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Pakistan sought FAO assistance to formulate a project on agro-processing and agri-business enterprise development and knowledge sharing in livestock, aquaculture and horticulture - Melba B. Reantaso[22] and Divine Njie[23]

In response to a request from Pakistan’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL), FAO fielded a mission to Pakistan between 18 May and 4 June 2005 to formulate a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) project titled "Agro-Processing and Agri-Business Enterprise Development and Knowledge Sharing in Livestock, Aquaculture and Horticulture". MINFAL’s specific request was for FAO’s technical assistance in developing strategies and operational programs for demand-driven agro-processing and agri-business enterprises in the livestock, horticulture and aquaculture sub-sectors, and in facilitating the sharing and practical applications of best practices and lessons learned from countries that have successfully undertaken such programs to increase the income and profitability for smallscale farmers.

The three targeted sub-sectors experience various constraints which hinder development of agro-processing enterprises and agribusinesses. With regards to the aquaculture sub-sector, although endowed with vast natural freshwater, brackish water and marine resources, and located in close proximity to countries such as China, Vietnam and Bangladesh in which fisheries and aquaculture technologies have already been developed and successfully applied, Pakistan’s fisheries/aquaculture subsector is relatively undeveloped and contributes only 1 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.

The proposed UTF project will employ knowledge transfer and learning from successful Asian examples in achieving the following in Pakistan: correctly identifying opportunities for economic growth with a focus on agro-processing and agribusiness in the three sub-sectors; improving the investment climate; attracting local and foreign investment; providing guidance to investors; and linking potential investors with various stakeholders. The project comprises four components:

Component I: General Interventions;
Component II: Livestock sub-sector activities;
Component III: Horticulture sub-sector activities;
Component IV: Aquaculture sub-sector activities.

Component I addresses cross-cutting themes that are related to investment and knowledge sharing in the three sub-sectors. Component II targets the following five issues in the livestock sub-sector: increasing competitiveness; increasing investment directed at international trade; development of a market information system; training and capacity building; and community managed dairy collection and processing centres. Component III targets the horticulture sector and develops interventions aimed at: strengthening supply chains for fresh produce in the domestic market; customer targeted production and supply chain management for export oriented value chains; mobile fruit and vegetable processing; capacity building for cold storage and cold chain design and operation; and capacity building in small-scale fruit processing. Component IV outlines project interventions in the aquaculture sub-sector. Given that this sub-sector is mostly in the primary production stage, Component IV contains a number of start-up interventions which have high potential for success. These interventions are to be implemented on a pilot basis and, when determined to be technically feasible and economically viable within the existing conditions in Pakistan, immediately transferred to the private sector.

Transfer of technologies and pilot projects were major recommendations from the Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium. The recommendations indicated that while considerable basic information on aquaculture species (both new and old) and farming systems are available, the lack of pilot-scale models to test technical and economic practicability hindered commercial applications. Most of the projects on aquaculture proposed in this UTF project are pilot operations of a number of technology packages that have already been developed, verified and successfully carried out in many aquaculture regions. There is currently a very strong interest on the part of GOP under the new economic environment, as well as renewed interest from the private sector, in these packages. The projects proposed in the aquaculture sub-sector will build capacity of both the public and private sectors, and forge public-private sector cooperation that will lead to development of business enterprise models and business investments for the benefit of fish farming communities and the country.

Left to Right: Mohammed Ali (FAOPAK Assistant Representative), Christopher Oates (FAO Consultant), Melba Reantaso (FIRI), David Hall (FAORAP), Sikandar Shah (MINFAL), Divine Njie (AGST), MINFAL Joint Secretary Mohammad Saleem Khan, M. Hayat, Shahzada Taimur Khusrow

Divine Njie, FAO

Seven sub-projects are proposed within Component IV to tackle issues related to policies and enabling environments (Sub-Project 1: National Aquaculture Strategy); capacity building and strengthening of fisheries administration (at various levels, i.e., government, small-scale farmers and business sector) (Sub-Projects 2-6: (2) Master Plan for Shrimp Culture Development in Coastal Areas of Sindh and Baluchistan Provinces; (3) Intensification and Diversification of Freshwater Aquaculture Production; (4) Aquaculture Development Opportunities for Small-Scale Farmers; (5) Cold Water Aquaculture Development; (6) High Value Mariculture Development); forging public-private sector partnership (Sub-Projects 2-7: (7) Marketing Study to Increase Value-Addition and Marketing of Pakistani Aquaculture Products); introduction of technology packages and business models which have been developed, verified and successfully implemented in many neighbouring countries in Asia (Sub-Projects 2-6); exploring utilisation of areas which have limited potential for development from other sectors (Sub-Project 2 and 5); improving the domestic consumption pattern of aquaculture products (Sub-Project 3); understanding and improving the marketing structure (Sub-Project 7); and knowledge sharing (all sub-projects). Successful implementation of these projects and ensuring a good transfer of technology and uptake by the private sector will contribute to sustainable contribution of aquaculture to the national economy, improve incomes and living standards of rural community beneficiaries, improve the nutritional standards of the Pakistani population through increased supply of aquaculture products to domestic markets, and increase foreign earning through increased export of products.

Private carp grow-out farm owner, a 700 gm carp stocked in May (at 400 gm) and will be harvested after five months at which time it will be 2.5 kg/piece which is the preferred market size of Pakistan consumers

Melba B. Reantaso, FAO

The UTF Formulation Mission was composed of four specialists, namely: Mr Divine Njie (FAO HQ, AGST, Team Leader, agro-processing), Mr Christopher Oates (FAO Consultant, agribusiness), Mr David Hall (FAO RAP, livestock) and Ms Melba Reantaso (FAO HQ, FIRI, aquaculture). More detailed information about this UTF can be obtained from Ms Melba B. Reantaso of FIRI ( and/or Mr Divine Njie of AGST (Divine.Njie@

[22] Melba B. Reantaso
Inland Water Resources and Aquacultre Service
FAO Fisheries Department, Rome e - mail:
[23] Divine Njie
Agricultural and Food Engineering Technologies
Service (AGST)
FAO Agriculture Department, Rome e - mail:

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