The following factors are effecting Halal processed meat export of Pakistan:
- Problems in livestock production system.
- Smuggling of Livestock.
- Slaughtering of female animals.
- Issues with banking system.
- Lack of government interest in Halal meat export.
- Lack of proper supply chain system.
- Non effective response from overseas embassy staff.
- Rising utility bills
- Overcharging by Quarantine Department
Livestock production system:
The current red meat production system is both traditional and inefficient. Beef mostly comes from the end of career, or emergency slaughtered animals. A lot of baby buffaloes and calves are slaughtered when these are only 1-2 weeks old. Few calves are raised to 60-80kg but on extremely poor and unbalanced diets. Lack of commercial, onfarm livestock feeding could be blamed for existing price ceiling, which is fixed too low to recover the production cost. Traditional and unhygienic slaughtering techniques are major constraints which are not acceptable to those who believe in health and hygiene.
Smuggling of livestock:
Everyday thousands of cattle cross the border into both Iran and Afghanistan, with the connivance of civilians and officials. Trucks bearing cows, sheep, buffaloes and goats queue up in Chaman Township, an area bordering Afghanistan, and Taftan town, which shares a border with Iran. According to the media, more than a million animals are smuggled annually to Afghanistan and Iran from the provinces of Balochistan and KhyberPakthunkhwa.
Slaughtering of female animals:
Up to 80 percent of female Halal animals end up in slaughterhouses across Pakistan due to ineffective implementation of laws preventing the killing of reproductive animals, industry insiders say, raising food insecurity concerns and fear among meat exporters and other stakeholders that the government may soon need to import livestock due to domestic shortages.
Issues with banking system:
The major issues in current banking system are no specific rule to handle late payment from client, and hurdles in issuance of E-Form. Bank will not cooperate in any problematic matter, which will put extra pressure on exporters. Export friendly banking system is now need of the day if we want to excel our export potential.
Lack of government interest in Halal meat export:
No subsidy — Higher prices reduce exports. If we look at our neighboring countries, the Halal food industry is subsidized in electricity rates, while in our country these prices are higher. Similarly, the Halal food industry also requires a lot of raw materials, the import duties of which are very high. Government of Pakistan is not facilitating meat exporters like other countries do, there is no subsidy for meat sector. Pakistani exporters are struggling to export meat in low prices without any assistance from government. Unnecessary Inspection –On the other hand governmental institutes like Punjab Food Authority also interfere in export-oriented slaughterhouses as Animal Quarantine Department is overlooking all export based slaughterhouses, role of Punjab Food Authority is not understandable as their team is directed by high officials to impose fine.FMD Status — The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is against exports from countries with FMD. The OIE restriction, however, leaves an opportunity open for such countries: create FMD-free zones and farms and export from there. Punjab has tried to establish an FMD-free zone in its Cholistan desert but for want of political will and the existence of bureaucratic red-tapism, the initiative didn’t last long though.
Lack of proper supply chain system:
One of the many weaknesses of the Pakistani meat industry is lack of proper supply chain system, there are many loopholes in meat supply chain as transparency, hygienic and chilled transportation at and from airports, governmental legislation for price fixing of meat and meat products. Also, animal welfare is integral part of meat industry, including proper system for animal care, availability of proper feed resources, reproduction efficiency, breeding techniques and protection from diseases, bleeding methods must be properly monitored. Proper vaccination programs and disease prevention systems should be implemented to reduce losses to maximum. Furthermore, the meat industry was not taken care seriously in past as it was considered a sub-segment of dairy industry.
However, this sector is now developing rapidly and has seen rigorous development in the past decade in meat production and processing aspects by reducing wide-spread breeding of inferior animals, developing livestock breeding farms, feeding patterns for animal production, developing meat grading system, cold supply chain management, training of allied stakeholders and especially implementing international food safety and quality management systems can boost the demand for Pakistani produce. Therefore, proper legislation and implementation needs to be introduced to both small and large scale production system in the country.
Non effective response from overseas embassy staff:
One of the main issue in export business is non-payments by importers, so in this case only hope is our commercial officer but their role is questionable, they never bother to respond. Due to this situation a huge amount of revenue is stuck in foreign countries in form of non-payments.
Overtaxing in utility bills:
The present bills of electricity are of enormous worrying for the export of meat. We are paying many extra taxes using electricity as the real cost per unit is tolerable but the burden of added taxes are concern for the exporters. The industry currently receiving the electricity on commercial rate basis instead we must be benefitted under zero-rate facility like the textile industry as this Halal processed meat industry is export-oriented unit and overtaxing the industry should be waived off immediately, which will help ensure smooth flow of meat export internationally.
Overcharging by Quarantine Department:
It is deplorable as the exporters are paying very extra fee to the quarantine department on export of meat and meat products. Since the industry is already under pressure, these high demand of fees making the pain worse. For the relief of the industry, the department must charge the same fee of Rs 40 on mutton and Rs 120 on beef, which was fixed four years earlier while the irony is, that presently the exporters are paying three-fold higher the amount on the export of the said products. Moreover, it is great misery that our chambers paying Rs 400 for each survey virgin which was Rs 100 initially. It is demanded to bring down the charges as was set in the past. Even to attest the export document, Rs 400 been charged, which is inacceptable as exporter has to attest 400 documents in one go. These overpricing are difficult to bear. Therefore, it is very necessary, that the quarantine department of health should not demand extra fees instead take the same amount of fees as was demanded in good old times. The liberation will surely support the Halal meat export industry and will strengthen the morale of exporter to look way forward in strengthening the growth of exports, which consequently support country’s revenue.