PESHAWAR: Renowned expert on trout fish aquaculture, Omar Hayat has said that Pakistan offers vast trout fish aquaculture business opportunities and urged federal and provincial governments to prepare a strategic development plan for sustainable commercial trout fish aquaculture plan for Pakistan and provide a roadmap for the people to invest in an appropriate and beneficial manner.

Talking to this scribe, he said that Pakistan’s trout fish aquaculture started its journey from Madyan District Swat of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and subsequently in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the subsistence trout fish aquaculture enterprises have grown during the recent year. The first production trout fish farm had a capacity of 10000 metric tons in the first instant.

The present market demand of Trout Fish is immense as the Trout Fish Produced on Trout Fish Farms is consumed at the local level. The national demand of Trout Fish is more that 5000 metric tons value at present market value @ Rs. 1500 at farm gate level translates into Rs.7500 million.

Pakistan is well located to the Middle East markets, it is just few hour away from out the year round to provide them fresh chilled trout fish. The export potential to Middle Eastern Countries is immense of Quality and Quantity with value added products of Trout Fish.

We need to find the proper marketing linkage if we have the high quality trout fish products for export. In view of the most production increase cannot be denied that Pakistan Trout Fish Aquaculture sub sector is still in its initial phase of further development. Pakistan Trout Fish Aquaculture have some history in the country, production methods have become well established and adjusted to local circumstances and some qualified personnel are available.

At this moment development of this industry can be up scaled and can play an important role in income generation and job opening for the rural educated work force. Pilot Scale Trout Fish Production unit had a demonstration effect had helped the private sector to establish its own enterprises in the region.

Slowly and gradually the Trout Fish Aquaculture has grown but not to commercial level due to number of impediments such as availability of quality certified tout fish seed from public or private trout fish hatcheries.

This impediment provides an opportunity for the establishment of Trout Fish Hatcheries for production of Quality certified trout fish seed on commercial scale to the entrepreneurs locally as well foreign investors alike.

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority, Ministry of Industry and Commerce can provide enabling support with Board of Investment, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. There is no commercial trout fish aquaculture enterprise in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir in Pakistan.

The existing Trout Fish Farm interposes business is operated on subsistence level and not on business model. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority, Government of Pakistan tried to provide support through its one of the project but could not do so due to lack of interest by the Private sector.

The business plans for direct investment for local and foreign investors can be prepared on request of the investors by SMEDA throughout the Trout Fish value chain.

The existing trout fish farms production lack certification from third party while neither provincial government has facilities or manpower to do so. The lack of these facilities provide an ample opportunity for local and foreign investment in commercial aquaculture of trout fish for production of certified trout fish for local and export markets.

Pakistan can provide the better environmental conditions for production of Trout Fish through different regions of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The production of Trout Fish in Pakistan will also revitalize the processing industry at Karachi which is mostly lack processing products of fish, shrimp, lobsters and other marine products due to low catch.

This provides rejuvenation to fish processing industry or relocation to the production areas. These new opportunities are “Opened for Business in Trout Fish Value Chain in Pakistan.”

The Government of Pakistan has to provide an enabling environment and in this regard Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority, Government of Pakistan can provide a leverage in coordination of local private sector with Chamber of Commerce and Industry throughout Pakistan and local Board of Investment.

The Federal Government Investment apex committee can direct Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority, Ministry of Industries and Commerce, Government of Pakistan to prepare a strategic development plan for sustainable commercial trout fish aquaculture plan for Pakistan and provide a roadmap for the people to invest in an appropriate and beneficial manner.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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