Mar 16 - 22, 2009

Pakistan should capitalize on the fast growing halal food market not only the lucrative Middle East market but the entire Europe and the US market.

This was the interesting theme of the International Conference on Halal foods and agriculture held at Karachi Expo Centre last week.

Representatives of the growing food retailers and the exporters especially the tinned or canned food were confident that Pakistan is ready to cater to the fast growing halal food Market all over the world.

The Conference was sponsored by Saudi Pak Industrial and Agriculture Investment Company (Pvt.) Ltd, which was inaugurated by Iftikhar Allawala, Director, State Bank of Pakistan.

Ms. Attiya Nawazish Ali, Assistant Secretary General Coordination, ICCI, Mr. M. Saeed Bhombal, Managing Director, Bhombal & Company (Pvt.) Ltd, Mr. Omar Qasim, Managing Director, Lal Qila and Mr. Ozair A. Hanafi, Chief Executive Officer (Conferences & Expositions), Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd.

Ozair A. Hanafi, Chief Executive Officer, Conferences & Expositions delivered the welcome Address and Mr. Iftikhar Allawala, Director, State Bank of Pakistan expressed his views about the conference later then.

The major presentations in the conference were Introduction to Takaful by Capt. Jamil Akhtar Khan, CEO, Takaful Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd., and Understanding Halal & Halal Standards by M. Saeed Bhombal, Managing Director, Bhombal & Company (Pvt.) Ltd. and the Success Story of Mitchells by Muhammad Yasin Shahid, Marketing Manager, Mitchells.

In the second session views on New Horizons in Agriculture were presented by Prof. Shahana Urooj, Dean Faculty of Sciences, University of Karachi and Mr. Omar Qasim, Managing Director of Lal Qila.

A large variety of food and agriculture products was displayed by leading companies making the exhibition a center of attraction for all segments of the society including house wives, hotel industry as well as commercial exporters of the branded food item.

Agro Tool Private Limited, a Karachi based firm displayed its products by demonstration of windmills and other equipments for drip irrigation. The windmill produced by the company successfully marketing its products especially in Sindh and Balochistan where plenty of wind with sustained velocity and direction supplementing these cheap and meaningful agro tools.

The windmill has the capacity to pump out underground water from 60 feet to 600 feet which has proved a great success in Balochistan and Sindh as well as it help get rid off of the unbearable cost of electricity for operating tube wells. The company has so far exported the windmill worth one million dollar export to other countries where this equipment is being used for irrigation purposes.

This project in fact is a boon for the province of Balochistan where huge and vast tracts of virgin lands are lying unutilized due to non-availability of water for irrigation purposes. This seems to be the solution of the problem if our lands lords in Balochistan develop a taste and will to utilize the natural gift of the virgin land which highly rich to produce good quality crops especially cotton and wheat. The only thing missing in our tribal culture is to utilize the available natural resources for the good of the mankind and the country.

It is interesting to note that the Hub power company located in the rear end of Balochistan in District Hub as a gesture of goodwill and as its contribution as its social responsibility as a good corporate citizen has provided electricity to the people in the neighborhood of the power plant.

This part of Balochistan due to water scarcity used to present a deserted look has been turned like an oasis with the surfacing of lush green fruit farms and other vegetation as the people in that area are using the gift of electricity for tapping the underground water by installing small tube wells.

Since the windmill produced by Agro Tool does not require electricity for operation this can help changing the complexion of the barren landscape in that water deficit province.

With the development of the waste lands into green pasturage for livestock and fruit farming, we can produce export surplus to exploit the Halal food market even in the worldwide financial and economic crisis because food is the need of the human society everywhere in the world irrespective to the prevailing circumstances.