, while garlic and apples found their way from Central Asia.
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Anonymous said...

"So why do they eat only 3.2 Kg of meat per capita per year?" -- Simple. They eat meat on few Sundays or some special occasion like Vijaya Dashmi. Even in most of the middle class Hindu marriages you will rarely see non veg. Compare this to any Muslim wedding where it will be unthinkable.

Riaz Haq said...

#India tomato shortage causes #curry crisis with food #inflation rising under #Modi #BJP

At Pimpalgaon Basant, a village in western India, there is not a single cloud in the sky. The last time it rained was days ago, and that was only for an hour. Without rain, the Pimpalgaon tomato market, said to be the biggest in Asia, is almost empty.

“We have around 75% fewer tomatoes than normal,” says Sheik Tanveer, who works at the market. “Normally, you can buy tomatoes wholesale for 10 rupees [10p] a kilo here – now you’ll get about 150g for that.”

Tomato prices across India have, on average, doubled since April, causing consternation across the country. A long drought, followed by an early monsoon has disturbed the harvest cycle, and scarcity has pushed up prices. Other vegetables and lentils are also more expensive this year.

Tomatoes are a staple in Indian cuisine, used as a base for cooking vegetables, curries and dal. The rising cost makes a huge difference to family budgets and to the farmers who rely on steady sales for their income.

Many restaurants have dropped tomato-based dishes from their menus, while the sale of processed tomato sauces and ketchup has seen a 40% increase, according to Assocham, a national trade association.

Popat Khaire, a farmer from Pimpalgaon, says he’s never seen such a bad harvest. “It’s so hot. None of the farmers have any [tomatoes] to sell.”

Khaire usually gets good rates for his tomatoes, but he’s suffered huge losses this year. “The fields are ready, the saplings are ready, I am just waiting for the rain to come,” he says.

Santosh Zute, also a farmer, says: “The tomatoes that were planted have all come out small and black. You can’t eat them. So now we’re all sitting at home with our tomato seed. I’m losing around 5,000 rupees a day because of this.”

In India, the rise and fall of governments has been linked to the price of vegetables. High onion prices were thought to have been the deciding factor in the 1998 state elections in Delhi and Rajasthan.

This month, Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, chaired a meeting with cabinet ministers to find ways to reduce tomato prices. Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal’s chief minister, set up an emergency taskforce to address the tomato crisis.

While drought has slowed production in west India, heavy rains and floods have ruined the crop in the south. In Haveri, a region in the southern state of Karnataka, Shrenik Raj, a tomato farmer, says he has lost 600,000 rupees since the beginning of the year. “It was terribly hot, so the plants couldn’t grow. I’ve lost all my crop. I could sell tomatoes for a good price at the market now, but I don’t have any to sell,” he says.

At the beginning of the year, a bumper crop caused tomato prices in Haveri to fall dramatically, leading to huge protests from tomato farmers. “Wholesalers were offering us 50 paise [0.5p] or 1 rupee a kilo. The normal rate is 40 rupees. When the farmers heard about those prices, they just started dumping tomatoes in protest. Many didn’t bother to pick them; they just left them in the fields. Now, there is nothing to sell.”

India's drought migrants head to cities in desperate search for water
Read more
In India’s cities, tomato sellers are struggling to earn decent money. At Vegetable Alley in Mumbai, Sachin Bhad has to haggle with customers. “Tomatoes are selling for 50-60 rupees a kilo this week. Last week it had risen to 80 rupees – that’s the highest it has ever been,” he says. “This week, we’ve got tomatoes from Punjab, so the prices have come down a bit, but the stock we’re getting is not good and people aren’t buying.

“Two months ago, I used to earn 1,000 rupees a day – now I’m barely making 500. I spend all day explaining why tomato prices are so high.”

Smita Shah, one of Bhad’s customers, wants to buy half a kilo of tomatoes. “I used to buy a kilo two or three times a week. Now I buy 250g or 500g,” she says.

Riaz Haq said...

Prices of chicken, vegetables decline, fruits' soar in #Pakistan | Business Recorder

Prices of vegetables and chicken registered a decline while fruit prices recorded an increase during this week compared to preceding week, revealed a survey conducted by Business Recorder on Saturday. The survey observed that the prices of essential kitchen items especially potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and vegetables registered a reduction.

During the aforementioned period, chicken price in the wholesale market witnessed a reduction of Rs 200 per 40 kg from Rs 5200 per 40 kg to Rs 5000 which in the retail market is being sold at Rs 135-140 per kg against Rs 155-165 per kg. There was no change in the prices of mutton and beef as mutton is available at Rs 750 per kg. Boneless beef is being sold at Rs 480 per kg while beef with bones is being sold at Rs 380 per kg.

Prices of most of the vegetables witnessed a decline as Karaila is available at Rs 180 per 5 kg in the wholesale against Rs 200 per 5 kg, cucumber at Rs 140 per 5 kg against Rs 160 per 5 kg, potato at Rs 2200 per 110 kg bag against Rs 2500 per bag, tinda at Rs 175 per 5 kg against Rs 200 per 5 kg, ginger at Rs 90 per kg against Rs 120 per kg and garlic at Rs 150 per kg against Rs 200 per kg.

Cauliflower price witnessed a decline of Rs 50 per 5 kg in the wholesale market from Rs 400 per 5 kg to Rs 350 per 5 kg and capsicum price also went down by Rs 50 per 5 kg from Rs 380 per 5 kg to Rs 330 per 5 kg. Tinda in the retail market is available at Rs 45 per kg against Rs 50 per kg, capsicum at Rs 80 per kg against Rs 90 per kg, cabbage at Rs 50 per kg, cauliflower at Rs 75 per kg against 80 per kg. Green chili price witnessed a reduction of Rs 80 per 5 kg from Rs 300 per kg to Rs 220 per 5 kg and maro kadu price remained stable at Rs 160 per 5 kg.

Beans with a reduction of Rs 50 per 5 kg in the whole sale market remains available to Rs 350 per 5kg from Rs 400 per 5 kg which in the retail market is being sold at Rs 80 per kg against Rs 90 per kg and peas price also witnessed a decline of Rs 50 per 5 kg from Rs 400 per kg to Rs 350 per 5 kg which in the retail market are being sold at Rs 80 per kg against Rs 100 per kg.

Lemon in the wholesale market is being sold at Rs 700 per 5 kg against Rs 650 per 5 kg, which in the retail market are being sold at Rs 160 per kg. Onions price remained stable at Rs 130 per 5 kg in the wholesale market which in retail market is being sold at Rs 30-35 per kg, while potatoes are being sold at Rs 30-35 per kg and brinjal is available at Rs 40-50 per kg. No change was registered in the price of rice, all range of pulses, wheat flour, soft drinks, ghee/cooking oil, spices, tea packs, milk and yogurt.

Prices of most of the fruits during the week under review witnessed an increase as Sindhri mangoes are being sold at Rs 125 per kg against Rs 110 per kg, Chaunsa at Rs 110 per kg against Rs 100 per kg, peach is being sold at Rs 120 per kg against Rs 100 per kg, watermelon went up by Rs 5 per kg from Rs 20 per kg to Rs 25 per kg, melon at Rs 40-65 per kg, normal quality local banana at Rs 100 per dozen against Rs 80 per dozen and fine quality local banana at Rs 130 per dozen against Rs 120 per dozen, while Indian banana is being sold in the range of Rs 150 per dozen to Rs 180 per dozen. Different qualities of apples are being sold in the range of Rs 60 per kg to Rs 250 per kg; Swat apricot is being sold at Rs 80-100 per kg, Quetta apricot at Rs 150 per kg and pear is available at Rs 150 per kg.

Riaz Haq said...

According to a spokesman of the market, the rates of vegetables at the Ramzan/Sasta Bazaars of Islamabad are as under:

Potato per kilogram is Rs 27, Potato Store Rs 23, Onion Rs 26, Tomato Rs 32, Ginger Rs 80, Garlic desi Rs 175, Garlic (China) Rs 175, Lemon desi Rs 98, Lady Finger Rs 50, Pumpkin Rs 46, Brinjal Rs 34, Peas Rs 118, Farsh Bean Rs 82, Tanda Walaiti Rs 55, Tanda desi Rs 64, Cucumber Rs 27, Capsicum Rs 45/32, Green Chilli Rs 38, Cauliflower Rs 68/38, Cabbage Rs 40, Bitter gourd Rs 37, Green Zucchini Rs 40, Spinach Rs 34, Turnip Rs 45, Maroo Rs 48, Yam Rs 55, Carrot Rs 55, Chicken Rs 139 per kg and Egg per dozen Rs 78.

Likewise, he said that rates of fruits per kilogram of high and medium quality in Sasta Bazaars are as follows: Apple Kala Kulo Rs 145/125, Apple White Rs 95/65, Apple Ambri Rs 82/56, Apple China Rs 200/180, Apple New Zealand Rs 256/232, Banana Pak Rs 130/85, Banana Ind Rs 165/135, Pear China Rs 165, Apricot Swat Rs 105/85, Apricot Kabli Rs 140/125, Melon desi Rs 30/22, White Melon Rs 28/20, Water Melon Rs 20/15, Peach Rs 95/65, Mango Sundhari Rs 110/85, Mango Maldeh Rs 62/45, Mango Almas Rs 47/35, Mango langra Rs 65/45, Mango Chaunsa White Rs 105/85, Mango Dosari Rs 76/50, Mango Desi Rs 55/35, Plum Rs 120/90, Garma Rs 58/35 and Mango Ratool Rs 138/95.

The spokesman has asked all the people to follow this list and inform authorities at 051-4867762 in case of any complaint against shopkeepers.

Riaz Haq said...

Survey: #India is the cheapest place to live in the world, cheaper than neighbors #Nepal and #Pakistan

"In India, if you want quality, you will be paying high prices. It very much depends on who you are. You have to settle for many compromises to take advantage of the cheap prices."

Meanwhile, many Indians outside cities have felt the purchasing power of the rupee depreciate as inflation has been ongoing. The Indian government is now trying to keep inflation low.

And the rural state of Bihar in the north-east of India is one of the poorest regions in the whole of south Asia, according to a study by Oxford University.

Riaz Haq said...

India Gets Chana Dal Crisis Wrong - Subsidise People, Not Products

Indian agriculture is having one of those passing problems at present, the prices of certain foods are rising well outside usual ranges. India’s a country that has still great swathes of absolute poverty, such price rises cause real suffering. Thus something should be done. But it’s important that the right thing be done rather than the wrong. India’s welfare system in general is moving, slowly enough, to using the right methods. But what’s happening here over chana dal and other pulses is showing us the wrong way to do it. The correct answer is to be subsidising people, not specific products. This is different from but allied to Amartya Sen’s point that modern famines don’t happen because of a lack of food but because of a lack of purchasing power. In the face of these changing prices we want to boost the purchasing power of the poor, not produce subsidised portions of those now more expensive foods.

Firstly, we simply don’t want to be doing these things through something as cumbersome as a bureaucracy. Especially not something as cumbersome as the Indian bureaucracy. We would very much prefer whatever aid we provide to be available quickly. It’s very much easier to move money around than it is food so that’s what we should be doing. As when we deal with famine itself (please note, we are not talking about famine in India at present, not at all, just price rises). Send in money so that people can purchase the food which exists rather than sending in food itself. It’s really much, much, quicker.

The government decided to import 7,500 tonnes of chana and masoor dal in the coming days to boost domestic supply and curb prices. The pulses issue was discussed in detail in the meeting of Management Committee of Price Stabilisation Fund, chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande here.

We also have another manner of managing these things. Those markets – if the domestic price of these pulses is rising above the world price then importers will import them. And again we come back to that Sen point – there must be effective demand at those higher prices. Which is why we just give money to poor people.

Drought has shrunk the total output of chana dal production by 40-45% this year, traders said. It has seen doubling of its wholesale rate this year over the same period in 2015 and this trend will have a telling effect on besan (made from chana dal) sweets this festive season.

Riaz Haq said...

Parched Land. Farmer #Suicides. Dead Animals. Forced Migration: #Drought Is Crippling Rural #India … via @TheWorldPost

TIKAMGARH DISTRICT, India — For years, Lakshman Pal, 28, planted wheat and tended to his small field here. Each season, he hoped for rain. He looked up at the sky and waited for the showers that normally came. But for the past two years, they’ve hardly come at all. His crops eventually withered and died, crumbling to dust.

In early May, Pal returned from a spell of work in the distant state of Haryana, where he earned 250 rupees, or about $3.70, a day toiling long hours as a laborer. Fifteen other members of his family also migrated to various cities, searching for work and leaving behind women, children, the elderly and a handful of younger men to tend to the land. Pal borrowed money from the bank and a local moneylender to pay for medical treatment for his mother, who has cancer, and he was now deep in debt.

Back in Khakron, his village, Pal found himself not only in debt, but also with no water for his fields, no crops to harvest, no food for his family, no money for his mother’s treatment. He awoke one morning in mid-May, before dawn, and killed himself in his field.

Life is precarious in Bundelkhand, a vast rural landscape in north-central India that I drove through on a weeklong trip for The WorldPost in late May. The region, which consists of over 27,000 square miles across the states Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is one of India’s poorest areas, populated mostly by poverty-stricken farmers living in rudimentary villages. And now, it’s suffocating under an intense drought that’s affected a staggering 330 million people nationwide.

As the crisis deepens, the country that celebrated the 1960s agricultural revolution and a resulting boom in production of food grains is now seeing its farmers dying in debt and despair. In many cases, farmers accrue debt from loans for seeds, fertilizers and equipment. And the debt can carry down to their children and grandchildren.

Stories like Pal’s are repeated with frightening regularity all over the country. More than 2,200 farmers reportedly died by suicide in just one state — Madhya Pradesh — between April and October of last year, and more than 12,000 reportedly killed themselves across the country in 2014.

Severe dry spells have become much more common in Bundelkhand in recent years, a consequence of both climate change and the lack of a robust irrigation system, turning this historically dry area into a parched and barren land. Groundwater reservoirs have been dangerously depleted, and agriculture has stagnated. Temperatures are consistently over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and sometimes top 115. Since the early 2000s, droughts have become worse and the annual monsoon, which is critical for agriculture, has become erratic. The drought was especially bad from 2003 to 2010. In 2011, the region experienced much higher rainfall — in some districts, more than 500 percent above normal — and flooding was widespread. Disappointing monsoons in 2012 and 2013 gave way to drought again in 2014. It hasn’t abated, and the network of lakes, rivers and wells, which had always supported the people, have gone almost completely dry.

Riaz Haq said...

How food inflation has removed #dal, #potato & #tomato from the plate of aam aadmi in #Modi's #India via @indiacom

Last year it was onion that made the middle-class cry. This year soaring price of tomatoes, potatoes and pulses have made the life of aam aadmi difficult.

Last year it was onion that made the middle-class cry. This year soaring price of tomatoes, potatoes and pulses have made the life of aam aadmi difficult. Despite government’s efforts to control the prices of essential commodities, a huge increase in the cost of tomatoes, potatoes, arhar dal and urad dal has largely hit the common man of the country.
According to the Wholesale Price Index or WPI data released on Tuesday, vegetable inflation rose sharply from 2.21 per cent in April to 12.94 per cent the next month. The inflation level at highest in 19 months. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a high level meeting to fix the strategy to keep prices in check which was attended by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian. (ALSO READ: Pulses costlier due to poor rainfall, reduced imports: Ram Vilas Paswan)

Rising Inflation: The rising prices of vegetables are major concern. Due to crop damage, Tomato prices have doubled to an average Rs. 80 a kilogram across the country. In Hyderabad, tomatoes are being sold at Rs 100 per kilogram. Potato prices are up to almost Rs 20 per kilogram. Drought situation is several parts of the India, production of pulses were badly hit last year. Country’s pulses production is estimated to be 17.06 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year, while the demand of pulses in India is pegged at 23.5 tonnes.

According to data published by the department of consumer affairs and the National Horticulture Board, prices of tomatoes have increased by 100-200 per cent in most cities between April and June this year. Crop damage in West Bengal and a dip in production have risen the prices of potatoes in the country.

Price rise of pulses: Pulses inflation has remained in double digits since January 2015. Arhar dal is currently costing as much as Rs 170 per kilogram. Urad dal is selling for as high as Rs 196 per kilogram. “In the last two years, arhar dal prices have doubled and the cost of urad has increased by around 120 per cent. Even the price of chana dal, which is produced in large quantities and is usually unaffected by inflation, has risen 85% in this period, in Delhi,” a Times of India report said.
Following are today’s pulses rates (in Rs per quintal): Urad Rs 10,800-12,300, Urad Chilka (local) Rs 11,100-11,200, Urad best Rs 11,200-11,700, Dhoya Rs 11,600-11,900, Moong Rs 6,200-6,800, Dal Moong Chilka local Rs 6,750-7,150, Moong Dhoya local Rs 7,150-7,650 and best quality Rs 7,650-7,850. Masoor small Rs 6,050-6,350, bold Rs 6,100-6,400, Dal Masoor local Rs 6,600-7,100, best quality Rs 6,700-7,200, Malka local Rs 7,000-7,300, best Rs 7,100-7,400, Moth Rs 5,500-5,900, Arhar Rs 9,200, Dal Arhar Dara Rs 12,100-13,800.
Gram Rs 7,000-7,500, Gram dal (local) Rs 7,150-7,450, best quality Rs 7,600-7,700, Besan (35 kg), Shakti Bhog Rs 3,100,Rajdhani Rs 3,100, Rajma Chitra Rs 5,600-6,950, Kabuli Gram small Rs 8,000-9,500, Dabra Rs 2,700-2,800, Imported Rs 4,700-5,100, Lobia Rs 5,400-5,600, Peas white Rs 3,400-3,425 and green Rs 3,600-3,700.

Riaz Haq said...

Mangoes are grown and consumed worldwide. Costa Rica hopes to take advantage of an early end of the Peruvian season. Mexico's production is about to arrive. In general, the figures for many countries in Latin America are lower than last season. On the other side of the ocean, Australia sees more international demand for the country's mangoes. Also, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh are optimistic. For these countries, the Middle East, among other destinations, is a key market. Kenya is also making progress and exporting to more countries. Israel is trying to gain a firm foothold in Europe, where prices are currently high because of a sluggish supply and good demand in the run-up to Easter. Good prices are also paid for the fruit in the United States.

This week, we look at the situation in Latin America, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Australia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Israel, the United States, Europe, France, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands.


Pakistan is expanding export markets
The production volumes should match the initial estimates, with an abundant harvest expected. Exports are expected to reach 215,000 tonnes thanks to improvements in the packaging and training of the growers. Furthermore, some new markets have been added to the list of export destinations: Portugal, Finland, China and Russia. Japan, too, has recently opened its borders to Pakistani mangoes. The export season should last until September.


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Inflation hit 13-year low in FY16 but price rises affect tomatoes (up 61%) potatoes (up 45.5%) in #Ramadan

Pakistan’s average inflation came in at 2.86 per cent in the just-ended fiscal year, its lowest level in over 13 years, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

Falling oil and commodity prices, a stable rupee and monitoring of prices at both federal and provincial levels were major reasons behind low inflation.

Average inflation stood at 4.53pc in 2014-15, 8.62pc in 2013-14 and 7.36pc in 2012-13.

Inflation measured through the consumer price index (CPI) — the indicator that tracks prices of 481 commodities every month in the country’s urban centres — inched up to 3.19pc in June from 3.17pc in May.

A finance ministry report said prudent fiscal and monetary policies and a few other factors helped in moderating the headline inflation and other inflationary indicators, ie core inflation, food inflation, sensitive price indicator (SPI) and wholesale price index (WPI).

It said the government had also passed on the benefits of lower oil prices to domestic consumers, which helped stabilise prices of commodities included in the CPI basket.

Food inflation, which has 37pc weight in CPI basket, was 2.3pc in June as compared to 3.2pc in the same month of the last year.

This decline in food inflation was the outcome of a 1.82pc fall in prices of perishable food items.

On a month-on-month basis, food inflation rose 1.4pc in June, mainly because of a 7.87pc increase in prices of perishable products and 0.19pc in non-perishable products.

The food items whose prices increased included tomatoes (61pc), potatoes (45.5pc), eggs (8.5pc), fresh vegetables (5.9pc), gram whole (5.7pc), fresh fruits (2.5pc), besan (2.4pc), pulse gram (2.2pc), and rice (1.4pc).

Core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 4.6pc in June 2016, slightly up 0.1pc from the previous month. Falling inflation has also encouraged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to lower its key interest rate at a 42-year low of 5.75pc.

Core inflation has remained subdued since November last year because of a tighter monetary policy and reduction in food and fuel prices.

The finance ministry report said a 6.26pc decline in government sector borrowing during July-March 2015-16 has resulted in low core inflation. The retirement of Rs534.6 billion by the government to the SBP during the period under review also helped in lowering core inflation.

The non-food inflation was 3.8pc during the period under review as compared to 3.9pc in the previous month.

Among the non-food group, education index increased by 0.18pc and health by 0.13pc in June as compared to the previous month. The highest increase of 4.24pc was witnessed in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Average inflation measured through the SPI rose 1.31pc in July-June 2015-16, while WPI was negative 1.05pc.

Lower WPI reflects less demand for domestic commodities, mainly because of low purchasing power. The entrance of the manufacturing sector into a negative growth indicates deflation in the economy.

Riaz Haq said...

I don't think India's current food problems are related to distribution as some suggest; the real issue is insufficient production and supply due to multi-year drought. Indian farmers are heavily dependent on good monsoon rains. That's why an Indian farmer kills himself or herself every 30 minutes. Only 35% of India's farm land is irrigated versus over 70% of farm land in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Dutch FrieslandCampina buys #Engro Foods. Targets world's 3rd largest milk market (38 billion liters) in #Pakistan

FrieslandCampina has acquired 51 % of Engro Foods Limited, the second largest dairy producer in Pakistan. It enables the company to take a major leap forward in Central Asia.
Shift to packaged dairy
Pakistan is the third largest milk-manufacturing country in the world, with 38 billion liters on an annual basis. FrieslandCampina wants to take advantage of the shift to packaged dairy products in Pakistan: not even 10 % of milk consumption comes from processed and packaged milk in Pakistan, but FrieslandCampina expects that to change in the near future.

“Thanks to this well-organized and very successful company, we have obtained a strong position in the Pakistani dairy market. A growing middle class is switching to processed and packaged milk in Pakistan and Engro Foods provides a platform to build on. This acquisition will contribute to the value proposition we want to give our member dairy manufacturers. We will also help develop the agricultural industry in Pakistan with our extensive knowledge on the dairy manufacturing process and thanks to our Dairy Development Programme", CEO Roelof Joosten said.

“This is a very important event for us. Engro Foods has been very successful ever since its launch in 2006 and has since become one of the most respected companies in Pakistan. Our FrieslandCampina collaboration will definitely have a huge impact on the dairy value chain in Pakistan and will also enable Engro Foods to present the consumer with additional value thanks to an improved product range, while it will also help improve our innovation levels", Engro CEO Babur Sultan added.

Riaz Haq said...

#Dutch company acquires 51% stake in #Pakistan's #Engro for over $448m to target world's 3rd largest milk market

KARACHI: Engro Corporation has signed an agreement with a Netherlands-based dairy company for the sale of up to 51% shareholding in Engro Foods at an estimated price of $448 million, a securities filing said on Monday.

Engro Corporation currently controls approximately 87% shareholding in Engro Foods while the general public owns the remaining outstanding shares. The deal will take place at Rs120 per share, which reflects a discount of about 26% to Engro Foods’ current share price of Rs163.

The majority stake in Engro Foods will be bought by a legal entity in which Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina will hold approximately 80% shares. International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Dutch development bank FMO will hold the remaining shares in the legal entity.

The share price of Engro Corporation rose 1.4% to Rs337.6 on Monday while the stock of Engro Foods shed 5% to close at Rs155.17 per share.

Engro Fertilizers CEO says Rs390 cut expected

Engro Corporation said in a statement it will stay on as a “significant partner and shareholder” under the new company structure. The stake of Engro Corporation in Engro Foods will likely be around 36% post-transaction.

The Dutch company is required under the local takeover laws to make an attempt to purchase at least half of the shareholding currently owned by the general public.

The provision is supposed to ensure that ordinary shareholders also benefit in case the sponsors of a listed company sell their stake in a major deal. This means general investors will also have a chance to avail the public offer extended by FrieslandCampina to sell at least half of their 13% current holding in Engro Foods.


In a statement on Monday, FrieslandCampina said it expects to benefit from the conversion of the Pakistani market from loose to packaged dairy consumption. At present, less than 10% of tradable milk consumed in Pakistan is processed and offered in packages, it said. The conversion is expected to accelerate in the near future as a result of the growing middle-income class, a desire for higher quality milk as well as the increasing urbanisation, it added.

Topline Securities said Engro Corporation will generate cash of around Rs47 billion, part of which will most likely be invested in energy-related projects with a higher rate of return.

Engro Foods contributed more than a quarter in the corporation’s revenues last year. Therefore, its sale will result in a decline of around Rs4 per share in the holding company’s earnings, as per the workings of Topline Securities.

“However, this decline will be compensated if the sale proceeds are either put in the bank or used to pay off debt. As of the latest quarterly accounts, Engro had Rs72 billion of debt on its books,” it said.

Riaz Haq said...

#Dutch company acquires 51% stake in #Pakistan's #Engro for over $448m to target world's 3rd largest milk market

KARACHI: Engro Corporation has signed an agreement with a Netherlands-based dairy company for the sale of up to 51% shareholding in Engro Foods at an estimated price of $448 million, a securities filing said on Monday.

Engro Corporation currently controls approximately 87% shareholding in Engro Foods while the general public owns the remaining outstanding shares. The deal will take place at Rs120 per share, which reflects a discount of about 26% to Engro Foods’ current share price of Rs163.

The majority stake in Engro Foods will be bought by a legal entity in which Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina will hold approximately 80% shares. International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Dutch development bank FMO will hold the remaining shares in the legal entity.

The share price of Engro Corporation rose 1.4% to Rs337.6 on Monday while the stock of Engro Foods shed 5% to close at Rs155.17 per share.

Engro Fertilizers CEO says Rs390 cut expected

Engro Corporation said in a statement it will stay on as a “significant partner and shareholder” under the new company structure. The stake of Engro Corporation in Engro Foods will likely be around 36% post-transaction.

The Dutch company is required under the local takeover laws to make an attempt to purchase at least half of the shareholding currently owned by the general public.

The provision is supposed to ensure that ordinary shareholders also benefit in case the sponsors of a listed company sell their stake in a major deal. This means general investors will also have a chance to avail the public offer extended by FrieslandCampina to sell at least half of their 13% current holding in Engro Foods.


In a statement on Monday, FrieslandCampina said it expects to benefit from the conversion of the Pakistani market from loose to packaged dairy consumption. At present, less than 10% of tradable milk consumed in Pakistan is processed and offered in packages, it said. The conversion is expected to accelerate in the near future as a result of the growing middle-income class, a desire for higher quality milk as well as the increasing urbanisation, it added.

Topline Securities said Engro Corporation will generate cash of around Rs47 billion, part of which will most likely be invested in energy-related projects with a higher rate of return.

Engro Foods contributed more than a quarter in the corporation’s revenues last year. Therefore, its sale will result in a decline of around Rs4 per share in the holding company’s earnings, as per the workings of Topline Securities.

“However, this decline will be compensated if the sale proceeds are either put in the bank or used to pay off debt. As of the latest quarterly accounts, Engro had Rs72 billion of debt on its books,” it said.

Yechury said...

India's Wholesale Price Index, July shoots up 3.55%; Pulses by (35.76%), Potatoes (58.78%), Vegetables (28.05%)#AchheDin

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of World Bank Report "Making Growth Matter" released November, 2016:

The government recently set a new national poverty line that identifies 29.5 percent
of Pakistanis as poor (using the latest available data from FY14). By back casting
this line, the poverty rate in FY02 would have been about 64.3 percent. This means
that poverty has more than halved between FY02 and FY14, even according to this
new and higher metric. The new poverty line was introduced in April 2016 precisely
because of Pakistan's success in reducing poverty over the last decade and a half.
Using the old national poverty line, set in 2001, the percentage of people living in
poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than
75 percent. Other sources of data corroborate this decline—ownership of assets and
dietary diversity also increased over this period. For example, in the bottom income
quintile, motorcycle ownership increased from 2 to 18 percent between FY02 and
FY14. See Section C1.

When poverty declines, it usually coincides with other gains in household welfare.
Throughout the period under review, Pakistan saw substantial gains in welfare,
including the ownership of assets, the quality of housing and an increase in school
enrollment, particularly for girls. First, the ownership of relatively more expensive
assets increased even among the poorest. In the bottom quintile, the ownership of
motorcycles increased from 2 to 18 percent, televisions from 20 to 36 percent and
refrigerators from 5 to 14 percent (see Figure 29). In contrast, there was a decline
in the ownership of cheaper assets like bicycles and radios. Housing quality in the
bottom quintile also showed an improvement. The number of homes constructed
with bricks or blocks increased while mud (katcha) homes decreased. Homes with a
flushing toilet almost doubled in the bottom quintile, from about 24 percent in
FY02 to 49 percent in FY14 (see Figure 30).

Changes in consumption patterns over time were also consistent with the poverty
decline. It is well-known that increases in income are strongly associated with
households spending less of their budget on food, and more on non-food items
(Engel’s law). In Pakistan, the 25 percentage point decline in poverty between FY02
and FY14 was associated with a 10 percentage point reduction in the share of
expenditure devoted to food (see Figure 31).

In Pakistan, the reduction in poverty led to an increase in dietary diversity for all
income groups. For the poorest, the share of expenditure devoted to milk and milk
products, chicken, eggs and fish rose, as did the share devoted to vegetables and
fruits. In contrast, the share of cereals and pulses, which provide the cheapest

calories, declined steadily between FY02 and FY14. Because foods like chicken,
eggs, vegetables, fruits, and milk and milk products are more expensive than cereals
and pulses, and have lower caloric content, this shift in consumption also increased
the amount that people spent per calorie over time (see Table 12). For the poorest
quintile, expenditure per calorie increased by over 18 percent between FY02 and

Overall, this analysis confirms that the decline in poverty exhibited by the 2001
poverty line is quite credible, and that Pakistan has done remarkably well overall in
reducing monetary poverty based on the metric it set some 15 years ago.

... there is now a considerable body of
research suggesting that the link between food availability and nutritional status is
weak, and is mediated by the ambient disease environment and the quality of water
and sanitation.

Riaz Haq said...

#Livestock contributes 11.6%, representing abt 60% of #agriculture output, to #Pakistan GDP … via @Pakistan Observer

The livestock sector contributed more to GDP value addition in FY16 than large-scale manufacturing, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s annual State of the Economy report.
The contribution of livestock was 11.6pc against 10.9pc of large-scale manufacturing (LSM), the report reveals; but the sector itself grew only 3.6pc, below the 4pc level growth it had recorded in FY15.
Since the beginning of this century, the livestock sector has been growing steadily however more growth in the sector has come through value-addition in meat and milk processing and less through increase in animal headcount.
“Between FY01-10 we saw a growth (in the livestock sector) supported largely by milk processing; from then on both milk and meat processing have been fuelling growth,” says a senior official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
Milk and meat production, processing and value-addition have achieved several development milestones over the years. The dairy manufacturing industry, which took root though packaged milk still accounts for 5pc of our total milk production.
The establishment of the Pakistan Halal Authority and a set of incentives including tax exemptions and the reduction in customs duty on the import of machinery for meat processing for setting up fresh abattoirs are expected to further boost livestock growth.
Immediately after the authority started issuing Halal certificates, four meat exporting companies got supply order conformations from Malaysia, a hitherto unexplored meat export market, industry sources say.


While milk and dairy product companies continue to thrive, mainly on local demand, meat processing firms are more dependent on exports. They are now able to explore new markets after having access to Halal certification facility at home. Previously, they had to get their export consignments certified as Halal from foreign sources.
Fauji Meat a subsidiary of Fauji Fertiliser that commenced operations this April — has come in as a big morale booster. With a daily production capacity of 100 tonnes of meat (85 tonnes beef and 15 tonnes mutton), the company has started exporting both frozen and chilled meat products primarily to Kuwait and a few other countries, officials say. Al-Shaheer Corporation, an old meat exporting company, has not only maintained its market share in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE but its Meat One and Khaas Meat are doing a roaring business in local markets as well.
In addition to selling its meat products through upscale superstores and its own outlets, the company also makes bulk sales to local institutions, including top hotels and restaurants.
Both Fauji Meat and Al-Shaheer Corporation have their own large animal breeding farms to ensure uninterrupted supply of healthy animals for regular slaughtering. The fact that after 2010, meat processing and exports have made real big progress is evident in several developments. First, it was towards the end of 2010 that the All Pakistan Meat Exporters and Processors regrouped as a formal trade association and now boasts 33 registered members engaged in meat exports to GCC nations, Afghanistan and some North African countries.
Second, meat exports have grown rapidly—from 72$m in FY09 to $269m in FY16. Besides, during the current decade local sales of processed meat have taken a quantum leap so that one can find neatly-arranged frozen and chilled primal cuts of red meat in most sizeable superstores in the big cities.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #inflation eases to 3.70% in December 2016 with steep drop in prices of #chicken, #onions & #tomatoes.

Pakistan's annual inflation rate eased to 3.70 per cent in December from 3.81 per cent in November, the Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

On a month-on-month basis, prices decreased by 0.68 per cent in December compared with November, the bureau said.

Average inflation for the July-December period stood at 3.88 per cent, compared with the same period last year.

The steepest rise in year-on-year prices was seen in the prices of gram flour and pulse gram. The steepest drop in year-on-year prices was in the price of onions, tomatoes and chicken.

Riaz Haq said...

Dailytimes | #Pakistan exports 201,000kg #mushrooms worth $12.930m in 2016 - #Vegetable #exports via @Shareaholic
Pakistan exported around 201,000 kilograms (kg) of mushroom with a total export price of $12.930 million in 2016. Not only was the increase in the value of mushroom exports phenomenal but mushroom exports also contributed over 25 percent to the overall vegetables exports of over $101 million the same year.

In Pakistan, mushrooms are grown in farm houses, including but not limited to state owned national logistic cell. Farm production contributes around 1 percent to overall mushroom exports, while the rest of it comes from natural production in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The global mushroom production according to Food and Agriculture Organization's statistics was estimated at 4.99 million tons in 2016 with major producers being China with 60 percent production, followed by United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Indonesia and India. Talking to the Daily Times, Akhtar Usmani, Chairman Mann-O-Salva Pakistan Private Limited who are the pioneers for the cultivation of mushroom commercially in Pakistan, are not only meeting the demand of the local market, but also earn foreign exchange by selling fresh and dehydrated mushroom to Europe and America. The export market rate while in the Canadian stores was $14 for a kilogram against our cost of $4.

There is a huge export market around the world, some private sector companies export thousands of kilograms, grown in Swat at a lurative price of over $1,000 for a kg.

With absolutely 100 percent export for the same we got our product quality approval from a German firm, and got export permission from the US. It occurred to us on holidays while having pizza for lunch with an extra topping of mushroom. We established this company in 1985 on 16 acres of land allotted by the Government of Sindh in Korangi Industrial Area. National Development Finance Corporation not only agreed for a loan but it was the first time the bank participated as equity partners in an agribusiness.

Mateen Siddiqui, Chairman of Fruits, Vegetables Processors and Exporters Association said mushroom export helped boost overall vegetables exports.

Mushrooms are playing a significant role in the national economics by earning substantial foreign exchange from exports.

In Punjab and Sindh it is found after the monsoon rains, while in the valleys of Balochistan it is found to grow in large numbers in March and April. Local people refer to it as "khamiri". They not only do they eat it, but sell it in the small villages and vegetable markets. A part of the crop is dried and sent to large towns. Edible mushroom once called 'Food of God' is still treated as a garnish or delicacy the world over due to its delicious taste and nourishment value. It is rich in proteins and has most of the essential amino acids with about 90 percent digestive co-efficient. In addition to being low in calories and an ideal food for diabetics, heart and cancer patients. The umbrella-shaped vegetation grows under the trunk of a tree, among sparse vegetation, and sprinkled in grasslands after the rains. However, the umbrella-shaped fungus with a little stalk tickles the taste-buds of millions around the world.

Riaz Haq said...

Equipped With New Test Capabilities, Laboratory in #Pakistan Helps Improve #FoodSafety, Increase #Meat #Exports …
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...

Korean J Food Sci Anim Resour. 2017; 37(3): 329–341.
Published online 2017 Jun 30. doi: 10.5851/kosfa.2017.37.3.329
PMCID: PMC5516059
An Insight of Meat Industry in Pakistan with Special Reference to Halal Meat: A Comprehensive Review
Muhammad Sohaib* and Faraz Jamil1

In Pakistan, per capita use of meat is around 32 kg as compared to developed world, where per capita meat consumption reached to 93 kg as lead by Australia followed by USA. Accordingly, during the last few years, modern slaughter houses and processing facilities are established in Pakistan. These plants are mainly located across Lahore and Karachi, having capacity to produce processed meat products. Currently, Pakistan meat industry is producing variety of meat products including traditional and western style like kabab, kofta, fillings for samosas, mince products, nuggets, burger patties, sausages, and tender pops etc (Noor, 2015). Moreover, given the increased concern of food safety and a shift to modern meat processing methods, the meat product businesses are experiencing further integration (Kristensen et al., 2014). Furthermore, the size of slaughter houses and meat processing companies has also been raising leading intensification and more variety of meat products. The slaughtering and meat processing technologies for poultry and livestock has seen momentous changes. The conventional techniques of “one knife to kill”, one blade to remove hair/skin and one weighing balance to trade meat” has disappeared significantly in large-scale productions, shifting to mechanized slaughter houses, refined cuts according to consumer demand, chilled-chain distribution and regulated selling of meat and meat products (Troy et al., 2016).


Pakistan per capita meat consumption in 2000 was 11.7 kg that was increased to 13.8 and 14.7 kg in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Additionally, current per capita meat consumption has reached to 32 kg that is further expected to reach 47 kg by 2020 (Table 1). However, urbanization, economic growth, industrialization as well as eating pattern resulting increased per capita meat in the future years that will also generates higher demand for meat and allied products (Chartsbin, 2017). The dietary awareness to population has also played key role in shifting preferences to consume meat and its products. Pakistan having rich traditions and cultural festivities is also adding more demand for meat and meat products during whole year and this demand further rises significantly during festive season. To cope up this growing demand, government as well as meat industry are now concentrating to meet requirements by providing sufficient, healthy and quality produce, both fresh and processed products (GOP, 2016). Furthermore, consumer awareness is pushing meat industry and regulating agencies to keep an eye on quality of meat, safety assurance, animal health and welfare as well as precise traceability (Steinfeld et al., 2006).

Anonymous said...

That makes sense though it is true chicken is only 100-150/-a kg.where as arhar dal grown in india or imported from kenya and pakistan cost you between 100-150/-kg.Enen dal became an election issue in bihar assembely election.As far as I know middle class indian change there food habit according to weather.consume mostly fat and protein in winter and rain.Thus high intake of chicken fish or meat egg in winter dal, dahi (curd) sallads milk soyabean(protein) grams in summer In fact we have same food habit like pakistani.Rajasthan and gujrat two border state are are largly vegeterian consume gram largely.bengal, andhra, kerala, U.P bihar and northern states consumes maximum proteinius and fat food.Punjab, haryana hill stares have balanced diet .

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan second largest Australian pulses importer

A three-day visit to Pakistan of a delegation of Australian pulses producers ended on Tuesday during which it explored opportunities for increased trade and production of pulses with Pakistani importers and businesses.

The 13-member delegation from the Pulse Association South East (Pase), Fletcher International, Special One Grain and Full Business Spectrum, was led by the Australian government’s trade and investment commission.

Welcoming the visit, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson highlighted that Pakistan was Australia’s second largest destination for pulses exports with trade valuing at A$465 million in 2016-17.

“Australia and Pakistan are actively exploring avenues to expand trade and investment, particularly in agribusiness where Australia has world-class expertise.”

Riaz Haq said...

The ever-changing food consumer

THE way we eat is under constant evolution. Food is no longer the tedious, labour-intensive affair of yesteryear in urban households. Ready-to-cook, store-bought items are steadily making their way onto our plates.

The rising Pakistani urban middle-class and growing disposable incomes are accountable for this shift in dietary patterns.

The Household Integrated Survey for 2015-16, conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, reveals that the average monthly income of urban households rose from Rs38,923 previously to Rs45,283. It also shows that an average urban family spends around Rs15,000 monthly on food, of which readymade food contributes nearly five per cent.

The lure of convenience when it comes to food is hard to resist for consumers as cityscapes in the country become increasingly peppered with supermarkets. “More and more middle-, upper-middle and upper-class consumers in urban areas are choosing to visit modern retailers, in particular for a new experience and for the bulk shopping of packaged food products,” according to Euromonitor International, a market research firm.

Unsurprisingly, middle-class consumers “tend to consume far more meat, fish and dairy products”, according to a Deloitte report on the food value chain. With the surge of the processed food industry, small- and medium-sized companies such as K&N’s, Dawn, Menu, PK Livestock, and Big Bird have now become household names.

Riaz Haq said...

Report finds sharp decline in Pakistan’s pulse consumption

The consumption of pulses in Pakistan has sharply declined from about 15kg per person a year to about 7kg per person a year, found a new report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

The report titled ‘State of Food and Agriculture in Asia and the Pacific Region’, reviewed pulse consumption in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh over the period from 1961 to 2013. It has been prepared for the FAO regional conference for Asia and the Pacific being held in Fiji on April 9-13.

The report found that as countries became richer, populations were shifting from vegetable proteins — such as those found in pulses and beans — to more expensive animal source proteins such as those found in dairy products and meat.

In India, during this period, the consumption of pulse declined from about 22kg per person in a year to about 15kg per person per year. The decline was consistent with trends elsewhere in the world. In Sri Lanka, however, pulse consumption seemed to have fluctuated between 5kg and 10kg per person per year since 1960, except for a sharp drop from 1970 to 1985, the report said.

Pointing out challenges, it emphasised that the relative neglect of pulses, beans and other crops in agricultural policies in the region should be reversed so that the poor had relatively low-cost sources of protein and other micronutrients.

The report pointed out that although overall cereal consumption per capita either declined or remained constant, within the cereal group itself there were important changes. Utilisation of rice and wheat for food increased — in some cases sharply — while total food utilisation of coarse cereals, which had been relatively important in the 1960s, either declined or remained steady, implying a fall in per capita consumption since the population was increasing.

Citing example, the report said in East Asia rice and wheat utilisation for food was about 220 million tonnes per year in 2015, versus 20m tonnes per year for coarse cereals.

Total utilisation of ‘superior’ cereals was still rising in 2013 mainly because of continuing population growth, even though per capita utilisation had started declining from the mid-1990s onwards, it added.

The report put four South Asian countries — Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — below the red line, indicating that their calorie consumption was below the level that would be expected given their per capita household expenditure.

Riaz Haq said...

FAO Report for Asia Pacific Region 2017:

Asia and
the Pacific

In 2011-2013, only two (Mongolia and Pakistan) of the 26 countries had average intake of milk of 370 g/day or over.


In Pakistan,
the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small and Marginalized
Farmers became operational in 2016, encouraging banks
to grant credit to small-scale farmers who previously lacked
access. Under the scheme, the government guarantees up
to 50 percent of loans to small farmers (i.e. those with less
than 5 acres of irrigated and 10 acres of non-irrigated land).


In South Asia, production outcomes improved for some
countries. Pakistan had a bumper wheat harvest in 2016
and other crops also performed well due to favourable
weather. In India as well, cereal production recovered
markedly after two consecutive bad seasons. In some other
cases in South Asia – e.g. Sri Lanka – governments managed
to maintain aggregate food supply either through imports
or by drawing down stocks where available despite declines
in cereal production.


Riaz Haq said...

Asia Is Eating Less Rice, More Wheat
Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:00 Written by Saigoneer.,-more-wheat

As Asian nations become wealthier, more and more people are eating wheat.

According to The Economist, the popularity of rice in Asia remains well above the global average; in fact the continent is responsible for 90% of the world’s rice consumption. Historically, the grain was – and still is – a staple for many, particularly the latter half of the 20th century, when rice consumption in Asian nations reached as high as 103 kilograms per person annually, the news outlet reports.

However in recent years, as incomes have risen and tastes have changed, the grain’s much-coveted position in many Asian societies has weakened a little. Though rice is still ubiquitous across the continent and is not likely to disappear any time soon, its consumption has been on the decline since 2000 in countries like Singapore, China, Indonesia and South Korea.

Instead, some Asian consumers are turning to wheat, reports The Economist. In 2016, for instance, Vietnam consumed 39.9 kilograms of wheat per person, a steady increase compared to the country’s consumption in 2000. Though it’s still a far cry from the global average – 78 kilograms per capita – the figure puts Vietnam above the Southeast Asian average of 26 kilograms per person each year, and consumption is expected to continue growing in the future. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects Southeast Asians to consume roughly 23.4 million tons of wheat in 2016-2017.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #Pakistan PM #ImranKhan’s #chicken and #eggs solution has been mocked for all the wrong reasons. As opposed to a #cash handout (Benazir Income Support) , chickens are an #investment. Such investments help empower women and reduce #poverty

by Myrah Nerine Butt

I will start by comparing the cash handout with the chickens handout to poor rural women and why chickens might work better given the household dynamics in place.

Also read: Restricting non-filers from buying cars and property isn't sound policy. It's only good optics

Firstly, one is a cash transfer while the other can be termed as an asset transfer. Money is more fungible than chickens. While money can be controlled by the men of the household and spent on non-productive or non-household activities, it is likely that chickens would remain in the hands of the women.

Typically, the men tend to goats, cows and buffaloes; there is a masculine connotation attached to tending to superior forms of livestock.

Because chickens are culturally seen as inferior forms of livestock, women are likely to retain control of these assets.

This is likely to increase the role of women in household decision-making: they control the chickens so they may decide on how to divide the eggs in the house or where to spend the resulting income.

As opposed to a cash handout, chickens are an investment. They require low capital and the turnover is high.

They can also potentially help households climb out of poverty. However, the return on investment argument can be slightly confusing.

The remarkable high returns on investment are linked to commercial poultry farming; there are economies of scale on large chicken farms.

Rural households cannot tap into these massive economies of scale.

So, while rural households might not be able to capture the economies of scale, the eggs would still initially support subsistence of households and provide a steady basic income once the brood of chickens multiplies.

The idea of handing out chickens instead of cash is largely appealing because there is some evidence of its effectiveness in South Asia.

In addition to supplementing household income and providing subsistence, research shows that increased capacity gained by women and children through village poultry projects have impacts well beyond the improved village poultry production: chickens have increased food security and improved nutrition.

Related: I'm glad Imran Khan has highlighted stunting. But there is more to it than clean water and food


The chicken intervention can and should be one of a number of poverty alleviation interventions, not a comprehensive solution. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket at the end of the day.

My fear, therefore, is that the intervention is top-down instead of being bottom-up. While global research and evidence is important, we need to ask ourselves: would it work in our context?

I am curious to find out whether a needs assessment has been conducted. Have the beneficiary women been consulted? Do they want chickens or are we going to force an additional burden on them? What kind of chickens work best in the local context?

For any intervention, the local communities need to be consulted right from the design stage. The intervention should be context-specific and bottom-up rather than top-down.

My key suggestion is to ignore the politicians sitting in the centre. They don’t need chickens like the rural woman might, but ask her before investing money first.

There is a need to step away from mocking PTI’s move to push forth this intervention. The decision is based on international research rather than a complete blind jump.

Let’s try giving the chickens a chance.

Riaz Haq said...

#America had a ‘#chicken in every pot.’ #Pakistan aims for chickens on every plot. Anti-poverty premise is simple: Provide five hens and one rooster to several million poor families, especially rural women, so they can earn income at home by selling #eggs

The high-pitched cheeping of a thousand newborn chicks fills the humid room. Technicians pluck them from incubation trays, inject them with a vaccine against Newcastle disease, discard those with deformities and pop the rest into plastic containers, where they will travel in heated trucks to government farms and be raised to adulthood.

This process, repeated twice a week at the poultry research center in Punjab province, is the first step in a national anti-poverty program announced Nov. 29 by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The premise is simple: Provide five hens and one rooster to several million poor families, especially rural women, so they can earn income at home by selling eggs.

But Pakistan is also facing dire macroeconomic and fiscal crises, with the rupee plummeting against the dollar and its foreign debt burden soaring out of control. Khan, who swore as a candidate that he would never go begging abroad, has already been forced to borrow billions from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere and to negotiate for debt relief from the International Monetary Fund.

With such weighty issues to tackle, the backyard poultry project, an idea Khan borrowed from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has been met with widespread derision. Headlines and pun-filled tweets have mocked the premier as throwing “chicken feed” at serious problems. One editorial cartoon showed a heavy wooden cart, labeled “the economy,” being pulled uphill by a struggling hen.

But at the Poultry Research Institute, which has spent years trying to develop the perfect backyard chicken, director Abdul Rehman firmly believes that the project can make a critical difference in the health and livelihood of millions of poor Pakistanis.

“In Pakistan, 44 percent of children under age 5 have stunted growth due to nutritional deficiency,” Rehman said. “Our high infant mortality rate is associated with malnutrition in mothers. These eggs can add a healthy ingredient to their diets.”

Riaz Haq said...

#America had a ‘#chicken in every pot.’ #Pakistan aims for chickens on every plot. Anti-poverty premise is simple: Provide five hens and one rooster to several million poor families, especially rural women, so they can earn income at home by selling

By crossing hardy, hand-raised domestic chickens — known as “desi,” or native, poultry — with breeds from Egypt and Australia and with Rhode Island reds, the center has developed birds with the necessary qualities for backyard life: tough, omnivorous, ­disease-resistant and agile.

“They can live in trees, in boxes or under people’s stairs,” Rehman said. “They can eat kitchen scraps instead of expensive feed, and they can outrun predators like cats and foxes.”

In contrast with the skeptics, many poor and working-class Pakistanis said they were excited to hear about the project and eager to sign up. Even more-affluent families said they appreciated Khan’s continued focus on the plight of the poor, which he vowed to prioritize during his campaign.

“People may laugh at the prime minister over this, but I laugh at them. It is a wonderful idea,” said Zahida Shad, a middle-class homemaker in Islamabad. She keeps a half-dozen chickens near the family’s garage, mostly to provide extra nutrition for her grandchildren. “Here in the city, people have money to spend, but they can’t find a single pure thing to eat,” she said.

Chicks that have just hatched at the center are sold to villagers. (Sarah Caron for The Washington Post)

Ahsan Jadoon, 10, feeds chickens on the rooftop of his uncle’s home in Rawalpindi. (Sarah Caron for The Washington Post)
Raising chickens is a common practice in this largely rural, agricultural country of 208 million. Even in crowded cities such as Rawalpindi, where narrow lanes are crammed with trucks, donkey carts and motorcycle rickshaws, many families build chicken coops on rooftops or under stairs.

And almost any Pakistani will tell you that desi eggs, produced by desi chickens, are better tasting and more fortifying than the factory-farm eggs that are now mass-produced in high-tech poultry facilities. Many have been built by wealthy industrialists who once invested in cement or textile production and have now cornered the egg market.

Sardar Ali Abbas, 55, who owns a crockery shop in Rawalpindi and keeps a few chickens on his roof, applied for the new program right away and is impatiently waiting for it to begin. He observed that factory-bred chickens are raised to lay more eggs and that while their eggs are larger and whiter than desi eggs, they lack their flavor and oomph.

“We want the same good food for our children that our parents and grandparents had for us,” Abbas said. “The problem is, desi eggs cost more and they are hard to find. The others are everywhere.”

Therein lie the greatest obstacles to the success of the chicken-in-every-plot scheme — economies of scale, which keep factory eggs cheap, and, reportedly widespread business practices, such as warehouse hoarding and price ma­nipu­la­tion, that benefit large food processors and brokers at the expense of small farmers.

In a recent essay in the News International newspaper, Zaig­ham Khan, a Pakistani development professional, wrote that persistent poverty in rural Pakistan is “more about the fox” than the chicken. With the political and business elite conspiring to maximize profits, he argued, only a radical reordering of the playing field can truly give family farmers a boost.

“The problem is that the whole market, at every stage, works against the poor,” he said in an interview. “It is fine for families to be eating better eggs, but even the small producers who raise 500 birds can’t compete with the crony capitalists who sell 30,000.”

Riaz Haq said...

Cargill plans $200M expansion in Pakistan, with focus on poultry and dairy
Cargill will also start grain trading and add other operations in Pakistan.

Cargill Inc. will invest $200 million in Pakistan over the next several years to build out the company’s supply chain there and harness growing demand for chicken throughout the region.

Cargill Inc. will invest $200 million in Pakistan over the next several years to build out the company’s supply chain there and harness growing demand for chicken throughout the region.

This marks a substantial expansion for the Minnetonka-based agribusiness — the world’s largest — which has run a small operation in Pakistan since the early 1980s. It’s also the company’s latest in a rapid series of investments throughout Asia, and specifically in the south and southeast parts of the continent.

Cargill currently has cotton, sugar, metals and animal feed business interests, as well as oil-crushing facilities, in Pakistan, but will scale up its legacy grain-trading business there over the next three to five years. Cargill did not provide additional details on what those operations will entail, but the company said it will increase its employee base beyond the modest 50 people currently working in the country.

“Finalizing one of our first investments in the agricultural supply chain in Pakistan is our top priority,” Imran Nasrullah, head of Cargill Pakistan, said in a statement. “We have received a very positive response from the Pakistani government and we value their support as we expand our presence here.”

Cargill’s investment will expand its dairy and meat business in Pakistan and deepen its focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Marcel Smits, the company’s former chief financial officer, was given a newly created role — head of Asia Pacific — in October amid a major executive reshuffle.

The company said Smits’ role was to “lead Cargill’s accelerated growth plan in the Asia Pacific region, a high-potential market for the company and its customers.” One month later, the company announced several multimillion-dollar investments in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

South and Southeast Asia hold some of the greatest growth potential in chicken, according to a recent Rabobank analysis.

Cargill is also growing its chicken business in another growth region: Central and South America. Cargill acquired Campollo in late 2018, less than a year after it acquired Pollos Bucanero, both Colombia-based chicken companies.

The office of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan applauded Cargill’s investment. The news comes as Pakistan attempts to attract foreign investment to stabilize and grow its economy.

Riaz Haq said...

1.44 million tons annual chicken meat production in Pakistan

Meat and Egg Production

Broiler Live

GP (325,000 x 4) 1.3 Million Kg
PS (12.5 Million x 4) 50.0 Million Kg
Broiler (1.237 Billion x 1.8) 2,226.0 Million Kg

PS (800,000 x 1.8) 1.44 Million Kg
Commercial Layer (70,000,000 x 1.8) 126.00 Million Kg
Total Production 2,400.00 Million Kg
Meat (60%) 1,440.00 Million Kg
Meat (per Capita) (1,440/200 Million) 7.20 Kg
Table eggs (per Capita) (17,500/200 Million) 88 Eggs / Capita

Riaz Haq said...

Protein contents of a typical duckweed may be as high as up to 45% of the total dry mass of plants. Due to high protein content, the harvested duckweed is a potential food source for human and animal feeds

Sustainable management of leachate produced from the dumpsite is one of the major concerns in developing countries Aquatic plants such as duckweed have the potential to remove pollutants from wastewater which can also be cost-effective and feasible options for leachate treatment. Therefore, the objective of our present study was to examine the growth and nutrient removal efficiency of duckweed (Lemna minor) on leachate. Three tests were performed each by growing lemna minor on synthetic leachate under controlled conditions and on dumpsite leachate under natural conditions. During each test, duckweed was grown in 300 ml plastic containers with a surface area of 25.8 cm2. About 60 mg of fresh mass of duckweed was grown on 250 ml leachate at an internal depth of 9.5 cm. Results revealed that, in comparison to synthetic leachate, duckweed removed Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), nitrogen (N), and phosphorous (P) more efficiently from dumpsite leachate under natural climatic conditions. However, the amounts of N and P absorbed into duckweed body mass were about 16% and 35% respectively more at synthetic leachate under controlled conditions. Maximum growth rate of duckweed (7.03 g m-2 day-1) was also observed for synthetic leachate in comparison to the growth rate of 4.87 g m-2 day-1 at dumpsite leachate. Results of this study provide a useful interpretation of duckweed growth and nutrient removal dynamics from leachate under natural and laboratory conditions.

Dumpsite leachate used in this study was prepared by processing the mixed solid waste collected from various residential, commercial and industrial dumpsites in Islamabad, Pakistan. About 100 to 120 kg of well decomposed solid waste was collected from each dumpsite. Waste was collected from pre-determined lowest points at depths of 0.5 m to 1.5 m [28]. Collected wastes were mixed in plastic tank having an internal diameter of about 1.5 m and a height of about 1.8 m. A sieve (pore size 1mm) was fixed at an internal height of 10 cm of the plastic tank. Fig 1 shows the schematic setup used for leachate production.

A mixed culture of duckweed was collected from wastewater treatment pond located in National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. Lemna minor plants were isolated from the mixed duckweed culture and used for this study after acclimatization for about seven days.

Data related to ambient air temperature and day lengths as shown in Table 2 was retrieved from the website of Pakistan Metrological Department, whereas the solar radiation data was obtained from the web site of LEO Corporation, Pakistan.

All experiments during this study were conducted within the premises of Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (IESE), National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan where I am pursuing my doctoral degree (33° 38′ 41″ N, 72° 59′ 22″ E). Experimental site is owned by the IESE, NUST where no permits are required to conduct the research work for IESE students. Furthermore, it is to note that no endangered or protected species or locations were involved during this research study.

Riaz Haq said...

Chickens in Pakistan have been feasting on captured locusts under an initiative to combat swarms of the insects that are threatening food supplies in the impoverished country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has endorsed plans to expand a pilot project in the breadbasket province of Punjab, where villagers earned cash by gathering locusts that were then dried out, shredded and added to poultry feed.

Farmers are struggling as the worst locust invasion in 25 years wipes out entire harvests in Pakistan's agricultural heartlands, leaving people scrambling for income.

Muhammad Khurshid from Pakistan's food ministry and biotechnologist Johar Ali set up the programme, drawing on efforts in war-ravaged Yemen, where authorities have encouraged people to eat the protein-rich locusts amid famine.

The pair chose Punjab's Okara district, where farmers had not used any pesticides that would make locusts unsuitable for consumption.

"We first had to learn, and then teach the locals how to catch the locusts. Nets are useless against them," Khurshid told the AFP news agency.

At night, locusts cluster on trees and plants, making them easy to scoop up as they lie motionless in the cooler temperatures until the sun begins to rise.

For a reward of 20 rupees (12 cents) per kilogramme (roughly two pounds) of locusts, locals worked all night to collect them.

One farmer who lost all her crops to the insects said she and her son earned 1,600 rupees ($10) during a single locust-gathering outing, helping to offset the financial damage.

Organisers struggled at first to convince farmers to join the hunt but, by the third night, word had spread, and hundreds joined in - turning up with their own bags to stuff full.

With 20 tonnes of captured locusts, authorities ran out of money to pay the collectors and the programme was paused.

The ministry, which recently announced the results of February's pilot, is now preparing to expand the project to other locations.

The harvested locusts went to Hi-Tech Feeds - Pakistan's largest animal-feed producer - which substituted 10 percent of the soybean in its chicken food with the insects.

"There was no issue with the feed, the locusts have a good potential for use in poultry feed," general manager Muhammad Athar said, after trying the modified product on 500 broiler hens.

Nationwide emergency
While the project is not a solution to the devastation inflicted on crops, it can provide hard-hit farmers with a fresh revenue stream and relieve pressure on authorities struggling to distribute locust-beating pesticides.

Locust swarms have gnawed their way through crops across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of India this year, and experts fear their numbers will explode as monsoon rains arrive this month.

The crisis is so severe that the government has declared a nationwide emergency and appealed for help from the international community.

Bananas, mangoes, vegetables and other crops are all vulnerable - raising fears of food shortages - as are the wheat and cotton harvests that provide Pakistan with vital revenue.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan could suffer about $5bn in losses if 25 percent of its crops are damaged.

A reduced harvest could also push prices up and risks worsening food insecurity.

About 20 percent of the population are already undernourished, with almost half of all children under five stunted, according to the World Food Programme.

Riaz Haq said...

Asafoetida (Heeng): The smelly spice #India loves but never grew. It's imported from #Afghanistan, #Iran. Known to battle flatulence, it is often recommended in recipes that involve gassy foods such as lentils (daal) or beans. #Ayurveda #Gas

Asafoetida, a smelly, acrid spice beloved by Indians, has been used to lace their food for centuries. But it was never cultivated in the region - until now.

Last week, scientists planted about 800 saplings of the plant in Lahaul and Spiti, a cold desert nestled in the Himalayan mountains, exactly two years after India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) imported six varieties of seeds from Iran.

"We are confident it will work," says Dr Ashok Kumar, one of the scientists who painstakingly germinated the seeds in a lab. He says this was necessary because for every 100 seeds, only two sprout. The plant, it turns out, has a vexing habit of going dormant.

"It goes to sleep to adapt to harsh conditions," Dr Kumar says.

Asafoetida, or hing as it's commonly known in India, is a perennial, flowering plant that largely grows in the wild. It thrives in dry soil in temperatures under 35C. So India's tropical plateaus and plains, humid coast and heavy monsoons rule out much of the country for hing farming.

Instead, Indians rely on imports mostly from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan - worth more than $100m in 2019 - to get their fix.

This is surprising news for many Indians who would argue that hing is inherently Indian. For many Hindus and Jains, who don't eat onion and garlic because of dietary restrictions, hing's pungency makes it an ideal substitute.

"I use it in all my dals, and I don't cook them with onion or garlic," says Marryam Reshii, food writer and author of The Flavour of Spice. "When you have hing in your food, that tiny whiff of it... it just tastes so, so great!"

Ms Reshii calls herself a "hing lover" - she even put out a detailed thread earlier this week clarifying the origins and uses of her favourite spice.

She says hing's unique smell, a strong, bitter odour, makes it "unlike any other spice".

It even derives its name from that scent - asafoetida in Latin means "fetid gum". The smell is so strong that raw hing, a greyish-white sticky resin collected from the roots, is dried and mixed with flour - wheat in India's north, rice in the south - to turn it into an edible spice. Wholesalers who import hing use tiny amounts of it to make graded variations that sell in the form of blocks, coarse granules or a fine powder.

Although the Persians once called it "the food of the gods", hing is now barely found in cuisines outside of India. In other parts of the world it's either used for medicinal reasons or as an insecticide! But In India, which, by some estimates, accounts for 40% of the world's hing consumption, it's hard to overstate its role in the kitchen.

A dash of it while cumin seeds and red chillies splutter in hot ghee can make an everyday dal sing. Across the country, it seasons delicately spiced soups (shorbas) and fresh relishes (koshambirs) and spikes leafy greens and vegetables tossed in ginger, turmeric and tomatoes. In the north, Kashmiri Hindus stir it in with lamb, red chillies, fennel and dried ginger to make their classic rogan josh and southerners use it to temper their sambars, a variety of steaming lentil stew topped with mustard seeds and curry leaves. It's what sets apart Kolkata's famed hing kachoris (pastries fried to a crisp) and the fluffy idlis (steamed rice cakes) of the temple town of Kanchipuram.


But he says Kabuli hing is a "hot-selling" item, while Hadda hing, which is "sweeter and smells of oranges" is the least popular.

Riaz Haq said...

Meet Hing: The Secret-Weapon Spice Of Indian Cuisine

by Carolyn Beans

The moment my boyfriend — now husband — and I got serious about our future together, my father-in-law got serious about teaching me to cook Indian cuisine. My boyfriend was already skilled in the kitchen. But Dr. Jashwant Sharma wanted extra assurance that the dishes from his native country would always have a place in our home. Plus, as he told me recently, he thought I'd like it.

"We mix four, five, six different spices in a single dish. These create a taste and aroma that you don't get in any other food. People exposed to it usually like it," he said.

Even before our cooking sessions, I knew that cumin and coriander are common ingredients and that turmeric will turn your fingers yellow. Hing, however, was something entirely new to me.

Europeans gave it the decidedly unflattering moniker "devil's dung." Even its more common English name, asafoetida, is derived from the Latin for fetid. Those unaccustomed to it can respond negatively to its strong aroma, a mix of sulfur and onions.

Hing comes from the resin of giant fennel plants that grow wild in Afghanistan and Iran. The resin can be kept pure, but in the States, you mostly find it ground to a powder and mixed with wheat. In The Book of Spice, author John O'Connell describes how Mughals from the Middle East first brought hing to India in the 16th century.

Many Indians use hing to add umami to an array of savory dishes. But for the uninitiated, hing can be a tough sell. Kate O'Donnell, author of The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, says that she only included hing as an optional spice. "For a Western palette, hing can be shocking," she says

I first encountered hing in one of our early cooking sessions. My father-in-law whipped its well-sealed white plastic bottle out of the cupboard, added a pinch to the pan, and put it back so quickly that I didn't notice the smell. I was most struck by how it bubbled and then dissolved in the hot ghee (clarified butter). And I was a bit skeptical that a pinch of anything could influence a giant pot of lentils liberally seasoned with three other spices.

Later, while experimenting on my own, I got my first full whiff of the spice. To me, the aroma is far from gag-inducing, but it takes a real leap of faith to add it to food. Once you make that leap, magical things happen.

When cooked, hing's pungent odor mellows to a more mild leek- and garlic-like flavor. Some still smell a hint of sulfur, but for many that quality fades entirely. My father-in-law says that hing has a balancing effect on a dish. "It smooths out the aroma of all the other spices and makes them all very pleasant," he says.

Vikram Sunderam, a James Beard Award winner and chef at the Washington, D.C., Indian restaurants Rasika West End and Rasika Penn Quarter, says that he adds hing to lentil or broccoli dishes. But he uses it judiciously.

"Hing is a very interesting spice, but it has to be used in the right quantity," he cautions. "Even a little bit too much overpowers the whole dish, makes it just taste bitter."

Some believe that hing helps with digestion and can ward off flatulence. Perhaps that's why many — including Sunderam — add it to legumes, broccoli and other potentially gas-inducing vegetables.

Some Indians also use it as a substitute for garlic and onions — ingredients discouraged by certain Eastern religions and Ayurvedic medicine.

That substitution makes sense to Gary Takeoka, a food chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Takeoka studied hing's volatiles — the chemical compounds that produce smells. "A major proportion of hing's volatiles are sulfur compounds," he explains. "Some of these are similar to the ones found in onions and garlic."

Riaz Haq said...

With 1.32 billion birds, #Pakistan has the world's 5th largest #poultry population. #meat #eggs #protein

Riaz Haq said...

Pulses: More than just a meat alternative
Beans, peas and lentils are often overlooked when it comes to food staples. In a world where the devastating environmental impact of mass meat production is becoming increasingly clear, could pulses provide a solution?

Pulses, a broad category of edible seeds that includes pantry staples like lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas, are one of the world's most important food crops.

This underrated legume has featured heavily in diets around the world for thousands of years. Pulses are the main source of protein for people who don't eat meat — whether by choice or by circumstance — they're good for the environment, nutritious and tasty.

In recent years, the United Nations has recognized their global significance and declared February 10 as World Pulses Day. Read on to learn more about this humble superfood.

Environmentally friendly meat alternative
Changing our diet, and how we produce what we eat, can have a huge and positive impact on the planet.

A recent key report on food and biodiversity loss linked global eating habits to around 30% of human-made emissions in terms of energy and fertilizer, making them a "key driver of climate change." It also highlighted the devastating impact of our food production on nature.

A big part of the problem is meat and other animal products. Though it might be a good source of protein, meat is terrible for the environment. Getting a kilogram of beef to your kitchen emits as much as 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of CO2-equivalent, according to a 2018 study published in Science. And with the world population set to surpass 10 billion in a little over 30 years, increasing demand for food — especially meat and monocrops like wheat, corn and soybeans — will further stress the climate, limited natural resources and biodiversity.

Pulses like peas and lentils, however, produce some 0.9 kg of CO2-equivalent for every kilo grown. And they provide a far higher protein yield per square kilometer than a herd of cattle or flock of chickens, meaning existing farmland can be used more efficiently and untouched forests can be spared.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted pulses as "a good alternative to meat," pointing out that they "can play a key role in future healthy and sustainable diets." In recent years, calls from environmental groups for people in the Western world to drastically reduce their meat consumption, has inspired a growing trend toward vegetarian and vegan diets.

In a September analysis, climate data provider Carbon Brief said "a global switch to veganism would deliver the largest emissions savings out of any dietary shift," preventing some 8 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions annually by 2050. Current food production is responsible for around 13.7 billion tons per year.

"It is now becoming clear that a plant-based diet is not just a crock," said Christina Ledermann, head of the German advocacy group Humans for Animal Rights. "The future of nutrition is plant-based, or there is no future."

Riaz Haq said...

Commercial production of kidney beans to start soon in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The first-ever production of kidney bean varieties at commercial level will commence soon as the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc) will release six new varieties of common bean varieties in the country.

According to a Parc report made available to Dawn on Friday, the achievement is part of the promotion of common bean cultivation in Pakistan under the five-year project for the promotion of research for productivity enhancement in pulses launched in 2019. The project has been funded by the Public Sector Development Programme with an amount of Rs1,437 million.

The report says shuttle multiplication has been proposed for the promotion of kidney beans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the spring season and upper regions in the kharif season.

Scientists engaged in the pulse project say Pakistan has become self-sufficient in moong bean as its production was recorded at 267,000 tonnes against the national requirement of 180,000 tonnes.

The major focus of the project is to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses production by increasing the yield of major pulse crops, including chickpea, lentil, moong, mash and kidney beans, by 30 per cent.

Under the umbrella project, till now 3,792 lines have been tested throughout the country in 25 different locations through national uniform yield trials to evaluate and select promising lines for varieties development.

As the country was facing acute shortage of quality seed of pulses, basic and pre-basic seed production has been carried out on about 1,107 acres through which 6,553 tonnes of seed has been produced and distributed among the farmers.

Parc officials say availability of quality seed of improved cultivars is the prime contributing factor towards achieving self-sufficiency in pulses. To ensure this, varietal trials have been conducted in different agro-climatic zones of the country and the seed of identified best varieties was distributed among the farmers.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Economic Survey: Health & Nutrition 2021-22

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Pakistan has declined to 54.2 deaths per 1,000 live births
in 2020 from 55.7 in 2019, while Neonatal Mortality Rate declined to 40.4 deaths per
1,000 live births in 2020 from 41.2 in 2019. Percentage of birth attended by skilled
health personnel increased to 69.3 percent in 2020 from 68 percent in 2019 (DHS & UNICEF). Maternal Mortality Ratio fell to 186 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in
2020, from 189 in 2019 (Table 11.1).
With a population growing at 2 percent per annum, Pakistan’s contraceptive prevalence
rate in 2020 decreased to 33 percent from 34 percent in 2019 (Trading Economics).
Pakistan’s tuberculosis incidence is 259 per 100,000 population and HIV prevalence rate
is 0.12 per 1,000 population in 2020.

Table 11.1: Health Indicators of Pakistan
2019 2020
Maternal Mortality Ratio (Per 100,000 Births)* 189 186
Neonatal Mortality Rate (Per 1,000 Live Births) 41.2 40.4
Mortality Rate, Infant (Per 1,000 Live Births) 55.7 54.2
Under-5 Mortality Rate (Per 1,000) 67.3 65.2
Incidence of Tuberculosis (Per 100,000 People) 263 259
Incidence of HIV (Per 1,000 Uninfected Population) 0.12 0.12
Life Expectancy at Birth, (Years) 67.3 67.4
Births Attended By Skilled Health Staff (% of Total)** 68.0 (2015) 69.3 (2018)
Contraceptive Prevalence, Any Methods (% of Women Ages 15-49) 34.0 33
Source: WDI, UNICEF, Trading Economics & Our World in data

Food and nutrition

Calories/day 2019-20 2457 2020-21 2786 2021-22 2735


Table 11.9: Availability of Major Food Items per annum (Kg per capita)
Food Items 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 (P)**
Cereals 139.9 170.8 164.7
Pulses 7.8 7.6 7.3
Sugar 23.3 28.5 28.3
Milk (Liter) 168.7 171.8 168.8
Meat (Beef, Mutton, Chicken) 22.0 22.9 22.5
Fish 2.9 2.9 2.9
Eggs (Dozen) 7.9 8.2 8.1
Edible Oil/ Ghee 14.8 15.1 14.5
Fruits & Vegetables 53.6 52.4 68.3
Calories/day 2457 2786 2735
Source: M/o PD&SI (Nutrition Section)

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #poultry industry growing 10-12% a year. 15,000 poultry farms throughout the country with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. The industry produces 1.3 million tons of #chicken meat annually. #food #protein #calories via @Profitpk

Poultry is one of the fastest-growing industries in Pakistan with investments of about Rs1.1 trillion.

According to the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) report, the industry is the largest agro-based segment, generating employment and income for about 1.5 million people directly and indirectly.

The sector is growing at a fast pace of 10-12% per annum. At present, around Rs190 billion worth of agriculture products are being used by the poultry industry, speeding up the growth in the agriculture sector.

There are estimated 15,000 poultry farms throughout the country with their capacity ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. Pakistan’s poultry industry produces 1,245 million kilograms of chicken meat annually.

Ali Hasnain, a supervisor of the poultry sector, said that Pakistan’s poultry industry was no less than the international standards. “The poultry industry meets 50% of the total demand for meat in the country, and the rest is met by other meat products like beef, mutton and fish.”

“With the introduction of advanced technologies, more investments are coming around to cater to market needs and earn handsome revenues,” said Ali Hasnain, adding the poultry industry still had a lot of potential to contribute to the economy.

As per the PPA report, meat consumption per capita in Pakistan is less than the developed countries. The consumption of meat and eggs per capita is 6.2 kilograms and 56 eggs annually. In the developed world, the per capita meat consumption is 40 kilograms and 300 eggs annually.

According to the World Health Organisation, a person needs 27 grams of animal protein per day, while most people in Pakistan only consume 17 grams.

To meet the international standards of meat consumption, the supply and production need to be increased and prices need to be brought down so that consumers can get the required meat and egg consumption levels. An increase in production will certainly require more investments in the industry.

To boost production and bring down product rates, imports of poultry-related equipment should be exempted from duties and taxes.

In addition, as growers increasingly need land to establish sheds, the government should provide state land to investors at nominal rates to generate investments and more production.

Haniful Hassan, owner of a poultry farm, said that the current increase in prices of chicken was due to rise in prices of poultry feed. “The price of a feedbag has risen by 900 per bag in the last five months. We want the government to bring down the poultry feed rates to offset the price spiral,” he added.

Haniful Hassan called for establishing poultry research institutes, production directorates and a federal poultry board to provide research and training to farmers.

The government should also ensure easy availability of loans to people related to the industry.