Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) Chairman former Justice Khalil ur Rehman Khan said that Pakistan is an emerging Halal food hub and this is the right time for us to capture the international halal products market worth US3 trillion dollars by making our industry compliant to international standards and boosting up our halal sector.
However, he said that there is a strong need of developing standards and enacting a law to make our halal products compliant of international requirements. He said that draft of a law is pending with the Federal Government since 2011 in this regard and PHDA also suggested some amendments to this draft law last year to make it more effective in enhancing our exports but it is yet to be approved.
He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of first ever Halal training course entitled “Certified Food Safety & Halal Professional Course” launched by the PHDA here on Saturday with the collaboration of Bureau Veritas where 25 graduates are participating from all over the Punjab.
PHDA Chairman said that the stakeholders and chambers should press the caretaker government to introduce this law through an ordinance to harvest the opportunities exist in the international halal market. He said that Malaysia has been working in this sector since 1980 while Thailand has also made a name in halal food sector despite not being a Muslim country and tripped its exports during last few years. He added that we need the Halal professionals because Globalisation of food trade and increased consumer awareness regarding food safety standards contribute towards new demands for Halal, Healthy and Hygienic food. Pakistan possesses all imperative elements for Halal products’ production but we are lacking professionals in this field. To fill the gap we introduced Certified Food Safety & Halal Professional Course to educate the young professionals to work in the field.
Imran Amjad, CEO PAMCO in his welcome address said that today we are laying the foundation of Halal Industry by educating the youngsters about Halal standards first time in Pakistan and this is memorable day in the history of this nation, this education will lead the Halal industry and resultantly Halal products export will increase.
SAARC Chambers of Commerce Vice Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik said that Pakistan has all the potential to make a name in the Halal Food market by virtue of being a Muslim agriculture country having heavy population of livestock as well. He stressed the need for research and innovation in the field of agriculture to produce more meeting both domestic needs and for export. He said development of halal food especially meat industry could also arrest the trend of migration to cities as it would provide jobs to rural youth in their own areas. He assured full support to PHDA on his behalf and the business community in endeavours to make Pakistan a hub of certified halal food products.
Halal auditor Bureau Veritas, representative Tariq Qamar on this occasion said when we talk about Global Halal Market, unfortunately, we do not have uniform laws to implement in this industry so it is important here to mention that L&DD Department has initiated to formalise Halal industry and now we are planning that how to get lion’s share from Halal sector. Punjab has constituted Punjab Halal Development Agency to look into the matter and execute the plans under the umbrella of L&DD Department and Punjab Agriculture & Meat Company.
Dr Hamid Jalil, Agro-Livestock expert in his address said that we are focusing on International market and we are striving to get recognition that we are able to provide Halal products to the world. First, we should train Halal professionals to work towards implementing the Halal standards in this industry so today we are in inaugural secession of training course. He also disclosed that they are arranging an international halal food expo and conference in Lahore in coming November with the help of USAID and other stakeholders to brand Pakistan as Halal Food hub.