While there is an abundant supply of red meat in Pakistan, the Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) has shown interest for making investment in red meat product of Pakistan.
Tremendous potential in livestock sector of Pakistan has remained untapped since many decades despite the fact that we are ranked 19th in the world in meat production and 4th in milk production. Livestock sector provides employment opportunities for millions of rural population. Its contribution towards national income is 11% whereas it makes 53.2% of the contribution of agriculture sector towards GDP. Pakistan is producing 2.2 million tons of meat annually, which is inadequate for local consumers demand. Although our draught cattle are genetically inferior for meat yet it can boost meat production tremendously if we produce its hybrid breed through cross breeding with better exotic insemination.
Officials of the Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) recently visited Punjab and held meeting with the officials of Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO). The PAMCO has developed state-of- the-art slaughterhouses in accordance with the vision of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.
Officials in PAMCO claimed that Pakistan can also export camel meat to Saudi Arabia since camels bred in Pakistan are suitable for use in Saudi Arabia due to similar climate. Pakistan can import large quantities to not only Saudi Arabia, but also to the rest of the Middle East and Egypt. PAMCO desires to establish a traceable meat value chain that will provide greater information regarding the country the meat is coming from, including details of the exact province and village.
The greatest determinant of meat being imported in Saudi Arabia is its shape and taste, which depends upon the quality of the feed given to the animal. As Pakistan uses almost the same feed as Saudi Arabia, it is an advantage. Another advantage for Pakistan is that the animals are slaughtered in accordance with the Shariah law, which suits the Saudi requirements.
Punjab Agriculture & Meat Company (former Lahore Meat Company) is a Government of the Punjab owned, non-profit R&D organization, duly incorporated and registered under section 42 of Companies Ordinance, 1984. The company has been aimed at formalizing horticulture and meat sector through interventions at each tier of value chain i.e. production, processing and marketing (inland & export) under compliance of international quality standards through public/private channels.
The size of global Halal products market including all Halal food, non-food products has reached to US$2.3 trillion per annum, out of which Global Halal Meat Market is worth US$2,951.1 million and it is growing at rapid pace. The non-food components like pharmaceutical goods, personal care & cosmetics, and gelatin constitute 33% of the global Halal products market.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia can also benefit from our rice production as Pakistan is the third largest producer and fourth largest exporter of rice in the world. Pakistani rice contributes about 15% to the global rice trade. REAP is the second-largest exporter based body in Pakistan with over fifteen hundred members. The annual production of rice in Pakistan is 6.5 million tones, out of which 4.5 million tones are exported. Rice is the most important staple food in Saudi Arabia; the Saudi workforce has increased its consumption from around 17 to over 32 kg per capita annually. Pakistan is already producing great surplus rice and can easily export to Saudi Arabia.
Pakistani rice exporters need to explore Saudi rice market through fair deals. If directions are set and rice exporters work devotedly they can fetch forex.