ISLAMABAD: The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) has planned to set up a food processing centre in Multan.
It will provide facilities for storage and processing and integrate functions like procurement, processing and marketing for exports and domestic markets, says a press release issued by the CSF. In this regard, the CSF said it has formed a company which will operate on public-private partnership basis and strive for making profits. The company has an independent board of directors comprising leaders from the agribusiness sector. The company has been set up with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Punjab Agri Marketing Company (Pamco) will enter into the partnership as a shareholder through a contribution of land. The CSF said it is looking for a private sector firm, consortium or individual to join the project as a strategic equity investor with management control of development operations. In this connection, the CSF has issued a tender inviting expressions of interest from interested parties by May 18. The company will procure farm produce like mangoes, oranges, guava, tomatoes, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables from growers and will operate as a high volume packaging house to sort, wash, wax, pack and store the produce.
“Once the facility is up, it will have the capacity to process 10 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables per hour and will have a self-contained processing line starting from grading and ending with cold storage,” CSF Chief Executive Officer Arthur Bayhan said. Common facilities will be provided on-site for lease to third party firms for other value added processing such as dehydrating, pickling, jamming and freezing to target export markets and generate jobs, he said. The Multan project is expected to usher in a new phase of development in the agriculture industry.