Pakistan’s date production falls due to lack of innovation

Owing to a loss of innovation, the dates industry of Pakistan, which is the 5th largest producer in the world, is on a downward trajectory.In 1999, Pakistan produced 540,000 tonnes of dates annually. Instead of rising, this quantity went all the way down to 467,000 tonnes in 2015-16, in keeping with knowledge gathered through the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

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Balochistan is the most important producer of dates in Pakistan because it produces 45% of the full production. Sindh stands at the second position with 43% share, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) with 2% and Punjab with 1%.

Balochistan’s Turbat district produces 100,000 tonnes of dates, almost one-fourth of the full production of Pakistan, while Panjgur produces 83,000 tonnes. On the opposite hand, Sindh’s Khairpur district produces 237,000 tonnes, which is 42% of the entire manufacturing of the rustic. “This makes Khairpur a densely palm populated area,” said a source at the Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF). In 2016, Pakistan exported dates worth $102 million, which could cross as much as $200 million, said Mir Mohsin Bullo, Assistant Manager TDAP Sub-Regional Office, Sukkur.


“Dried dates cause a 60% weight and value loss,”


SEDF source

“The government needs to pay urgent attention to production, processing and quality enhancement, preservation, research and marketing to save and ensure growth of this potent source of foreign exchange,” he wrote in his document in October 2017. Yet, these issues nonetheless persist thus far.

There are myriad of problems, leading to a decline in Pakistan’s date production, consistent with the SEDF source. A palm tree, which is the source of date manufacturing, grows in seven to eight years and produces the fruit at its optimal stage for 25 years, and then its manufacturing starts declining, due to this fact, the tree must be replaced.
The 300 forms of dates, which Pakistan produces, also are 50 years previous and aren’t in nice call for the world over, he stated, including due to that prices of Pakistani dates vary between Rs100 and Rs250 consistent with kg within the world market while other date sorts are offered for up to Rs700.


“The government needs to pay urgent attention to production, processing and quality enhancement, preservation, research and marketing to save and ensure growth of this potent source of foreign exchange,”


Mir Mohsin Bullo

Due to the loss of innovation, Pakistan is shedding attainable income. Pakistan exports recent dates to america, Canada, France, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE, but these comprise handiest 10% of general manufacturing, while many of the dates are dried and exported to India, which is a smart loss.

The scope of price addition and profitability is immense. With somewhat value addition, dates can be utilized to make syrup, juice, paste, vinegar and so forth, the source stated.

“Instead of value addition, Pakistani traders push down the value of their dates by drying them,” he mentioned. Pakistan mainly exports dates to India, which itself is a big producer, however due to immense consumption of dates and coconut in non secular actions, India additionally imports dates from Pakistan. “These days due to tensions between the two countries, India has slapped 200% duty on Pakistani products, which is badly impacting the export of Pakistani dates,” said Sukkur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Gurdas Wadhwani.

“Dried dates cause a 60% weight and value loss,” stated the SEDF source. Pakistan does no longer have processing gadgets or chilly storages, particularly for dates, so drying them remains the best choice. Dates comprise extra warmth, so they need special chilly storages, however Pakistan does now not have even one such facility.
Pakistan does not have a storage machine because of which date growers can’t save their crop and opt for the second one most suitable choice, which is to dry the dates, and that too is performed in an excessively unhygienic manner, and not thru mechanised dryers. “If you travel to Khairpur, you will see dates lying at the roadside. Due to this unhygienic way of drying, dates carry about 21% aflatoxin, a family of toxins produced by certain fungi on agricultural crops, while internationally only 2.3-7.15% is acceptable,” said the source.

Mechanised dryers aren’t tough to build, he mentioned, adding scholars of Karachi University and IBA have often offered their prototypes, which is able to dehydrate 1,000 to two,000 dates. This can also be taken to an enormous degree if the government or personal sector supports these scholars. Pakistan’s dates sorts are over 50 years outdated, which don’t glance or taste just right, in contrast to the juicy Middle Eastern dates. Even Pakistanis themselves do not favor local dates, because of which the country, regardless of being the 5th greatest manufacturer, imports dates in Ramazan, the supply added.

Pakistan’s first dates dehydration plant and cold garage goes to be constructed soon by means of a private firm in the Khairpur Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The Sindh government is offering opportunities to the businessmen who want to arrange the processing and storage amenities. Date processing crops can preferably be established at the Khairpur SEZ, developed through the district management of Khairpur beneath the supervision of Sindh funding division.

Vegetable Seed Industry Scenario: Global and Pakistan

Vegetable Seed Industry Scenario

Agricultural production is an very important issue for the life of human race and seed is a vital input for agriculture. Vegetable seeds are the fastest growing category within the total seeds marketplace. Vegetables play a key position in offering an affordable balanced nutrition. Globally, vegetable seeds marketplace has grown reliably over the last five years as a result of emerging international inhabitants, increasing heart elegance, and transferring consuming conduct with growing intake of green greens within the diet.

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Governments of different countries are specializing in vegetable seed business via investing in biotechnology and related researches. Seed companies are investing increasingly more in software of biotechnological tools in crop growth. Conventional procedures are being replaced by fashionable breeding techniques like anther tradition, markers assisted selection and molecular breeding.

Seed is the in the beginning vital provider for a success vegetable cultivation. Vegetable seed business goes vastly annually. Several private seed corporations with multinational base are actively involving in vegetable seed manufacturing making the general public sector much lagging in the back of. Expanding areas underneath vegetable cultivation, varied agro-climatic conditions, availability of enormous and cheap human useful resource are creating titanic scope for building of vegetable seed business. Vegetable seed industry has positive affect on nationwide economy with regards to income and employment generation and earning foreign currencies in global marketplace. There are few constraints like excessive value of seed manufacturing, technical problems and stringent laws set spoil to the vegetable seed trade

Seed business is the start point of agriculture, being a fundamental and strategic trade which involves agricultural manufacturing capacity, build up farmer’s income, and assurance of food safety, national economy and people’s livelihood. Since the founding of the first seed company, the arena seed trade has evolved for 270 years. Globally talking, seed industry has grown from the past labor-intensive, management-extensive and capital-decentralized form into a modern business.

Overview of global seed marketplace:

According to ISF and trade guide record, the global seed market worth increased from the $12 billion in 1975 to the $53.eight billion in 2014, which is three.5 times expansion during the last 40 years. In the 5 years ahead, the worldwide seed market is predicted to maintain speedy enlargement.

With the ongoing development of biological era, global genetically modified (GM) crop planting continues to grow. Genetically changed plants have prime yield, extensive adaptability, less reliance on chemical pesticide and better diet price, commercial genetically changed seed market has grown often since 1996. The genetically modified seed marketplace value went up from the $7.8 billion in 2007 up to the $14.8 billion in 2014 with enlargement charge 90%. The genetically modified seed marketplace proportion also increased hastily, from 25% upto33%.
Global statistics suggests that seed marketplace of North America ranked No.1 with marketplace worth of $17.6 billion and market percentage of 32%; Asia Pacific ranked No.2 with market value of $16.five billion and market percentage of 31% which could be very as regards to North America, adopted via Europe ($9.7 billion and 18%) and Latin America ($four.7 billion and nine%).

If we acknowledge in regards to the best 10 seed firms worldwide, which might be Monsanto (U.S), Dupont (U.S), Syngenta (Switzerland), Groupe, Limagrain (France), Land o Lake (U.S), KWS AG (Germany), Bayer Crop Science (Germany), Dow Agro Sciences (U.S), Sakata (Japan), DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) from all above Monsanto (U.S) is most sensible ranked which covers over the 16% global market share and ranked at most sensible with the sale of seed 10.76 billion US$. Total industry of those best 10 firms has roughly 38 billion(US$), which is a exceptional proportion of the global financial system in addition to describing national state of affairs of the complex nations in focusing the new techniques of the seed production and their new pattern in advertising and marketing as neatly. Besides these best 10 firms there are different seed companies which have proportion of 43% with the production of 231.three billion (US$).

Country Statistics suggests that the highest 10 ranked countries are US, China, France, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Germany, Argentina and Italy. The general marketplace worth of the highest 10 quantities to $41.9 billion accounting for 78% of the world overall, which shows a high level of centralization of planting space. The conventional North American marketplace and the rising Asia Pacific marketplace are developing in parallel.


Multinational’s building technique:

Since the founding of the first seed corporate Vilmorin in 1743 (now affiliated to Limagrain), world well-known seed corporations were based one after any other over the last 100 years. In the 1990’s of remaining century, the issue of intellectual assets rights endured to increase to crossbreeding sector. Large-scale groups have participated in mergers of seed business players, resulting in lots of union and achievement actions, resulting in formation of a number of highly-developed multinational seed enterprises, who are mostly situated in developed nations where seed trade started earlier with higher economic level like the United States, Netherland, Germany, France, Japan, UK, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden. Later Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow Agro Sciences, based upon traditional crossbreeding, have additional applied biological generation to reproduce GM single trait and multiple trait varieties to consolidate their monopoly place in the business, having step by step pulled forward from other seed firms.
The 2014 top 10 world seed firms display that companies who’ve invested in GM trait field captures better market percentage and takes an advance alternative of seed building at some point, that are represented by Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow Agro Sciences and Bayer Crop Science.

Future seed business building:

Seed call for continues to grow, Genetic sources to be various. In the longer term, the sector will enjoy world warming, lower of cultivated land, build up of inhabitants, scarcity of food, building up of biofuel capability, reduction of farmers retained seed, higher volume of commercialized seed and the various call for for crop high quality and variety. These situations will result in the next call for for seed world-wide. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that the sector food demand will probably be 1.2 billion tons in 2023, which can be 130 million heaps upper than 2011-13. While the cultivated land for coarse food grain will not build up.

Compared with cereal crop, fruit and vegetable are indispensable because of their unique vitamin. The distinction between tropic zone and temperate zone allows farmers to grow broadly other crops, fruit and vegetable.

By reviewing the advance of seed industry, it reminds that the leap forward in hybridization technology and GM era has greatly promoted the improvement of seed trade. Multinationals like Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science and Syngenta have all evolved crop types which are adaptive, top yielding, immune to insect pest, immune to adversity and herbicide, as supported by their sturdy research capability and awesome genetic resources. The overall percentage and marketplace possible of emerging marketplace are necessary driving force for the improvement of long run seed business.

Seed business in Pakistan:

The new rising, seed business is developing very speedy. More than 376 seed Companies have been registered. Due to liberal perspective in granting permission to do seed industry and free products and services of seed high quality keep watch over by way of the federal government, now 376 seed firms together with 4 public sector seed companies and five multinationals have commenced their industry in the country. Present day seed industry is a combination of private and non-private seed sector. This is called as formal seed gadget. Farmers in Pakistan additionally save their own seed and change seed with every different or purchase seed from the local traders and marketplace under the informal seed system. With the induction of private seed sector, the supply of high quality seed has increased up to 18 in keeping with cent.

The processing capability has increased from 12.24 to 35.43 according to cent. Total employment era in seed industry in step with the knowledge available up to now is 24716. The garage capacity has been increased up to 18.17% against the whole estimated seed requirement (1340719 million tonns) for all crops. It is anticipated that seed business will transform one of the vital main employment generating sector for our economy.

There are general 737 seed firms from which 137 are registered in 2014. From which more than 650 are private national based firms, 13 are multinational corporations which can be serving far and wide the world with the seed of all type having the potential of high yield. The multinational corporations that are in Pakistan are named as Monsanto, Pioneer, ICI, Syngenta and Four Brothers.

The impact of the multinational seed corporations is far resilient in Pakistan because Pakistan is an agricultural based nation and there’s a massive room for the promoting of seed of all kind due to having the multi-climate range far and wide the country all through the yr. The maximum main corporate in the world market has the similar affect in Pakistan market as well by capturing the 26% share of the whole nationwide market and from different companies Syngenta is at 2d with the share of nine.2%.

Pakistan based totally corporations which are producing the seeds of open pollinated (OP) in addition to Hybrid types. The seed of those national based totally firms having low cost and top output as compare to local seed. The seeds of the national primarily based companies fulfill the 60% want of the country because those seeds are in fewer prices as compare to the seed available of the multinational corporations. There is the list of some national based companies working in Pakistan within the competition against the multinational.

  • Haji sons
  • Sky Vegetable and Flowers Seed Company
  • More inexperienced
  • Agrico Pak
  • Ali Baba
  • Noble seeds
  • Shareef sons seeds world (Regd.)
  • Hico seeds

And a much more working in festival and fighting with the new advances. Still numerous paintings is being in improved in the vegetable seed industry, with the brand new development and lengthening the pressure of inhabitants there may be a large number of contradiction in meals and consumption need so this industry is prospering day by day with new advancements. Being a excellent market and having the best climate we are much lagged the social wish to fulfill the farmer group and we import a large number of cotton, maize in addition to the vegetable seed of tomato, potato, cucumber, chilies and onion as neatly. With the advancement of the new rising tactics similar to green house, tunnel forming and drip irrigation the farmers go for the hybrid seed on the placement of the native seed. So, with the rise in demand there may be need of the increasing the nationwide seed generating with low value and high vigor in addition to most output.

Thyme seeds in Pakistan

Thyme (/taɪm/) is an aromatic perennial evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. The most common variety is Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is of the genus Thymus of the mint family (Lamiaceae), and a relative of the oregano genus Origanum.
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Fresh thyme is commonly sold in bunches of sprigs. A sprig is a single stem snipped from the plant. It is composed of a woody stem with paired leaf or flower clusters (“leaves”) spaced 1⁄2 to 1 inch (13 to 25 mm) apart. A recipe may measure thyme by the bunch (or fraction thereof), or by the sprig, or by the tablespoon or teaspoon. Dried thyme is widely used in Armenia in tisanes (called urc).
Gardening shop Karachi is a project of aginfobank.com.pk. You can buy premium buy premium quality thyme seeds. For detail and order CLICK HERE

How to Become an Organic Farmer

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that farming is not just a rewarding career, but a smart and potentially financially successful career choice as well, especially if your goal is a niche area such as organic farming. It can seem a little overwhelming when you first decide to be an organic farmer, especially since the path to organic farming is different for everyone. Still, below are some general ideas about how to get to the organic farming career finish line.
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01 Personal Commitment

Farmers carrying organic squash during harvest in field on foggy fall morning
[ads-quote-center cite=’Author’]JENNIFER CHAIT[/ads-quote-center]
One of the most important aspects of becoming an organic farmer is to make sure you have the drive needed to accomplish your goals. No matter what path you choose, if you’re not personally dedicated to this career choice, there’s little chance you’ll succeed. Farming, in general, is a tough career path. Organic farming, with certifications to gain and many rules and standards to follow, can be extra difficult. Once you’re sure that you want to become an organic farmer, check out the options below to get started on this career path.

02 Educational Path to Organic Farming

In the past, most farmers learned the trade after growing up on family farms. It isn’t the case anymore. In 2010, there were 1,202,500 farming jobs out there, and most of those farmers did not grow up on the farm. So how do many farmers learn the trade? Through education.
The minimal education most organic farmers, ranchers, and other organic agricultural managers have is a high-school diploma. Most successful farmers nowadays have much more education under their belt. If you just want to farm, hands-on experience may be all you need, but if you want to farm organically and successfully, getting an agriculture degree from a university is wise.
Almost all general state university systems have some land-grant college or school of agriculture in place, so your choices are vast and no longer limited by where you live.
At the very basic level, most agricultural students, depending on what they’d like to grow or raise, study issues such as growing crops, land conditions, plant diseases and livestock care including the basics of veterinary science.
There are many other topics you can study in college to prepare for a career in organic farming. For example, you can complete a course of study in business agriculture, farm management, dairy science, plant science, agricultural economics and much, much more.

03 Hands-On Experience

As a prospective organic farmer, rancher, and agricultural manager, it’s likely that you’ll eventually spend some hands-on time working under an experienced mentor, even if you also go to college for agriculture or livestock. Book learning, while very useful, especially for the more complex areas of farming, cannot replace hands-on time on a farm.
Most colleges with agricultural programs have hands-on experience in place via a university farm or land and/or offer internships as part of their program or can help you find a non-campus associated internship or farming workshop.
There are also volunteer opportunities on organic and conventional farms, farm caretaking positions available, plus government projects, such as Beginner Farmer and Rancher Competitive Grants Program, that can help increase learning through internships or apprentice programs.
It’s important to note that hands-on learning experiences are few and far between. There are rarely enough positions to go around. That said, although you’re interested in organics, it may be wise to take a conventional farm internship if that’s all that’s available. You’ll still gain valuable skills and be in the farming loop when an organic opportunity comes along.

04 Certification Options

Clearly, as an organic farmer, you’ll eventually need to become certified organic. However, that’s down the road a bit if you’re just starting out. In the meantime, there are other certification programs in place that can help round out your education as you learn to farm and help you show that you’re a competent farmer.
For example, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers offers many types of education options for appraisal, farm management and consulting, and continuing education seminars, but some require years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree. MOSES offers various conference workshops, and you can usually locate on-going conferences and workshops related to farming in your neck of the woods as well.

Wheat to be cultivated over 8,781.6 thousand hectares

ISLAMABAD : Wheat, a major staple food and cash crop of the country, would be cultivated over 8,781.6 thousand hectares of land across crop producing areas of the country during Rabi season 2018-19 in order to produce about 25.572 million tons of grains for fulfilling the domestic requirements as well as to exports. In this regard, all the provinces including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir had been assigned a task to ensure the availability of all inputs in order to achieve areas and production targets fixed for the current sowing season, a senior official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Tuesday said. Talking to APP, he said, in Punjab, wheat crop to be cultivated over 6,474.9 thousand hectares as against the 6,637.0 thousand hectares fixed for the last year, adding that the crop production targets were fixed at 19.500 million tons during current season as compared targets of 20.00 million tons fixed during the last season.

Meanwhile, the production targets for Sindh was fixed at 3.800 million tons by cultivating the crop over an 1,150 thousand hectares and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wheat crop would be cultivated over 756.7 thousand hectares to produce 1.362 million tons as compared the area of 757.6 thousand hectares of same period of last year, he added.

He further informed that wheat crop would be cultivated over 400 thousand hectares as against the same area of last year to produce about 900,000 metric tons of the commodity during Rabi season 2018-19.

He said country had harvested bumper wheat crop during last season, despite that the sowing had witnessed 1.8 percent decrease in the area under wheat production, adding that wheat production was increased by 3.67 percent as compared the same period of  last year.

It is worth mentioning here that wheat exports from the country had registered tremendous increase as during last three months of current financial year  about 437,832 metric tons of wheat valuing US$ 92.781 million were exported as compared the exports of 173 metric tons costing US$ 1.555 million of same period of last year.

Soybean: An opportunity of USA-China trade war for Pakistan

The year of 2018 clearly embarks the USA-China trade war and voices can be heard from the political portfolios of both countries. In April-2018, President of United States, Donald J Trump introduced new Tariffs on steel and Aluminum related goods of China and various other countries.

In retaliation, China also stepped in trade battle and imposed a 25% tariff on a range of USA goods including Soybean, that is currently in the much firing line and quite a risk for China. This food commodity is feeling the impact of this trade war and is the highest value export commodity of USA worth of US $ 14 billion annually. China is the largest consumer of Soybean, but can’t grow enough, so reliant on imports to meet its demands. In 2017, 57% of the USA exports of Soybean headed to China, that was of the volume of 32 million metric tons. But, the exports to China are going down and have fallen to the volume of 8% in June 2018 only. Although China has 2-year stock of Soybean, the traders are shifting to Brazil and Argentina for fulfilling the demands of the voracious appetite of China and to get lower prices of soybean-associated commodities. Sinograin the stockpiler of the China grains has confirmed that they are going to pay an additional 25% tariff’s (6 million $) on the 70,000 tons of the soybean imported from the USA. The USA wants to secure its business interests, but according to experts, USA farmers will not be able to regain the share of export, lost in this trade war.

[ads-quote-center cite=’Author’]Tassadduq Rasool (Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad)[/ads-quote-center]

China has only 15% arable land, that makes the land precious for China and is capable to produce only 10% of the domestic needs. According to the South China Morning Post, Russia has offered 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of land to Chinese farmers and several companies has expressed interest in the cultivation of this land for soybean. China has also imported 8,50,000 tons of soybean from Russia in between July and May last year. The Heilong province of China is getting importance, as it has a suitable environment for soybean cultivation. China needs to ramp up the domestic production and fill the gap. The Government has advised farmers to switch their production from corn to soybean, as the gap created by USA soybean will not be covered easily and it will cost high to Chinese consumers at higher tariffs. China is lagging behind for years for being self-sufficient in Soybean. So it means, they have to be reliant the on others. Soybean is an essential component of Chinese diet and has various uses like cooking oil, sauce tofu, and animal feed. The cancellation of orders of Chinese traders with USA farmers would create an opportunity for growers in Pakistan, as its prices can go up. It can provide sufficient profits comparable to other agricultural outputs. So, limiting the imports of soybean by China from the USA is creating an opportunity for Pakistani farmers, as a new market, as the USA is going to lose its largest customer.

The decline of USA soybean orders from China can be a good opportunity for Pakistani farmers and prospering economic relationship with the neighboring country. According to some analysts, the potential of exports is too high that, there are not sufficient places for China to replace the American soybean soon and Chinese traders would even buy it at higher 25% tariffs from the USA. This trade war is expected to be further intensified, as Washington will impose more tariffs on Chinese goods on August 23, 2018.

Soybean is an edible grain, used to make cooking oil and animal feed. It has gained popularity due to excellent nutritional value, unique composition and health benefits. The protein content is about 40-42% and oil 18-22%. China and Pakistan have proved excellent peaceful neighbors and are working on many grounds to strengthen their relationship, after the CPEC initiative. But, according to Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, we are not producing the goods, that China needs. This is causing a huge trade imbalance, favorable to China but not to Pakistan. Pakistan exports to China are continuously declining, since the 2013-14. While the India-China trade volume is about $ 84.44 billion (2017), as compared to the Pakistan-China bilateral trade volume of about $13.8 billion. Although Pakistan has sufficient soil and water resources and favorable environment for its cultivation, soybean is a neglected crop. It can be cultivated both as zaid rabi and autumn crop. The proposed rotations for soybean cultivation are wheat-soybean-wheat, rice-soybean-rice, and cotton-soybean-cotton in Punjab. I believe, Pakistan has good potential to export soybean, as Chinese demands are too high that, either they will need to restart soybean imports from the USA at higher duties, or they have to cut down their livestock production, under the implying high prices on the domestic market.

How to Make the Best Use of Fruits and Vegetable Shops?

Fruits and vegetables are essential for the survival of mankind and since they house nutrients of all kinds, we are safely headed towards a happy & healthy life. The problem lies in the deteriorating quality of products available in Pakistan. Pick any grocery item and all of us will admit that they have noticed at some point in time that the quality they are getting is a big question mark.

Whether it is the physical supermarket or an online fruits and vegetable shop, we face the issue of low-quality everywhere in the country and nobody is willing to find the rightful solution. It results in us not making the best use of the grocery business as customers and as business owners.

In order to shine brightly as a human being and glow everywhere we go, we must improve the flawed system and devise a plan to save ourselves. For instance, online shopping with free shipping makes the best use of an online grocery store. Free home delivery is a luxury and a facility for the end users.

Supermarkets to Lead from the Front

When we talk about buying fruits and vegetables, it mostly refers to the conventional way of shopping. Shopping itself puts a big burden of responsibility on the traditional shop owners, malls, and grocery vendors. Online fruits and vegetable shops are the advanced versions of the physical way of shopping. Online shopping branches out from physical shopping so it is kind of looking up to its predecessor.

By procuring products that are 100% pure and unadulterated, businesses have a chance to save the future of Pakistan. Nothing is worse than playing with the health of the human race. The fact of the matter is that the condition is alarming even in the metropolitan cities like Lahore. The locals and those living in the posh areas face the issue of compromised grocery products. Sadly, most of us don’t even know what we are buying from the market. The taste of simple lentils (Dal) is not the same as it used to be in the past. It’s time to do something about it. Supermarkets must make it part of their portfolio to provide safe and healthy products to the people of Pakistan since each one of us is depending on them.

In developed countries, if someone is found guilty of committing food adulteration, he or she is dealt with harshly. They may face charges in the form of jail time, hefty fines and even punishable by death in some cases. By exhibiting zero tolerance for such offenders, the developed nations are creating a safe environment for their kids to grow up. But, in Pakistan, we don’t even think of it as a crime. The mental deprivation of our own people is immense and, therefore the local supermarkets must take the first step to bridge this gap.

Selling Export Quality Goods Locally

For those who don’t know, Selly.pk is an online vegetable shop and you may place an order with them directly on the phone. The fact that online grocery stores are kicking it up a notch is relieving and praiseworthy. Selly.pk has endorsed the point I mentioned above to full effect by selling the goods that speak of high quality in the truest sense.

Online fruits and vegetable market is running on shops like Selly. Looking to buy fruits online? Save your precious time by logging on to Selly.pk. Sit back and relax after placing the order because the items come to your doorstep within 60 minutes. Their home page narrates their purpose as a fight against food adulteration, and rightly so, they are moving along quite nicely.

It is food for thought for other vendors. By following in the footsteps of honest businesses, we can make a difference in the food industry. Life starts with a healthy breakfast in the morning. The vendors and other shopkeepers must keep that in mind and strive to cater to the kitchen needs.

Malls on the Move

The concept is rather unique but in times when we are advancing in the field of technology and gadgetry at a rapid pace, we can take it in the stride. We see mechanics on wheels i.e. mechanics coming over to fix your vehicles, malls on wheels is a highly similar concept. The 21st century is equipped with initiatives that may seem to be impractical at the start, but prove to be effective afterward.

The idea of mini vegetable shops on wheels with proper hygiene and quality management can bring about the change we need in this sector. We want the present and the future generations to be healthy and that is only possible when quality companies come forward and launch their mini mobile projects. It is time to curb the use of artificial flavors and methods to ripen the fruits and freshen up the veggies. The online vegetable store like Selly.pk procures only 100% pure and undoctored products and they have specialists to perform this job.

Consequently, when we buy fruits and vegetables through any of the available methods, we can demonstrate complete trust in such mobile outlets and no one can question their credibility as the government backs up the entire project. The big brands must set an example for others to follow. Last, but not the least, these mobile shops must be the progressive versions of the common peddlers and the common fruit sellers.

Feeding the growth of the food and beverage industry

[tds_info]Feeding the growth of the food and beverage industry: The UK food and drink industry faces challenges that will reshape the future of a sector which is fundamental to the economy[/tds_info]

 

The development of the UK’s food system since the Second World War is in many ways a story of unqualified success. Policies in the post-war decades to increase production and liberalise trade have meant the vast majority of the population can access high-quality, low-cost and safe food at a time and a place that suits them. 

[tds_council]In the process, the sector has developed into a key pillar of the UK’s economy. Food and drink is the country’s largest manufacturing sector accounting for 16 per cent of total manufacturing turnover and providing employment for more than 400,000 people, according to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).[/tds_council]

The food industry is seen as having huge potential for future growth. The FDF is five years into a plan to grow the manufacturing sector by 20 per cent up to 2020, while analysts at IGD forecast the UK grocery retail market will reach £203 billion by 2019, up more than 16 per cent from 2014. 

UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE

Perhaps more than in any other post-war era, the past ten years have seen a fundamental reshaping of the food industry as changes in consumer demand, the rapid adoption of new technologies, and emerging social and environmental challenges have placed fresh demands on businesses operating across the entire supply chain. 

These changes have arguably been felt most acutely in the retail sector where the growth of online shopping, in particular, has forced supermarkets to rethink business models built around large bricks-and-mortar estates. With IGD predicting online to be the fastest-growing grocery channel between 2014 and 2019, competition is set to remain fierce, even more so following the recent arrival of Amazon into the online grocery space. 

The hegemony of the big supermarkets has also been threatened by the emergence of discount grocers, most notably Aldi and Lidl, whose popularity has soared as consumers are attracted by their keen prices, tight ranges and good-quality produce. 

02 Rapid growth of discount grocers Lidl and Aldi have forced the Big Four supermarkets into an ongoing price war
Rapid growth of discount grocers Lidl and Aldi have forced the Big Four supermarkets into an ongoing price war

The growth of the discounters has resulted in the waging of a seemingly perpetual price war between UK grocery retailers that has had a knock-on effect along the supply chain with margins squeezed and even well-known brands facing the threat of delisting. 

A number of British manufacturers have sought to strengthen their balance sheets either through acquisitions or by inviting inward investment from countries such as China. Others have looked to spread their risk by building a successful export business with entrepreneurial companies such as Innocent, Dorset Cereals and Ella’s Kitchen enjoying growing demand for their products overseas. 

[ads-quote-center cite=’agrinfobank’]There has been consolidation too in the wholesale sector with major players like Booker acquiring smaller rivals in a bid to achieve greater economies of scale and provide better deals to independent retailers.[/ads-quote-center]

The indies have themselves responded to the rapid expansion into the convenience sector of the big supermarkets by widening their ranges and introducing in-store services such as parcel collection. 

The UK foodservice sector, meanwhile, is changing out of all recognition as disruptive players such as Just Eat and Deliveroo remove some of the barriers to eating out and in the process drive significant growth in the sector. 

how manufacturers feel about the future

FOOD PRODUCTION

Farmers continue to feel the pressure from volatile commodity prices, particularly in dairy, where British producers are increasingly exposed to global market forces. One response from farmers has been to develop their own added-value products thus allowing them to achieve a greater margin. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union means farmers face an even more uncertain future while they wait to learn how subsidy payments currently received from the EU will be replaced, if at all. 

In our dynamic, fast-growing food sector, a number of challenges have emerged that threaten the future sustainability of the food system. The relatively low cost of food has contributed to a situation where UK households throw away seven million tonnes of food every year, according to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. Smarter packaging, which extends the shelf life of produce, offers one potential solution, but businesses agree that real progress on food waste will require collaborative action throughout the entire supply chain. 

[tds_warning]Consumption habits will need to change if we are to leave behind the legacy of a healthy, sustainable food system for future generations[/tds_warning]

A health time bomb has emerged in the form of the billion-plus people worldwide categorised as obese as a consequence of more sedentary lifestyles and a shift in Western diets towards more nutrient dense convenience foods. In the UK, the government considers the situation so serious it has set out plans to introduce a tax on sugary soft drinks to help curb consumption. 

where growth will come from

Awareness is also growing of the environmental impact of food production, with negative externalities ranging from the high greenhouse gas emissions involved in meat production to the effect on soil fertility of modern intensive farming methods. As well as technological fixes, such as the development of new precision farming methods aimed at maximising the use of scarce natural resources, there is a growing acknowledgment that consumption habits will need to change if we are to leave behind the legacy of a healthy, sustainable food system for future generations. 

All of this means that, both by design and by necessity, the food systems of the future will look very different from those of the past and the present. 

Growing yields in agri-investments

Agri-investments: Sometimes seen as an alternative – rather than mainstream – investment, agriculture is tipped as a profitable place for investors to put their money

Food is one of our most basic needs and agriculture has been central to human existence for thousands of years, yet the sector has always been curiously under-represented in investment portfolios. 

Even today many parts of the agricultural value chain, such as farmland, are seen as alternative investments, while many investors steer clear of investing in commodities because of their volatility. 

“Agriculture is a subject little understood by investors,” says Hélyette Geman, author of Agricultural Finance: From Crops to Land, Water and Infrastructure. “For academics in finance, it does not sound very glamorous and research in the field is scarce and belongs to economists.” 

Henry Boucher, manager of Sarasin’s food and agriculture opportunities fund, agrees. “It is a bit of a Cinderella sector. People think it’s both boring and prone to price volatility,” he says. 

Because of the volatility of commodity prices, it is easy to get caught out by chasing short-term price movements, but if you identify the long-term drivers, the sector offers real opportunities. These are not always obvious, however. 

For example, Mr Boucher identifies electrification and the roll-out of infrastructure in emerging markets as two key factors for investors to consider. “Electrification has a huge impact on diet. If you have electricity, it’s suddenly worth going to a supermarket,” he says. “If you don’t have a fridge, there’s no point buying Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. And the arrival of rail can transform the viability of agricultural land.” 

Growing yields in agri-investments

The longer-term future for agriculture and food is positive, says Roddy McLean, director for agriculture at RBS and NatWest. “We have all heard that global population will increase from seven billion to nine billion by the middle of this century,” he says. “Demand for food will increase faster than this as eating habits in developing countries change from a vegetable diet to sourcing their protein from milk products then to white meat [pig and poultry] to red meat. As you move through these dietary changes more land is required to produce the necessary food.” 

Cedric Lecamp, senior investment manager of the agriculture fund at Swiss investment firm Pictet, adds that health and nutrition is now a key focus for the sector. 

“The importance of the focus on health and nutrition is that it highlights that certain products and ingredients can be beneficial, while others are detrimental. There are exciting opportunities looking at the nutritional aspects of food,” he says. 

“Fish is a very exciting area, for example. Technological developments mean that producers can use less food, making it possible to replace wild fishing with fish farming.” 

Pictet, which has been running an agriculture fund since 2009, invests throughout the value chain, splitting the investment universe into three segments – upstream, midstream and downstream. 

Upstream includes inputs to agriculture, such as seeds, fertiliser, machinery and technology for new areas such as precision agriculture. Midstream is food production, including meat, fish, animal feed and dairy, while downstream is the food processing industry. 

Focusing on all three areas helps to smooth the volatility of the sector, explains Mr Lecamp, because the upstream sector does well if raw material prices are high, while downstream companies tend to perform better when prices are low. 

“The upstream companies are positively correlated to prices. If the price of corn goes up, farm incomes go up and farmers spend more money,” he says. “But as you go downstream, the relationship to prices switches. Processors have significant fixed assets so they do best when harvests are good. Good harvests mean they can run at full capacity and also have the effect of pushing prices lower.” 

Both Pictet and Sarasin have a strong focus on environmental factors that informs their investment strategies. This leads Pictet to invest only in sustainable palm oil companies and to focus on issues such as packaging, Mr Lecamp says. 

“The amount of waste created in the agricultural world is huge, both on farms and downstream. Experts suggest that 30 to 50 per cent of agricultural produce is wasted. The value of that is huge and the further towards the consumer you move, the more value has been added to a product and the higher the cost of that waste. 

The pressures caused by climate change and resource scarcity will benefit one sector in agriculture in particular – technology

“We look at ways to improve the shelf life of produce, such as breathable films or recyclable materials,” he adds. 

Climate change is now a real risk for the sector, Mr Boucher points out. “Climate change is still very low on many investors’ agenda, but we pay a great deal of attention to it. Many people will wake up to the risks with a jolt before too long,” he says. “The idea that agriculture could pollute its way to higher productivity cannot go on for ever. There are real issues around monoculture and agriculture will come under massive pressure to use less water in future.” 

The pressures caused by climate change and resource scarcity will benefit one sector in agriculture in particular – technology. “The agriculture sector will have to produce more food with less water, way fewer chemicals and with less impact on biodiversity,” Mr Boucher says. 

This trend will benefit companies such as John Deere and Agco, makers of farm machinery, seed companies such as Syngenta and Monsanto, and those that offer equipment related to precision farming techniques such as drip irrigation or supply chain management. 

“The agricultural and food industry in the UK has changed beyond recognition over the past decade thanks to the growing influence of technology. There have been major developments in both machinery on the farm and the IT systems which help streamline the business processes,” says Robert Frost, chief executive of Linkfresh, a provider of supply chain software technology for the food industry. “As the digital revolution continues, technology and IT is a major area of investment for the food industry.” 

The other key requirement for farming is farmland, and it too can be a very good investment. “Over the decade to 2014, an apartment in the most exclusive part of Mayfair produced a 177 per cent return, while UK farmland returned 277 per cent,” says Ms Geman. 

“Land is not made any more, in fact it is probably a diminishing resource due to infrastructure projects, building houses, erosion and, in some parts of the globe, desertification salinisation,” adds Mr McLean. “But if land is looked after properly, it tends not to wear out like many other investments. The current price of land of £8,000 to £20,000 per acre will in all probability appear cheap in two generations time.”