Pakistan may outsource quality inspection services

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan government is expected to shortly out-source quality inspection services to some international agency for discouraging the export of sub-standard fish and fish products.

By A Correspondent

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Published: Thu 27 Sep 2007, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:45 PM

Official sources said that the government wanted the enforcement of Total Quality Management (TQM) system for quality assurance aimed at boosting exports of fish and fish products by out-sourcing inspection services to some international agency.

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Akram Sheikh, while expressing his concern over sub-standard fish and fish products being exported, has proposed to out-source quality inspection services for producing quality products having acceptability in the international market.

Regarding provision of business support to interested shrimp farmers, the deputy chairman asked the ministry of food, agriculture and livestock (MINFAL) to adopt foolproof criteria of inspection/selection of aptitude oriented farmers. Dr Sheikh also said at a recent meeting that Fisheries Development Board being established should include Secretary MINFAL as chairman of the Board instead of private sector personnel.

Shrimp farming project: At a meeting, the additional secretary MINFAL presented the salient features of Aquaculture and Shrimp Farming project envisaging to enhance fish production for which the government is expected to provide Rs1.9 billion. It also included the establishment of 150 model fish farms for increasing fish production through a development project.

A comprehensive action plan for aquaculture development has also been formulated with a view fully exploit fisheries resource in the country. The Planning Commission has been informed that a project costing Rs2.2 billion was considered recently and a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Member, Agriculture and Food to restructure/modify the project by MINFAL. Accordingly, the MINFAL submitted a restructured project at a reduced cost of Rs2 billion. However, the chairman Planning Commission called for further modifying the project to bring its cost to Rs1.9 billion.

Tea production: Sources said that the Planning Commission has also allowed the MINFAL to undertake the Commercialisation of Tea Production Through Public-Private Partnership at a cost of Rs5.2 billion in Menserha and Swat district, FATA and AJK.

The plan envisages to commercialise the tea production in the country by public and private joint efforts to bring an area of 4,550 acres in NWFP, FATA and AJK of which 3 private sector parties will plant tea on 4,200 acres in NWFP/AJK and 200 acres by NWFP Extension Department, 100 acres by AJK Extension Department and 50 acres in Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). In this behalf, it has been planned to utilise the infrastructure and experience of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council's (PARC) National Tea Research Institute. The project will help develop and promote the agriculture research and extension facilities especially for commercial tea cultivation in the country. It will also help reduce the burden of national budget from import of tea.

Moreover, the forest departments of NWFP and Azad Jummu and Kashmir will facilitate the provision of large tracts of forest land to private sector on long-term lease (99 years) for commercial tea plantation. The private sector investors will develop these lands and plant tea gardens on 70 per cent area (4,200 acres) and 30 per cent on support crops, establish tea nursery, tea processing units and do marketing.

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