Government allocates over Rs2 billion for traceable agri, livestock products

LAHORE: Government has planned to expand suppliers’ base of traceable products from existing level of 20 to 250 in 2012 for which an incentive package of Rs 2.024 billion has been allocated to introduce traceability in agricultural and livestock products.

Addressing a post IGW briefing about success stories, the lessons learnt and the way forward for prospects of exports of agriculture and livestock products at Agriculture House on Thursday, Minister for Agriculture Malik Ahmed Ali Aulakh said that projecting Pakistan with 20 fully traceable agricultural and livestock products in Germany was historical achievement of Punjab government. Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmed, CEO Star Farm, Asia Hans Peter, high officials of Agriculture Department, large number of exhibitors and farmers were also present on the occasion.

Ahmed Ali Aulakh said that participation in IGW in Germany has not only helped in improving soft image of Pakistan but has introduced it as an emerging country for supply of traceable products for the world to meet food supply demand of ever increasing global population. He said that Punjab Government has diverted substantial resources to develop science-based, vibrant and internationally linked agriculture sector that could not only meet the food security challenges but also compete in domestic as well as in international markets. Punjab Government has entered into certification regime to produce fully traceable agricultural and livestock products to reach high end markets of the developed world and to enhance export up to $2 billion annually, he added.

He said that Pakistan has the potential to become one of the largest economy of the world after Germany. Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmed said that participation of Punjab in IGW proved a milestone to showcase traceable agricultural and livestock products from Punjab and to project Pakistan. He further said that display of traceable agricultural and livestock products at IGW has opened the doors of high end markets of the world leading towards generation of tremendous business opportunities for Pakistan.

He told that Punjab Government provided space to the private sector/ exhibitors to showcase their products at the Punjab’s pavilion where thousands of visitors tasted and witnessed traceable products. He told that rice dishes with traceable vegetables were also offered to the hundreds of the stall visitors every day. He further told that during the IGW, several dignitaries like Mrs Kopp, member German parliament, CEO Metro, DG Global Gap, and Directors of IFS and Bayer crop sciences also visited Pakistani stall. A large number of visitors appreciated efforts of Pakistan to produce traceable products which would help enhance trade with EU countries. Responding to a question, he said that markets like Metro, having over 2,000 stores and Carrefour having about 15,000 stores in EU countries showed keen interest in Pakistani products.

Metro has even offered free office space for the association of traceable suppliers. He said that two sales teams were constitute for marketing of traceable products from Pakistan, which no other country has in the world. Each sales team comprised one member each from Government and Star Farm and three to four members from the exhibitors. One team under the leadership of Mohammad Ashraf, Commercial Consular of Pakistan in Amsterdam visited several markets in Holland. The second team led by Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, Secretary L&DD Department visited France and Spain. Both teams held very useful talks with high end markets who agreed to buy Pakistani products.

Few of the exhibitors were able to struck deals on the spot.

He told that both sale teams have developed contacts with markets in these countries and obtained samples of traceable products for evaluation before procuring these from Pakistani suppliers. He further said that a delegation would be sent to China for learning use of modern system and techniques for productivity enhancement in collaboration with Bayer crop sciences and Star Farm China. He told that exports of horticulture products from the existing level of $360 million to $1 billion and that of livestock products from the existing level of $40 million to $1 billion will be achieved in the coming years. CEO Star Farm Asia Hans Peter said that no country has fully traceable products like Pakistan which was having 20 at the moment. He said that Pakistan should be proud of this huge success and the whole credit goes to present Punjab Government especially Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif whose strong commitment made this dream come true. He also highlighted success stories at IGW.

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