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LAHORE: The All Pakistan Meat Processors and Exporters Association (APMPEA) has urged the institutions working for trade and export development to focus on those markets which have large populations and higher meat consumption rates to enhance Halal meat exports from Pakistan.

"China, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Central Asian Republics and other such countries which have large populations and considered as heavy importers of meat and meat products from around the world should be targeted instead of targeting only the Arab countries," said APMPEA Chairman Nasib Ahmad Saifi.

While talking to Business Recorder here on Friday, he said that Pakistan as an Islamic country has all the potential to become a leader in Halal and processed meat sector.

Nevertheless, meat exporters of Pakistan had been facing furious competition from India, Brazil and Africa. Governmental support for the meat export sector was inadequate, Saifi alleged.

He said that the government should pay attention to these hiccups besides arranging repatriation of money of livestock exporters stuck abroad due to the default of certain buyers.

Giving his suggestions on making inroads into the trillion-dollar Halal products market, Saifi said that the practice of allocating special quotas for live animal exports should be abolished, and only the value-added livestock products should be allowed for exports.

A ban on slaughtering of mammals should be imposed, he proposed. He said in order to fetch lucrative international market orders, meat processors required an ample quantity of livestock at a suitable price to process.

The growing population of the country has already exhausted the livestock supplies, and smuggling had deepened the crisis. This issue can only be resolved through stopping livestock smuggling which was one of the main causes of hike in prices.

He also called for establishing Halal zones in Cholistan where owners of meat processing and export businesses should be allotted land for livestock farming. It is pertinent to mention here that the Halal meat export industry is potentially very productive even in its current stage of infancy. Almost all the stakeholders of the Halal meat industry of Pakistan have invested their lifetime savings in this sector.

Pakistani exporters are directly competing with the global meat industry giants by employing state-of-the-art equipment along with quality world-class services. The Halal meat industry of Pakistan should be given due priority and privileges such as zero-rated taxation, facilitation and relaxations in various phases of production, transportations and export, he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020