ISLAMABAD: A Food Processing Park will be set up in KP to minimise food waste, media reports said on Wednesday.
The reports said, Pakistan primarily being an agricultural economy has become a food surplus country over the years. A huge quantity of food is also provided to neighbouring countries and needy populations through various mechanisms, including the World Food Programme (WFP).
The Board of Investment (BOI) has invited applications from investors to establish a Food Processing Park in Peshawar, aiming to establish direct linkage from farm to processing to consumer markets through a network of collection centres and primary processing centres.
Linkages will be developed among farmers, processors and consumers so that value addition of the raw produce could be maximised. The estimated time for the completion of the project is two years, it said.
An average Pakistani household spends 50.8 percent of monthly income on food. Pakistan’s agriculture has a potential to grow at the rate of 7 percent.
To tap this potential, a comprehensive program for the development of a Food Processing Park is being planned in Peshawar, which may include warehouse and storage to support commercial activities. The project will minimise waste, increase farmers’ income and provide employment opportunities especially in rural areas.
It will provide incentives for food processing at farm level through cluster approach under public private partnership arrangements. Pakistan is among the world’s top 15 countries for the production of more than 22 varieties of major food-related crops. The three major industry groups under the Food Processing Park are frozen food, value addition in major food crops and fruits, and vegetables, including intermediate products. Pakistan was awarded the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status (zero to low duty) by the European Union which has enabled Pakistan to uplift the exports of processed food products, the reports added.