Friday, January 14, 2011

Non-Muslim countries hold $580 million Halal food market

FAISALABAD  (January 15, 2011) : Halal food market of $580 million is in the hands of non-Muslims as they cater to the needs of 2 billion Muslim consumers around the world. Pakistan needs to harness the potential of exporting Halal food to Muslim consumers as in the United States out of 9 million Muslims each person spends around $6 everyday on Halal food which is processed and handled by non-Muslims.

Addressing the participants of inaugural session of international seminar on Halal Food Production organised by National Institute of Food Science & Technology here in Nestle Hall on Friday morning, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture said OIC member countries used to make only 8% trade with each other against a vast potential and opportunities as all available food in Middle East is processed by the non-Muslims.

Dr Khan said this was a complete value chain of monitoring, capacity building, handling, storage, value-addition needed attention to produce Halal food. He was of the view that every year 3 millions Muslim lives remain at risk due to unavailability of Halal vaccine. Dr Khan urged the need for holding multi-disciplinary research by taking the religious scholars on board and to capitalise the vast trade potential.

Earlier, delivering a keynote address, Dr Winal Dahian, Director of the Halal Science Center, Chulalonghorn University Thailand said Muslim countries have ignored the significance of harnessing the trade potential of Halal food, thus Brazil, China, India, Thailand and Switzerland became the major players of the sector. Dr Dahian underscored the need to see the origin and various processes involve in producing Halal Food adding that sometime, a food stamped as Halal is not found Halal as they use Haaram ingredients in the food.

He emphasised the need to establish local Halal food certification system in Pakistan strictly bounded by Islamic traditions and principles to ensure complete adherence to Shariah requirements. Pakistan has potential to become a hub of global Halal food and could enjoy direct access to millions of consumers in Middle East, Central Asia and South East Asian countries. He emphasised that there was a need to strengthen the link between Pakistani public and private sector with international organisations to get benefits from their experience.

Earlier, GD NIFSAT Professor Dr Faqir Muhammad Anjum said that Agro-climatic condition of Pakistan ranges from tropical to temperate regions favours the growth of array of agricultural commodities. He said agricultural production is dominated by livestock and crop production, which accounts for 53.2 and 43.9% of agriculture's GDP, respectively.

To meet food deficit particularly in the case of edible oil, he said that the country has to continuously depend on imports. Besides agricultural crops as Pakistan is also blessed with a climate that is suitable for cultivation of a large variety of fruits and vegetables.

Courtesy by: Business Recorder

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