Oct 15 - 21, 20

M/s Anis Associates (pvt.) Limited is one of the most modern Halal Meat Processing and Exporting units in Pakistan situated at 4-km, Raiwind Manga Road, Distt: Kasur. This plant has been approved by Govt. of Pakistan, Govt. of Saudi Arabia, Govt. of UAE & other Muslim Countries for the Halal Chilled and Frozen Meat.

Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi is Chief Executive M/s Anis Associates (pvt.) Ltd. In an exclusive interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE), Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi said, "Our processing capacity is 100 M/Ton per day including Goat, Lamb, Sheep, Cow Bull, Camel in Chilled and Frozen form." Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi maintained that the halal products are moving into mainstream business and their demand is steadily increasing. It is now seen as a potential engine of economic growth. Pakistan can assume a leadership role in global halal food market, being a Muslim country, provided proper strategies are put in place.

According to him, demand for 'halal' foods is increasing, not only in the USA, Europe and Canada, but also in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, North Africa and Australia. Halal consumers market / trade are growing fast in the world, he said, adding, Pakistan can easily increase halal meat products exports upto US $5 billion. He said one of the major issues faced by halal meat processors and exporters is gas and electricity load shedding. If gas and electricity are provided to them without any hindrance they can bring much more precious forex for the country, he opined.

Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi further said Pakistan has tremendous potential to export halal meat and by-products. Being an agricultural country, we have vast range of animals, he said. He added that halal industry is expanding day by day which demonstrates the extreme importance of this conference. "Pakistan had the fourth largest livestock population in the world with 180 million animals growing at 4.2 per cent annually," he said.

Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi said, "We are in a perfect position to provide Halal products to the world." He said, "Pakistan being a genuine gateway to 470 million Muslims holds a great potential for global Halal Industry. This is the right time to encourage international alliances by facilitating entrepreneurs to evaluate Pakistan as an emerging market for Halal Products & Services," he asserted.

Elaborating Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi said, "Halal is not a mystical religious ritual, it is the science of well-being. Halal has become a global issue, which now plays a role in government policies, multinational corporate strategies, SME development, Research & Development and Marketing. Halal has a major impact in the food sector and is equally important for financing, manufacturing, processing, retail, restaurant, traveling and hospitality sector."

Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi further said halal industry is a fast emerging business in the world, attracting both Muslims and non Muslims, especially non Muslims due to realising the importance of halal food. He said, halal food is consumed not only by 1.5 billion Muslims around the world, but also by at least 500 million non-Muslims, which shows that there is a big scope to enter in the halal food industry, to tap the world market.

Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi said, it is estimated that the annual halal food and non food products market is about $2.1 trillion of which about $80 billion is being exploited, which is 5 per cent of total trade of agri-food products. However, halal food trade may have a share of 20 per cent of world trade in food products in near future. While the market for about 1.4 billion Muslims already exists, the demand for halal products is now on the rise across the globe, he added.

Talking about export potential, Mr. Nasib Ahmed Saifi said Pakistan can earn huge amount by investing into halal meat and exporting it after meeting local demand. European market size of halal food is about $66 billion while France having the largest share of $17 billion alone, he said, adding, Only in UK the halal meat sale is amounting to $600 million annually while the American Muslims spend $13 billion on halal food per annum.

In the current scenario of devolution under 18th Amendment, the responsibility of livestock development has been shifted to provinces and federal government will play facilitating role in national interest. The future plan for livestock sector is to meet MTDF targets for meat, 5.0 per cent and milk 8.0 per cent production through shifting from subsistence livestock farming to market oriented and commercial farming with a focus on entire market chain. The future plan also includes entering into global halal food trade market, he added.

About halal food certification system, Mr. Saifi said the government needs to create a halal food certification system in Pakistan. The system would help the country earn at least $600 million by exporting of halal products. Presently, there is neither halal infrastructure, nor a qualified certifier and whatever is to be exported in the name of halal has to be certified by a foreign inspection body, mainly Malaysian companies.

He further said the emerging global halal food market has plenty of opportunities for further growth. Thus, the market represents a strong economic opportunity for Pakistan and Thailand. The Thai government has lent the industry valuable support in developing a world class halal logistics system. Thailand is currently the world's sixth largest exporter of halal food, accounting for $5 billion in international trade and providing food to 1.8 billion Muslims in over 157 countries. As a large Islamic nation with strong agricultural base and good relations with Muslim countries Pakistan may be a leading player in halal food trade, he added.

According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan's export of meat and meat products touched the figure of $153.8 million in 2010-11, showing an increase of $99.3 million over the previous year. The official statistics indicated that 95,523 live animals were exported during 2010-11, July-March. About 153,543 animals were exported in the previous fiscal year which included 48,680 cattle, 50,000 buffalos, 54,716 goats and 147 camels. These were exported to Arab countries, Central Asian states and Afghanistan. There is no clash of interest between the two industries. The ban should have been restricted to animals only, sparing the meat. The export of tanned leather increased from $341.8 million a year ago to $462.3 million in 2010-2011 and that of leather products rose from $458.6 million to $540.5 million. Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development has approved the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (IFB) as a Halal certification body and, Bangladesh will soon start exporting halal food and other products, competing with Pakistan in this sector, besides textiles. The IFB has been included in the list of halal certification bodies worldwide, i.e. Bangladesh would take its share from the $660 billion global market for halal food.