Representatives from leading banks and potential investors from Punjab participated in a seminar today to discuss investment opportunities in feedlot fattening aimed at enhancing quality beef production in the province. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP) and the Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) collaborated in hosting the seminar.
“Today’s seminar will give participants an opportunity to explore investment opportunities in Punjab’s livestock sector. The U.S. government, through USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project, is providing support for the livestock, dairy and horticulture sectors to help boost investment and create jobs,” stated U.S. Consul General Zachary Harkenrider while addressing the seminar participants.
The global halal food industry is approximately $3 trillion, with the meat segment having a share of $600 billion. Pakistan’s meat industry, estimated at $115 million, has great potential for growth. It remains underutilized as the calves are not retained by the farmers or fattened with appropriate feed, leading to low quality production of beef. Pakistani meat exporters are unable to capitalize on the advantages of the halal meat industry due to limitations of indigenous beef breeds and lack of corporate farming. Investment in feedlot fattening can help raise calves for quality beef production and help increase meat exports from the country.
“PHDA is striving to introduce Riba-free halal financing for feedlot fattening farms through which production of quality beef can be enhanced in Punjab. Bankable investment proposals discussed today will play an important role in encouraging potential investors and existing farmers to take interest in feedlot fattening opportunities,” stated Chairman Punjab Halal Development Agency Justice (Retired) Khalil-ur-Rehman Khan.
The USAID-supported event brought together multiple stakeholders and provided participants a forum to develop linkages between potential investors, existing feedlot farmers, public and private commercial banks. The seminar also focused on highlighted investment opportunities in the halal value chain of meat industry including production of fodder, silage and vaccines.
Addressing participants, Deputy Governor Islamic Banking Department State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Saeed Ahmed said, “Islamic financing from commercial banks will help farmers purchase calves and bear rearing expenses by providing high quality feed to the animals. It will be easier for commercial banks to leverage investments under Islamic financing mode as feedlot fattening is part of the halal value chain and closely linked with the mandate of the Islamic banks. The role of State Bank of Pakistan will be significant in working with the Islamic commercial banks to develop feasible financing schemes and oversee investment mobilization in this particular sector.”
USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project is a five-year, $14.98 million project, which will improve the business environment by influencing policy and regulatory reforms through private sector-led advocacy. These reforms are expected to spur investment in the target subsectors leading to fast-paced employment generation while making a huge difference for the economy. Through this project, USAID is also helping increase the institutional capacity of public and private sector organizations to influence and sustain policy reforms.
Speakers at the seminar also included Chief of Party USAID Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP) Muhammad Junaid, Director Chemonics International Shaun O’Neil, Fattening Expert Aqueela Mumtaz, Agribusiness Specialist Chaudhry Usman Ali, General Manager Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Board (PLDDB) Muhammad Zahoor Ahmad, and Chairman Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO) Mumtaz Khan Manais.