Pakistan Ahead of India and China on Happiness Index

You wouldn't know from the headlines what Gallup global poll on wellbeing found through its recent survey: More Pakistanis say they are thriving than do Indians or Chinese.

The results of the 2010 global wellbeing survey of 124 nations conducted by Gallup reveal that Pakistan ranks 40th with 32% of Pakistanis saying they are thriving. By contrast, India ranks 71st with 21% of the Indians thriving and China ranks 92nd with only 12% of the Chinese considering themselves “thriving,” the highest level of wellbeing.

Pakistanis are a resilient people. But the only tangible explanation for Pakistanis ranking ahead of their neighbors in the wellbeing Gallup survey can be found in the strength of Pakistan's rural economy. It is being spurred by the higher food and commodity prices resulting in the transfer of additional new tax-free farm income of about Rs. 300 billion in the current fiscal year alone to Pakistan's ruling party's power base of landowners in small towns and villages in Southern Punjab and Rural Sindh, from those working in the the economically stagnant urban industrial and service sectors who pay bulk of the taxes. The downside of it is a bigger hole in Pakistan's pubic finances which is being funded with increased foreign aid and loans.



Moazzam Husain, the Director General of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, describes the current rural resurgence as follows in a recent blog post titled "The Other Pakistan":

"GLORIOUS countryside lies between Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur. Travelling across six districts in Punjab, before a blazing summer sets in, I experienced endless fields of wheat waiting to turn golden, of freshly harvested mustard, acres of ripe sugarcane and sprawling mango orchards.

Far from the drudge and gloom of metropolitan Pakistan, economic privation, traffic snarls, extreme religion and the cricket World Cup agony, this is another Pakistan. Over a quarter of a century after the green revolution ended the rural economy is back in boom, this time on the back of rising prices. The feel-good factor is all around.

Burgeoning commodity prices are churning unprecedented amounts of cash through the farm sector. I pass tractor-pulled trolleys laden with sugarcane waiting outside sugar mills. The crushing season is in full swing. Meanwhile, the flour mills are still grinding away at last year’s surplus crop. This is an agro economy at serious work.

Alongside the cash economy, the place is also brimming with ideas, and with an entrepreneurial spirit. A young man I meet at Rahim Yar Khan’s chamber of commerce has an IT degree and owns an ice cream distribution business spawning an elaborate cold chain across three districts. He tells me that sales are surging because rural society is transitioning to modern desserts which are now more affordable than traditional sweets like mithai and khoya.

Meanwhile, he’s toying with the bigger vision of an electronic marketplace for agricultural produce. Live connectivity to grain mandis and markets for fresh produce and milk will empower farmers to obtain prices online and through their cellphones. He wants to materialise this and wants tips. I give him my two cents worth: study similar models, write a concept paper, galvanise partners around it, put in seed money and get the venture to mezzanine level."


In 2008, the government pushed the procurement price of wheat up from Rs. 625 per 40 kg to Rs. 950 per 40 kg. This action immediately triggered inflationary pressures that have continued to persist as food accounts for just over 40% of Pakistan's consumer price index. According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) analysis, cumulative price of wheat surged by 120 per cent since 2008, far higher than the 40 per cent between 2003 and 2007. it is also many times greater than the international market price increase of 22 per cent for wheat in the same period. Similarly, sugar prices have surged 184 per cent higher since 2008, compared with 46 per cent increase during 2003-07.

Bumper crops and exports at higher prices are also contributing to the rural prosperity in Pakistan. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported increased Pakistan's wheat exports in a recent story as follows:

"Asia's immediate wheat demand is being met by ample supply from Pakistan, which is exporting existing inventories to make way for the new harvest, trading executives said Monday.

"Pakistan has filled a crucial gap in Asian wheat trade due to the absence of supply from the Black Sea region," said a Singapore-based executive with a global trading company.

If Pakistan hadn't permitted wheat exports during this period of tight overall global supply, price conscious buyers in South Asia and Southeast Asia would have had to turn to costly alternative supply from Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

The absence of Pakistan would have also increased demand pressure in Australia, where ports are already facing congestion and there are logistical delays in moving wheat from upcountry warehouses.

Pakistan approved wheat exports in December and shipments began the following month.

In less than four months it has shipped out an estimated 1.16 million metric tons of wheat.

The International Grains Council has projected Pakistan's wheat exports in the year ending June 30 at 1.6 million tons, the highest in at least four years."


The steps such as the increased exports, the transfer of additional Rs. 300 billion to Pakistan's agriculture sector during the current fiscal year 2010-2011 by higher prices of agriculture produce, and direct flood compensation to 1.6 million affected families at the rate of one hundred thousands rupees each are boosting economic confidence in the countryside. This infusion of money is also generating rural demand for consumer items including consumer durables such as fans, TVs, motorcycles, cars, refrigerators, etc.

The big feudal landowners have been the biggest beneficiaries of the PPP's gift of high crop prices. However, the policy has helped small farmers as well, as shown by a recent survey reported by The Nation newspaper. The survey of 300 farmers in Sind's Sukkur district was conducted by Sukkur Institute of Business Administration for the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). It has highlighted the following about district's rural economy:

1. In Sukkur district, majority of the farmers are subsistence farmers. 31 percent of them own less than 5 acres of land, and another 34 percent own up to 12.5 acres of land.

2. They spend an average of Rs. 1,611 a month on their children's education, with some of them spending up to Rs. 12,000 a month.

3. Wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane are the major crops being cultivated by 93 per cent, 58 percent, 37 percent and 12 percent of the respondent farmers in that order.

4. 24 percent of them are also growing fruits including dates, mangoes and bananas.

5. 22 percent of the respondent own livestock.

6. About half (49 percent) use privately purchased seeds for wheat cultivation, 33 perecent use their own retained seed and 18 perecent use the seed purchased from Public Sector Seed Corporations.

7. On average, a farmer uses 96.73 Kg chemical fertilizer per acre with the maximum and minimum of 350 Kg and 40 Kg respectively. The average per acre cost of wheat production is Rs. 10,670.

8. All 300 farmers are using tractors for cultivation and preparing land for crops, and some are using tractors for fetching their crop produce to market.

It appears from the economic data and anecdotal evidence that bulk of the 32% of the Pakistani poll respondents who say they are thriving have income from the rural sectors of Pakistan's economy.

As expected, the people in the developed world report higher state of wellbeing than those in the developing nations. With Danes ranked the most satisfied people with 72 percent of respondents considering themselves “thriving,” people in Sweden and Canada follow close behind, each at 69 percent in Gallup’s 2010 Global Wellbeing Survey. The US came in somewhat near the bottom among developed western nations, with 59 percent of Americans thriving.

A median of just 21 percent were found to be “thriving” in the Gallup survey polling 1,000 adults, age 15 and older, in both face-to-face and telephone interviews in each country throughout 2010.

African nations show up near the bottom of the list, with only 12 percent of the respondents considering themselves to be thriving in Egypt, followed by 6 percent in Kenya and Chad with 1 percent ranking it dead last at 124.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Rural Economy

Resilient Pakistan Defies Doomsayers

Agriculture, Textiles Employ Most Indians and Pakistanis

New Index Finds Indians Poorer Than Africans, Pakistanis

Pakistan's Exports and Remittances Rise to New Highs

Sugar Crisis in Pakistan

Agricultural Growth in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Pakistan's Rural Economic Survey

Pakistan's KSE Outperforms BRIC Exchanges in 2010

High Cost of Failure to Aid Flood Victims

Karachi Tops Mumbai in Stock Performance

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010

Pakistan's Decade 1999-2009

Darkness Before Dawn? Future of Pakistan

Musharraf's Economic Legacy

World Bank Report on Rural Poverty in Pakistan

Copper, Gold Deposits Worth $500 Billion at Reko Diq, Pakistan

China's Trade and Investment in South Asia

India's Twin Deficits

Pakistan's Economy 2008-2010

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Here are a few excerpts from Wall Street Journal story titled "India's Boom Bypasses Rural Poor":


The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA), as the $9 billion program is known, is riddled with corruption, according to senior government officials. Less than half of the projects begun since 2006—including new roads and irrigation systems—have been completed. Workers say they're frequently not paid in full or forced to pay bribes to get jobs, and aren't learning any new skills that could improve their long-term prospects and break the cycle of poverty.

In Nakrasar, a collection of villages in the dusty western state of Rajasthan, 19 unfinished projects for catching rain and raising the water table are all there is to show for a year's worth of work and $77,000 in program funds. No major roads have been built, no new homes, schools or hospitals or any infrastructure to speak of.

At one site on a recent afternoon, around 200 workers sat idly around a bone-dry pit. "What's the big benefit?" said Gopal Ram Jat, a 40-year-old farmer in a white cotton head scarf. He says he has earned enough money through the program—about $200 in a year—to buy some extra food for his family, but not much else. "No public assets were made of any significance."

Scenes like this stand in stark contrast to India's image of a global capitalist powerhouse with surging growth and a liberalized economy. When it comes to combating rural poverty, the country looks more like a throwback to the India of old: a socialist-inspired state founded on Gandhian ideals of noble peasantry, self-sufficiency and a distaste for free enterprise.

Workers in the rural employment program aren't allowed to use machines, for example, and have to dig instead with pick axes and shovels. The idea is to create as many jobs as possible for unskilled workers. But in practice, say critics, it means no one learns new skills, only basic projects get completed and the poor stay poor—dependent on government checks.
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Others said the ban on mechanization limits the scope of projects to gravel roads and pits to capture water. Such programs last for only a couple of years and do little to improve village life. Balveer Singh Meena, a 31-year old farmer in the village of Mohanpura in northern Karauli, ekes out a living growing wheat and chickpeas. He eats a single Indian flat-bread known as roti and vegetables for every meal. By selling what little excess food they produce, Mr. Meena and his three brothers are able to make just over $400 per year, which must stretch to pay for an extended family of eight people.
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But shortly after the program started in February 2006, workers complained that local leaders were docking pay and asking for money in return for job cards. The central government responded in 2008 by sending money directly to workers' bank accounts. But according to workers and auditors, the money takes so long to reach those accounts—up to 45 days—that workers are often forced to accept lesser cash payments from local leaders on the condition that they repay the money at the full amount.

Audits of the program in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh found that about $125 million, or about 5% of the $2.5 billion spent since 2006, has been misappropriated. Some 38,000 local officials were implicated, and almost 10,000 staff lost their jobs.

In one study of eastern Orissa state, only 60% of households said a member had done any of the work reported on their behalf. Earlier this month, the central government gave the green-light for the Central Bureau of Investigation, India's top federal criminal investigation body, to launch a probe into alleged misuse of program funds in Orissa....
Riaz Haq said…
Overview of Livestock, Dairy, Fisheries & Poultry Sectors in Pakistan:

1 Dairy Sector
With an estimated 33 billion litres of annual milk production from 50 million animals, managed by
over 8 million farming households, Pakistan is the 5th largest milk producing country in the world
Livestock sector contributed approximately 53.2 percent of the agriculture value added and 11.4
percent to national GDP during 2009 – 10
The milk economy in terms of value is over 27% of the total Agriculture sector
Additional potential of 3 billion litres of milk, with a growth rate faster than any other sector
Of the total 33 billion litres of milk produced, 71% is rural based and 29% is urban based
Of the total production, around 3% is processed and marketed through formal channels
40% Supply and Demand gap exists in Pakistan.

2 Livestock Sector
Livestock sector contributed approximately 53.2 percent of the agriculture value added and 11.4
percent to national GDP during 2009?10.
Gross value addition of livestock at current factor cost has increased from Rs. 1304.6 billion
(2008?09) to Rs. 1537.5 billion (2009?10) showing an increase of 17.8 percent as compared to the
previous year.
The population growth, increase in per capita income and export revenue is fuelling the demand for
livestock and livestock products.
Pakistan earned USD717 million from leather exports in FY09 and a meagre USD96 million from meat
exports.
Poultry sector is one of the organized and vibrant segments of agriculture industry of Pakistan.
This sector generates employment (direct/indirect) and income for about 1.5 million people.
Poultry meat contributes 23.8 percent of the total meat production in the country
The meat demand for Pakistan Domestic market is growing at a rate of 2.73% for Beef, 2.90 % for
mutton and 6.10 % for poultry.
This domestic demand is growing to meet the population growth, human need for protein and
calcium, migration of population from rural to urban and the fluctuating growth due to per capita rise
in income.
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3 Fisheries Sector

During the period July?March 2009?10 the total marine and inland fish production was estimated
952,735 Million tons out which 667,762 Million tons were marine production and the remaining catch
come from inland waters.
A number of sites have been earmarked on an area of 20,000 acres of land in Districts Thatta &
Badin along the coast.
Immense potential exists to start commercial scale fish/shrimp farming in Sindh.

4 Poultry Sector
Poultry is an important sub – sector of agriculture and has contributed enormously to food production by
playing a vital role in the domestic economy.
Poultry industry can broadly be divided into three
groups, viz. hatchery, poultry farming and feed sectors. This sector generates employment and income
for about 1.5 million people in Pakistan. Its contribution in agriculture growth is 4.81% and in Livestock
growth is 9.84%, whereas, the total poultry meat contributes to 23.8% of the total meat production in
the country.
Pakistan, with a population of 170 Million people, has gone through a sizeable growth in the production
of poultry meat and eggs. Per capita availability went up from 23 in 1991 to 46 eggs in 2009 and poultry
meat availability increased from 1.48kg to 2.88 kg during the same period. In our Country per capita
consumption of meat is only 7 KG and 60-65 eggs annually. Whereas developed world is consuming 41
KG meat and over 300 Eggs per capita per year. According to Industry sources there is capacity of 5,000
Environmental Control Houses in Pakistan and currently only 2,500 houses are working.
The total Poultry population in Pakistan is approximately 610 Million.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Daily Times report on the inauguration of Port Grand Food Street in Karachi:

KARACHI: Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad has said that mega economic hub like Karachi that houses millions of people, needs lots of recreational and entertainment places where entertainment-starved citizens could find some peace, comfort and entertainment which provides much-needed breather to continue with our hectic schedules.
Governor Sindh expressed these views while inaugurating the much-awaited Port Grand Food and Entertainment Complex on Saturday. Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Babur Khan Ghauri and Shahid Firoz, Managing Director Grand leisure Corporation was also present.
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Dr Ishrat ul Ebad said that Port Grand Complex is an effort to revive the culture and traditions of old Karachi as well as to celebrate it as the City of Lights. “It would surely revive the harbor culture in a port city like Karachi,” Ebad said.
He appreciated Grand Leisure Corporation for resurrection of history and heritage as it has not only preserved the 19th century’s Napier Mole Bridge but has also converted it into a world-class tourist spot that would ultimately attract millions of people from all over the world.
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Babar Ghauri said that Port Grand is a bold initiative by a private sector company despite the economic, law and order and political uncertainties in the country. He applauded the relentless efforts of Shahid Firoz, Managing Director Grand Leisure Corporation for making it a reality.
Babar Ghauri said that Port Grand project is country’s only-sea-side food and entertainment enclave, which would offer matchless attractions for the whole family to enjoy together. “Port Grand is expected to attract around 4 to 5 thousand people daily from across the country,” he hoped.
The Port Grand Complex, which has been built at 19th century’s Napier Mole Bridge (old native jetty bridge) was conceived and built by Grand Leisure Corporation with an investment of over Rs 1 billion. GLC’s scope of work includes financing, construction, maintenance and operation of all aspects pertaining to the Port Grand.
About 40 outlets have been made operational at this stage while more outlets would be opened soon. The entry fee for the Port Grand would be Rs 300 per person out of which Rs 200 would be redeemable at different food outlets and shops inside the project. The project would be open for public from Sunday evening.
Shahid Firoz, Managing Director Grand leisure Corporation informed that Port Grand project, that stretches along the 1000 feet. Karachi’s ancient 19th century native jetty bridge, spreads over an area of 200,000 square feet. The one kilometer bridge has been transformed into an entertainment and food enclave housing numerous eateries totaling 40,000 sq ft of climate-controlled area and space for kiosks of exotic Pakistani and foreign food and a variety of beverages.
He informed that the work on the project commenced in 2005 and it was expected to be completed by 2009 but the old native jetty bridge was in very bad shape after being abandoned for any transportation usage and it was also set to be demolished when Port Grand project was conceived and ancient 19th centaury monument was preserved for generations to come. GLC had to almost rebuild the whole 1 mile Old Napier Mole Bridge that includes removal of old deck slab, cleaning of rust and scaling of existing structure, strengthening of sub-structure and laying of new deck slab. This all work took around 2 year to completely revamped the bridge thus delayed the project for around 2 years.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a report on Pakistan trying to collect taxes from middlemen (arti) on their profits:

The government has imposed a 10 per cent advance tax on commission, or brokerage fee, earned by the agents of cultivators or farmers and a withholding tax at a rate of 1.5 per cent on the sale of cotton seed, rice and edible oils.

According to new taxation measures announced by the government on Saturday, the new taxes will not be applicable to growers who sell their produce, a circular of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said.

The circular stated that the withholding tax on sale/purchase of seed cotton will be deducted by withholding agents.

“The withholding agent shall not deduct withholding tax on purchase of agriculture produce which is directly sold by a grower of the produce,” the circular added.

The 1.5 per cent withholding tax is being levied on profits earned by the middlemen in the business of buying produce and selling it to the markets at higher rates.

To ensure that the withholding tax is collected, the FBR has directed that the buying agent will have to make three copies of the certificate and give one to the grower, submit the second copy in office of tax commissioner of Inland Revenue and keep the third copy for own record.._

The FBR has also issued a format for the farmers, describing their sale of sugarcane, wheat, rice or cotton to the buyer, which also explains the details of the agricultural land the produce belongs to and the date of sale.

While the circular also states that “in case sale of seed cotton or other agriculture produce is made by a grower/cultivator through a commission agent, then advance tax is collectible under section 123 of the Ordinance at rate of 10 per cent of the gross commission income of the commission agent”.

However, the farmers have rejected the new initiative of the FBR and the farmers’ associations have come up with plans to organise a demonstration in Multan on April 5.

Agriculturists have been accusing the government of adopting policies that would only hurt the small- and mid-level farmers and these measures are being taken to protect the large land owners who should be paying income tax on agriculture.

Calling the new measures as indirect tax on the agricultural sector, the President of Pakistan Agriculture Forum Ibrahim Mughal talking to Dawn said the government was bent upon destroying all the productive sectors and after imposing 17 per cent General Sales Tax on agriculture inputs including pesticides, fertiliser and tractors through presidential ordinance on March 15, 2011, the new move will have more serious impact on the overall agriculture economy.

Mr Mughal said that new measures would affect the overall agricultural sector and its productivity which would reverse economic cycle for the small and mid-level growers.

“In March government imposed over Rs80 billion taxes on agriculture sector in form of GST and advance taxes,” he said adding that around 80,000 tractors are being purchased by the growers per annum and after the imposition of 17 per cent sales tax, they will have to pay a total of Rs8 billion annually more than the earlier price.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an OXFAM report about land for landless peasant women in Pakistan:

Oxfam Media Officer, Caroline Gluck, is currently travelling in Sindh district in Pakistan. She sends us this blog from there:

Mother of five, Sodhi Solangi, can’t stop smiling as she shows me her new eight acre plot of land. Cotton crops are growing and, a little further away, building work is almost finished on a large new house overlooking the fields where her family will soon settle.

Just a few years ago, 42 year old Sodhi, who lives in Ramzan Village, Umerkot district, in Sindh, Pakistan, was landless. She and her husband used to work on others’ lands, earning a share of the crops as payment. Daily life was a struggle.

“We often had problems”, Sodhi recalled. “Sometimes we had money, sometimes not. It was very hard for us. We’d spend all our days working on someone else’s farm and our children would be at home.

“We wore torn clothes. But now things are very different. When you like something, you can go out and buy it. Before, we would have to ask the landlord to give us money if we wanted anything, but now we have money in our hands and we can buy things whenever we want.”

“Now we have our own land and are working on our own land. It feels so good when we work there. When we used to work for others, we would have to drag ourselves there.”

Her family’s luck changed when Sodhi was awarded eight acres of land, under a programme run by Sindh’s provincial government, which in 2008 began redistributing swathes of state-held land to landless women peasants. The landmark scheme was an attempt to lift more people out of poverty in the province, where more than two-thirds of the population work the land, but where bonded labour is still widely practiced and most land is still held by wealthy and political influential elites.

Sohdi and her family grew wheat and cotton on their new land. And they managed to earn enough profit to buy another eight acres.

“We were so happy when we go our land. Now, things are so different”, said Sodhi. “Whenever we want to eat anything, we can just buy it. Before, we used to eat dal and potatoes. Now we can buy all sorts of things – mangos, even chicken.”

“Everyday, we have a lot of food. It’s like a festival of food for us every time!” she said, laughing.

Meat is an unaffordable luxury for most poor farming families – and one telling sign of just how much Sodhi’s life has turned around.

Her neighbours and relatives jokingly call her “lady landowner” and many told me they planned to apply for land during the next phase of the redistribution scheme.

But Sodhi is one of the lucky ones. Her land, though parched and lacking proper irrigation, is still cultivable; and, unlike many women, Sodhi didn’t face legal claims disputing her right to the land from wealthy landowners or others living nearby.
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“The landlord sent officials to threaten the women here saying : ‘We will destroy your homes and take your tractors. ‘ He also threatened to send the police to our home”, said Shareefa Gulfazar, who is in her fifties, and was awarded 4.5 acres of land.

Her daughter, Dadli Kehar, who was awarded 3 acres of land, fears they are being tricked out of what is rightfully theirs. With the help of Oxfam’s partner Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI), both women plan to fight through the courts for what they believe is their right to the land.
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Despite the threats and the likelihood of a lengthy legal battle, Shareefa and Dadli intend to fight for their land. They know that having their own land can empower them as well as help to feed their families and ensure they have a better future.


http://www.oxfamblogs.org/southasia/?p=1088
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PakistanToday report on SBP's efforts to increase funding of agriculture and financial literacy among farmers:

Presiding over a one-day ‘Farmers’ Financial Literacy & Awareness Program on Agricultural Financing,’ which was jointly organized by State Bank and Habib Bank Ltd. today at NRSP Training Center, Bahawalpur, he said the agriculture sector has a key role in country’s economy and stressed the need for making necessary finances available to farmers for multiple cropping activities. He outlined SBP’s efforts for creating awareness amongst the farming community and developing capacity of commercial banks through its various training and awareness programmes.
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Dr. Saeed Ahmed, Head, Agricultural Credit and Microfinance Department, SBP said the programme is aimed at creating awareness among the farming community about agriculture financing products & services offered by banks, money management techniques and lending procedures, documentations, etc. Besides, it would also develop capacity of agriculture field officers of banks in agri. financing and synergize the efforts of all stakeholders including policy makers, executing agencies, service providers & farming community to improve access to agricultural credit, he said, adding that SBP’s promotional initiatives and policy interventions have translated into around 200 percent increase in the flow of credit to the agriculture sector from Rs. 137.4 billion in 2005-06 to Rs. 263 billion in 2010-11.
However, he pointed out, despite this encouraging growth, the disbursement to the agriculture sector was around 40% of the total estimated credit requirements. ‘SBP has planned to increase the disbursement to 70-80 percent during the next five years covering 3.3 million borrowers by adopting a multipronged strategy,’ he added.
The inaugural session was followed by a technical session for the agricultural credit staff of banks in which senior officials of SBP and HBL made detailed presentations on dynamics of agriculture finance and related policies. The purpose of this session was to train the agriculture finance officials of banks enabling them to conduct farmers’ financial literacy programs at their end and to share the best practices in agriculture lending with the participants.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/04/12/news/profit/agriculture-can-farm-out-economy/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of ET story on Pakistan's commercial dairy business:

Economies of scale were the key to JK Dairies’ strategy, and not just in the number of animals. The company imported some of the finest milk breeds from Australia in order to improve output per animal. And it was smart in terms of the kind of cows it imported too.

Many dairy farmers have made the mistake of simply looking up which cows yield the most amount of milk per lactation and import them into their farms in Pakistan, not realising that most of those breeds are not suited to the Pakistani climate.

JK Dairies imported the Australian Friesian-Sahiwal, a breed that was created by the Australian state of Queensland in the 1960s by crossing the Sahiwal cow (named after the city in Punjab where it is from) and the Friesian breed to produce a new cross-breed that combines the sturdiness of the Sahiwal with the lactation prowess of the Friesian.

The average Sahiwal cow (still common in many parts of the Punjab), produces about 2,270 litres of milk per lactation. The Friesian Sahiwal breed produces over 3,000 litres per lactation, about 32% higher. Since then, the company has been cross-breeding the Friesian and Jersey breeds of cows that are also part of its stock with local breeds to produce better milk-giving animals that are suited to the local environment.

“We can compete with the world only by experimenting with the latest available technologies, and that’s what we are doing,” Tareen said.

JK Dairies employs a lot of foreign staff, particularly from East Asia, since Tareen feels that local universities do not have enough graduates who are familiar with global best practices in agriculture and livestock. In addition, the company does not use fodder, a common local practise and instead uses multi-cut seeds, which not only can be produced year-round but also help the cows enhance their milk production.

The company then markets its milk through various techniques, including retail outlets in Lahore as well as a home delivery service. But the bulk of JK Dairies’ sales go to Nestle Pakistan, the largest food company in the country and the owner of Milkpak, the leading brand of packaged milk.
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...Tareen appears highly bullish on the livestock sector, which constitutes about 11% of Pakistan’s GDP and employs about 17% of the workforce, including most of the poorest people in the country. “The livestock sector of Pakistan can singlehandedly became a game changer for our economy.”

Others agree. “If Pakistan were to improve its overall milk yields by just 15%, it would displace New Zealand as the largest exporter of milk in the world,” said Ian Donald, the outgoing CEO of Nestle Pakistan.


tribune.com.pk/story/384253/milk-production-in-pakistans-milk-production-jk-dairies-is-a-front-runner/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a BR report on PM Raja talking about PPP's pro-farmer policies:

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Tuesday said prudent and farmers-friendly policies of the PPP led government has helped injection of Rs500 billion in the rural economy ultimately benefiting the farming community in the country.

"Due to our pro-farming policies and due payments of agriculture produce of the farmers specially in wheat production, Pakistan once an wheat importing country has now become an exporting country and we are self sufficient in wheat production", the Prime Minister said while addressing APP regularization certificate distribution ceremony to distribute letters among the contract and daily wages employees of Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), here at the Prime Minister Secretariat today.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/66940-pro-farmers-policies-of-government-helped-inject-rs500-billion-in-rural-economy-pm-.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET report on HWT technology to increase shelf life and exports of fruits and veggies in Pakistan:

The establishment of Karachi’s hot water treatment (HWT) plant – a facility for post-harvest treatment and processing of fruits and vegetables – is a very good example of how the country’s agriculture sector can benefit by investing in technological advancements. It is because of this technology that Pakistan has been able to venture into some of the world’s largest markets for its mango over the past couple of months.

In order to expand mango exports, Durrani Associates, one of Pakistan’s largest mango exporters, in partnership with the government, set up the Rs220 million HWT plant, which is officially known as Pakistan Horti Fresh Processing (Pvt) Limited. This investment, according to Durrani Associates’ Director Babar Khan Durrani, can be recovered within five years.

Durrani told The Express Tribune that they were already exporting mangoes to Tesco in the United Kingdom and Carrefour in the rest of Europe – two of the world’s largest retail chains – but HWT facility has opened new markets for the exporters. The exporters can use the facility and ship their products via sea now, which will enable them to sell at competitive prices.

HWT increases shelf life of mangoes to 35 days, thus they can now be shipped by sea to remote destinations, a major development, which reduces freight charges to a great extent.

Take the example of China, Durrani said, where air freight alone costs more than $1.25 per kg of mangoes. The processed mangoes can be shipped by sea, he said, bringing the cost down to $0.20 per kg. As a result, the Pakistani exporter was able to impress Walmart China, which, in a week’s time, will strike a contract for supply of another 100 tons of mangoes.
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Talking about how this technology has helped expand mango exports, Durrani said fruits and vegetables processed by HWT facility meet requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Quarantine Standards, thus making them globally acceptable.

In the past, Pakistan’s mangoes were denied access to several key markets including the US and China because of nine diseases. HWT kills anthicolas, a major disease that results in black spots on mango skin.

“The skin of our mango is rough but its taste is very good,” company’s Chairman Abdul Qadir Khan Durrani said. “HWT improves the skin while killing all diseases after treating at 50 degrees for an hour,” he added.

He claimed Pakistan has world’s largest HWT plant having capacity to treat 15 tons of mangoes per hour. The second largest plant is in Mexico that treats 4.5 tons of mangoes per hour, he said.

Besides the $2,200 per ton market of Europe, the $1,600 per ton market of China could prove to be the largest importer of Pakistan’s mangoes, Durrani said.
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By contrast, the mango exports are 8% of the production or less than 50% of the export potential, a strong indication that there is still a huge space for more investment on the technology front. “We need more than 10 such plants for meeting mango demand of North American markets,” Director Durrani said.

“Our agriculture sector lacks technology. People shy away from using technology.” It will take a while before all farmers adopt new technologies, he said.
-------------
“About 30% to 40% of our fruits and vegetables are wasted because they are not processed,” Durrani said. “Given the HWT plant can process almost every fruit and vegetable that we produce, we can save our produce from being wasted,” he added.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/424992/fountain-of-youth-technological-progress-boosts-demand-for-mangoes/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Business Recorder on Pakistan's rising wheat exports:

Following the rising demand and better price in the world market, Pakistan''s wheat exports has again picked up, witnessing some 200 percent growth during the first month of the current fiscal year. Exporters told Business Recorder on Wednesday that after posting some decline in the second half of FY12, wheat exports surged, on the back of demand from Sri Lanka and some other regional countries.

"Pakistan''s wheat exports was declining a few months ago because of low prices. However, better wheat prices and rising demand in the world market have opened up new venues for the export of the commodity," exporters said. Wheat price in the international market was rising because of reports regarding bad wheat crop in Russia, they said.

According to them, wheat prices had crossed $300 per ton after a gap of 6-8 months. Month-on-Month basis, export statistics for the first month (July) of this fiscal year were very encouraging, as wheat export witnessed a massive growth of 198 percent.

Keeping in line with the current trend, wheat exports amounted to $4.652 million in July 2012 against $1.562 million in June this year, depicting an increase of $3.09 million in a single month. In term of quantity, some 15,521 tons of wheat was exported during July against 5,592 tons in June this year.

Export figures for August will be higher than July, as huge export orders have been placed by foreign buyers and several shipments are in the pipeline. However, in the longer run, exports were linked with price stability in the world market, they added. "We are exporting wheat without any government subsidy, disposing off excess stocks, earning millions of dollars in foreign exchange. Wheat price below $300 per ton is not visible for us," exporters said.

The quality of Pakistan''s wheat is best and as per international standard it has 11 to 11.5 percent protein content and is considered perfect for markets in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Gulf states, Far East and Myanmar, they informed. Traders also confirmed that commodity exporters were quickly procuring wheat from domestic market for export as attractive prices are being offered by importers from around the world.

Expressing some reservations regarding wheat exports, they said that hasty buying of wheat from domestic market could create panic in the commodity market, resulting in a massive increase in wheat pries. Wheat prices have witnessed a surge of Rs 2,000 per ton over the past month because of huge buying by exporters. With the current rise, the price of wheat grains rose to Rs 28,000 per ton from Rs 26,500 per tone. Although, the country harvested a bumper wheat crop this year and there is an ample stock in government and private warehouses, extraordinary jump in the quantum of exports could hit domestic prices and wheat availability in the domestic market, traders said.


http://www.brecorder.com/agriculture-a-allied/183/1229620/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a FreshPlaza story on peach farming in Pakistan:

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Firms Project has successfully trained 449 peach farm SMEs in Swat, Pakistan under a USD 600,000 revitalization program, that aims to facilitate them in gaining access to greater revenues and market linkages; and make overall infrastructure improvements to strengthen the sector.

Swat relies heavily on the horticulture sector with 67 percent of the total peaches produced in Pakistan coming from Swat. In recent years however, calamities have wreaked havoc on agriculture, affecting sales and jobs in the region. The main constraints to growth include lack of infrastructure, poor access to inputs, market linkages, credit facilities, untrained workforce, and poor management practices affecting the quality and yield of the produce.

USAID’s assistance to the Pakistan's peach sector includes trainings, infrastructure, supplies, technical support, tools, and certifications for peach farm SMEs of Swat, under a cost sharing agreement. 449 peach farm SMEs that signed agreements with USAID Firms Project earlier this month received pre and post harvest trainings as part of the capacity building component of this assistance. 150 SMEs have received in-kind support in the form of pruning kits, harvesting kits, and corrugated cartons. Distribution to the remaining 299 will finish by the end of July. The tools and equipment will help ensure minimum damage to fruit during harvest, thereby reducing losses to the growers. To coordinate the effort, cluster leaders have been appointed who ensure a smooth flow of operations with farm SMEs within their clusters and work with them to increase output.

Together these interventions will help peach farm SMEs in adopting best management practices and peach farming techniques, attaining larger scale production, increasing yield, and tapping into competitive new markets. Atta Ullah, a local peach grower from Swat said, “These pruning and harvesting kits and all the other assistance from USAID will benefit the smaller farms and increase the revenue for these SMEs by 10 percent.” Another grower explained “We have learnt so many things we can do better. The training brings new management practices to us and is helping us access gains which were not possible before”.

To further strengthen the sector, USAID Pakistan Firms Project is providing assistance to these SMEs for competitive marketing and product placement, and creating linkages between SMEs from Swat and large-scale buyers and retailers. An existing peach pulping unit in Swat will also be up-graded with modern infrastructure to meet the demand of peach pulp.


http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=100449
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an interesting Op Ed by Mazur Ejaz in Friday Times:

The condition of an economy is often confused with the financial health of its government. Pakistan's economy is perceived to be in a deep hole because of its near-bankrupt fiscal conditions. Similarly, America's inability to settle on a national budget is taken to be an indicator of the collapse of the US Empire.

In some ways, the condition of the economy and the financial health of the government are separate matters. Major stock market indexes at Karachi Stock Exchange and the Wall Street are at their highest level, but both governments are facing serious financial problems. Most of the countries around the world are facing similar dichotomous situations. So how does one solve the riddle of the corporate sector making record profits while governments around the world are in serious financial jeopardy?

The phenomenon needs to be analyzed at grass-roots level. A shopkeeper from my village comes to mind. He told me that he sells PTCL internet cards grossing about Rs 9,000 every day. There are several other such shops in the village. That means that just in one village, the total sale of PTCL internet cards is up to 50,000 rupees. This consumer item was not present five years ago, which means hundreds of computers have been bought in the village recently. Furthermore, if such luxury products are making such huge profits for village shops, traders throughout the country must be making much larger profits selling essentials every day. One of the indicators of booming business in our village is that the United Bank branch in the village is doing very well, according to its manager.

There are thousands of such villages in the country, and that gives one an idea of the mammoth growth of rural markets. Such an undocumented economy is not even factored in estimating the economic growth of the country. From these supposedly marginal markets, one can extrapolate the profits of the corporate sector in towns and cities.

It may be astounding for some that Pakistan's banking sector is considered fourth in profitability in the entire world. Producers of other major industrial and agricultural products are also making huge profits. Cement, fertilizer, automobile, construction and telecommunication industries are doing extremely well. Other than the textile industry, which has been hit by power shortages, there is hardly any manufacturer or importer/exporter of any kind of goods who is not making money. The stock markets look at the profits of these industries and price them accordingly. Therefore the claims of Pakistan's economic growth are not a fairy tale. The evidence is out there in the market.

The government is also like a large corporation whose income depends mainly on tax revenue. Most of the goods and services (such as roads, defense, education and health) provided by the government are public goods which are not priced directly. The government has to price its public goods through direct taxes on income and sales, or indirectly. Following a certain brand of capitalism, countries like Pakistan and the US are not collecting enough taxes to cover the cost of public goods. They have failed mainly in collecting direct taxes on income. While Pakistan cannot implement an appropriate tax collection mechanism because of corruption, the US has leaned towards favoring high income groups and ended up in a jam. The net result is the same: the rich are getting richer, appropriating most of the new wealth generated....


http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/tft/article.php?issue=20130322&page=9
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistanis (rank 92) are happier than people in #India (ranked 118) #SDGs #WorldHappinessReport http://toi.in/KqQ6nY39 via The Times of India

India did not make any improvement in its happiness quotient, ranking 118th out of 156 countries in a global list of the happiest nations, down one slot from last year on the index and coming behind China, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Denmark takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world, displacing Switzerland, according to The World Happiness Report 2016, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations.
The report takes into account GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make life choices as indicators of happiness.
Switzerland was ranked second on the list, followed by Iceland (3), Norway (4) and Finland (5).
India ranked 118th, down from 117th in 2015.
The report said that India was among the group of 10 countries witnessing the largest happiness declines along with Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Botswana.
Riaz Haq said…
There are six love styles: Be, Do, Encourage, Give, Talk and Touch

http://www.tfifamilyservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/January-2013-training-insert.pdf

The five main ways people can give/receive affection are:
Quality Time – where you give each other 'undivided attention’ to talk, listen, eat together or enjoy a shared activity. With a young family you may have to grab small amounts of time together while you can, or you may prefer to schedule uninterrupted time when the kids are asleep.
Words of Affirmation – these are kind, affectionate, appreciative statements that recognize what your loved one means to you. Phrases that respect and encourage each other are also important. As is actively listening to what your partner has to say. You could do this verbally, and/or via email, text, letter, Facebook, or through sharing music, poems or phrases that reflect your feelings. Meg Barker expands on this in her blog post about different ways we can communicate.
Acts of Service – this sounds very formal but simply means doing kind things for each other. Like taking on tasks a partner may not want to do or sharing household chores. It also involves showing you care - for example through preparing meals, paying the bills, and doing the laundry. This category is often the easiest one to miss as it is already part of our daily routine. Highlighting it is as a means of showing affection – and having that recognized and appreciated by a partner can make a big difference to you both feeling cared for.
Gifts – this might be an expensive present or something you have made. The idea here is to show someone you were thinking of them, you recognise what they do for you and you’ve paid attention to their likes and chosen something appropriate for them.
Physical Touch – could be shown in the form of hugs and cuddles; sitting close on the sofa or lying together in bed. Other touch people enjoy includes hair brushing, holding hands, massage (a hand, foot or head massage can work if you’re time-poor). This may or may not be sexual. You might find that time for pleasure has disappeared and finding opportunities to kiss, touch and reconnect physically may lead to you feeling more like sexual intimacy, or just enjoy nurturing touch without it leading to sex.
It may feel strange to sit back and deliberately choose how you want to have affection shared with you and to ask this of your partner. Talking about this might reveal things you didn’t know about each other and highlight opportunities to create consistent positive connections you’ll both enjoy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/9989306/The-five-types-of-affection-which-one-do-you-prefer.html
Riaz Haq said…
World Happiness 2017 ranks Pakistan well ahead of the rest of SAARC nations. Nepal's at 99, Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 110, Sri Lanka at 120, India at 122 and Afghanistan at 141 among 155 nations surveyed.


http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/norway-named-happiest-country-in-the-world-india-among-the-saddest/story-zxfv1HSduc5skZRV8saH1H.html


Norway moved from No. 4 to the top spot in the report’s rankings, which combine economic, health and polling data compiled by economists that are averaged over three years from 2014 to 2016. Norway edged past previous champ Denmark, which fell to second. Iceland, Switzerland and Finland round out the top 5.

Studying happiness may seem frivolous, but serious academics have long been calling for more testing about people’s emotional well-being, especially in the United States. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report recommending that federal statistics and surveys, which normally deal with income, spending, health and housing, include a few extra questions on happiness because it would lead to better policy that affects people’s lives.

The entire top ten were wealthier developed nations. Yet money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness, the report said.

In fact, among the wealthier countries the differences in happiness levels had a lot to do with “differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships: the biggest single source of misery is mental illness,” the report said.

“Income differences matter more in poorer countries, but even their mental illness is a major source of misery,” it added.

Another major country, China, has made major economic strides in recent years. But its people are not happier than 25 years ago, it found.

The United States meanwhile slipped to the number 14 spot due to less social support and greater corruption; those very factors play into why Nordic countries fare better on this scale of smiles.

“What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good,” said Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, who wasn’t part of the global scientific study that came out with the rankings.

The rankings are based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. In those surveys, people give scores from 1 to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.


http://worldhappiness.report/


https://s3.amazonaws.com/sdsn-whr2017/HR17_3-20-17.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
The significant variables associated with happiness were female gender, being age 20–29 years or 60–69 years, married, high income and education, students/retired/homemaker, religious belief, good health, and higher individual and aggregate social trust. Individual health, social trust, and aggregate social trust were all independently associated with people’s happiness. People were more likely to be happy if they lived in countries with higher aggregate social trust than countries with poor social trust.
Do you want to read the rest of this chapter?Request full-text


Individual and Country-Level Effects of Social Trust on Happiness: The Asia Barometer Survey. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315065810_Individual_and_Country-Level_Effects_of_Social_Trust_on_Happiness_The_Asia_Barometer_Survey [accessed Apr 24, 2017].


Chinese, Swedes Most Trusting

Among the 47 countries included in the 2007 poll, China had the highest level of social trust: Almost eight-in-ten Chinese (79%) agreed with the statement “Most people in this society are trustworthy.” Although no other Asian nation matches China’s score, levels of trust are relatively high in the region, with majorities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and India saying most people in their respective countries can be trusted.

Swedes (78%) came in a very close second to the Chinese on the social trust scale. The results from elsewhere in Western Europe indicated something of a north-south divide — while most Swedes, Brits, and Germans said people in their countries are generally trustworthy, fewer than half in France, Spain, and Italy agreed. Meanwhile, Eastern Europeans tend to resemble their more southern neighbors on this issue. At 50%, Russians exhibited the highest level of trust among the Eastern European countries included in the study.

Trust also tends to run low in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, although in all three regions substantial variation is seen. For instance, while nearly six-in-ten Egyptians (58%) believed most people can be trusted, only 27% of Kuwaitis took this position. Similarly, in Latin America levels of trust ran from 51% in Venezuela down to 28% in Peru. Among African nations, Malians were roughly split between those who agree (49%) that most of their fellow citizens are trustworthy and those who disagree (51%), while Kenyans, with 25% agreeing and 75% disagreeing, were much more pessimistic in this poll, which was conducted several months before the outbreak of violence that followed last December’s contested presidential election.

Since Harvard’s Robert Putnam advanced his “bowling alone” thesis in the mid-1990s, numerous researchers have found evidence suggesting that America’s social capital has declined over the last half century.3 However, as the Pew survey demonstrates, when it comes to social trust (one indicator of social capital), Americans still compare quite favorably with other publics — 58% believe others in this society can be trusted. Only the Chinese, Swedish, Canadian, and British publics express greater levels of social trust.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2008/04/15/where-trust-is-high-crime-and-corruption-are-low/

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