AGENDA: Issues and hindrances in Export and Supply of Pakistan’s Agriculture Products
TIME/DATE: 2:00 p.m., 10th of October, 2012
VENUE: Star Farm Pakistan Office
MR. SYED SHAUKAT ALI (M.D. STAR FARM PAKISTAN PRIVATE LTD.)
MR. MUHAMMAD AHMED RAMZAN (AL-MAIRAJ – EXPORTERS, LAHORE)
MR. NASIR KHAN (SUNGI ORGANICS – SUNGI DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION NGO, KPK)
STAR FARM TEAM
The meeting took place at Star Farm Pakistan Office, and was commenced with introduction of all the participants with each other,
Mr. Ahmed Ramzan introduced himself as a partner in Al-Mairaj Enterprises, the firm was formed back in 1960’s as auctioneers, and started exports since 1990. Currently they have two offices, one in Lahore (sourcing office & Warehouse on Ravi Road, Meva Market) and other in Karachi (Looking after the Shipments).
Mr. Nasir Khan, introduced himself as a representative of Sungi Organics which is Welfare Trust focusing on organic farming in KPK, which was a part of Sungi Development Foundation but recently individualized as a separate entity.
Various topics were discussed during the meeting,
Exporter Mr. Ahmed touched various topics and issues that he has experienced over the past 20 years in exports, which were,
- Bad Global Image of Pakistani Shipments: drug cases, best quality promised and poor quality delivered, no registered warehouses for export shipments
- No government involvement except tax regulations and applications,
- Limited airline spaces and aggressively rising airline freights for example (per kilogram : 36Rs/2010, 57Rs/2011 and 103Rs/2012-138RS/2012)
- No strong backward integration
- Payments on Delivery
- Rising prices of produce in domestic markets : discouraging Exports
- A rumor that Europe export is almost banned for Pakistan
Mr. Ahmed (Exporter) also added some of his techniques that he uses to counter these issues,
- Never buy Vegetables directly from Mandi, always procure directly from the farmer, this not only saves cost, but also helps sourcing quality product, as compared to fruits, vegetables highly demanded for exports are very perishable.
- Installation of cameras in his warehouse, to ensure quality work from labor.
- Advance booking for Airline spaces
- Have planned to start delivering F&V’s to door steps in posh areas with sustainable supply to utilize his resources with full throttle.
Some other recommendations and information that Mr. Ahmed (Exporter) added were,
- About 20-30% of Mango is wasted on checking and inspection at port
- We must have registered warehouses for export purposes, authenticated as standardized.
- Besides certifications, there are other requirements too, for exports, about which as Consultation Company, you must have information as well, i.e. E-Form, certificate for cooling system, airline space availability issues etc.
By having these standards applied, farmers can have two way benefits,
1. They can export the premium produce at a very good price and
2. They can sell the average quality produce in local market
Retail stores are not selling at a high price as compared with local Mandeez (Local Markets), they have kept fruits and vegetables just for survival or a service for customers, but they set their prices with respect to mandeez (Local Markets), So, Customer awareness needs to be focused, which is being neglected in these pricing strategies and procurement techniques.
Mandi system cannot be controlled or changed by any one, except for the government regulations.
Middlemen play an important role, they provide support, and secure financial bindings with Farmers, that is the reason they are in total control of the domestic F&V Markets
Metro C&C Airport branch can be a success if Star Farm and Metro C&C Pakistan are planning for Shop in Shop.
Pakistan is importing Tomato, Onion, and Potato etc. from India in bulks, due to which our market is stabilized.
Europe market has a huge demand for the following items:
o White Radish
Garlic, Ginger and Arum(Arvi) are imported from China in Huge quantities by global markets which cannot be competed by Pakistan. Due to lack of yield and quality, so this specific area can be tapped.
During the discussion the guests were briefed by Mr. Shaukat Ali Sherazi, MD Star Farm Pakistan about Star Farm, International Standards and their scope, Traceability and Star Farm’s workflow, thus Mr. Ahmed (Exporter) was clarified about a misconception that he as having earlier, that Star Farm Pakistan is working to eliminate Middlemen, as he was clarified that we are working for the implementation of International Standard i.e. IFS Broker. To enhance their standard.
Mr. Nasir Khan (NGO) added in the end that they would like to play their part in this program, they as Welfare trust need to invest for the welfare of Farmers and traders, he added that, we should not look up for the Govt. Support, instead of this, we must look into our own acts, that what are we doing for the welfare of Pakistan, and this concept what we call Star Farm is the need of time for Pakistan, he said they will visit us again with some details of the lines where they and Star Farm can join hands.
Mr. Ahmed (Exporter) in the end invited Star Farm team to his warehouse and office at Ravi Road.
Later Star Farm Pakistan Team visited and after various discussions and meetings, the Broker was provided training of 4 days,
After Training the Exporter was facilitated by participating in meetings with Metro C&C PK, to discuss the terms of supply of Traceable F&V’s.