The newly established Pakistan Halal Authority (PHA) in the federal capital has set targets to capture international markets for export of Halal products especially meat to get Pakistan’s due share in the rapidly growing global Halal market after increasing Muslim population.
“Pakistan with 160 million livestock is among top livestock producing countries but unfortunately having minimal share in the $3trillion estimated livestock product output including milk, beef, mutton, poultry meat, eggs, wool, hair, skins, hides and bones”, Director General, PHA, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Muhammad Tariq Masood said on Sunday.
Talking to APP, he was of the view that since Pakistan was an Islamic country so the Muslims residing here take it for granted if the eatables including meat, packed food items etc carry any such element which was not Halal (permissible) or not.
However, the Muslims residing in other countries were more concerned about the availability of Halal products especially meat. A large number of Pakistanis are living in other countries including Gulf countries, United States, United Kingdom as well as European countries which increased the demand of Halal meat substantially.
Tariq Masood who is also serving as Joint Scientific Advisor in the ministry said Pakistan being the fifth largest dairy producer and supplier of cattle had a huge potential in livestock, dairy and poultry sectors and could export Halal products worth $5 to $6 billion a year by adopting serious measures.
Since the Gulf countries had lifted their ban on Pakistan poultry imports imposed in 2004 following bird flu incidents, it was the right time for Pakistan to make its mark in the Gulf neighbours and in the world, he stressed.
Dr. Masood said record maintenance of the animals that were slaughtered, ensuring adoption of Halal procedures during slaughtering and packaging and training of the workers in this field was also very crucial to raise international demand for Pakistani Halal meat.
He said PHA would place its logo and stamp on the Halal products after checking the quality and standard for a minimal fee of Rs. 5,000 which will be acceptable for export to different countries. Dr. Tariq Masood informed that his authority was working on introducing a subject related to Halal products at the universities level which was direly needed for promoting awareness about this subject and motivate scholars to conduct research on permissible and non permissible foods, non-foods and services scientifically and religiously.
It was unfortunate that the concept of Halal (permissible in religion) was just limited to the meat for a common man however it has a bigger scope as it covers medicines, cosmetics, procedures as well as dresses and shoes. Being a Muslim, it was essential for us to use medicines, cosmetics, dresses, shoes, toilet and other items after ensuring that these had no such element which was not permissible in our religious, he said while terming it indispensable to conduct research on this subject for educating the citizens.
To a question, Dr. Tariq Masood informed that his authority would of course maintain a list of permissible and non permissible packed items which are imported from other countries including snacks for children.
He said the pilot project of establishing PHA in the federal capital will afterwards replicated by the provinces to educate citizens and utilize Halal products trade potentials. It is pertinent to mention here that PHA will secure international recognition of the Halal logo to build confidence in the Halal Certification system and Pakistani Halal products abroad. The authority would also coordinate with national and international organizations for strengthening the Halal sector and promote and encourage establishment of libraries and laboratories for the purpose of developing Halal sector.—APP