The Government of Pakistan is strategically focusing at forging a broad–based alliance with the private sector as an instrument for poverty alleviation. And promotion of export constitutes the integral part of this strategy. Export success and the ability to access market place in a vibrant global economy take more than just planning. A holistic approach is required to analyze the sector performance thread bear.
Opportunities in export capable sector need a careful evaluation and subsequently assistance from international donor agencies could be rightly fitted in so as to meet the challenges of that sector. Fisheries is one of those potential sectors which has been a source of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan in the past. Its performance, however has been overshadowed by ‘so called’ self imposed ban to EU markets by the government of Pakistan. The reason being non compliance of hygiene, sanitation and phytosanitaion standards required by the consumers in Europe. It was under these conditions that UNIDO stepped in through Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) interventions which were aimed at re-listing of processing plants for resumption of export of fisheries products to EU. Compliance in Fisheries sector and in doing so the institutional capacity of Marine Fisheries Department MFD) was enhanced for resource management, inspection and certification of exports for compliance with international requirements.
MFD acts as the EU designated Competent Authority (CA) in Pakistan. Private sector also enjoyed share from this program, particularly the fish processing industry. The UNIDO’s support, under TRTA I , to fisheries program of Pakistan included:
- A comprehensive Inspection Manual in accordance with international practice for purposes and use of MFD as CA and upgrading and accreditation of their microbiology and chemical testing laboratories by providing technical advisory services and provision of equipment, training and participation in PT schemes.
- Training in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Traceability methods to staff of MFD, KFHA, FCS and fish processing plants
- Training of fishermen, boat owners, mole holders and auction hall operators in SOPs (Urdu) and good operational management practices along the entire fisheries chain.
- Technical advice for improvement of fishing boats and landing sites as well as technical advice and designs for up-gradation of auction halls, K-1 and K-2, operating under Karachi Fisheries Harbor Authority (KFHA)/ Fishermen’s Cooperative Society (FCS).
- Expert guidance in application of SOPs and Traceability methods along the fisheries supply chain to ensure good hygiene practices in handling of fisheries products and traceability from fishing at sea to processing for export as well as expert guidance in development of HACCP Plans for fish processing plants and application of HACCP practices by processors. Studies on value chain analysis and SPS mapping in the fisheries sector were also undertaken.
- Provision of hand-held PC compatible traceability instruments to fish processing plants to record traceability of fisheries products processed for export.
After successful completion of TRTA program, the UNIDO has embarked upon TRTA II program aiming at a more focused approach towards addressing stakeholders need based interventions which are envisaged to have a long lasting impact on building capacity to further realize the export potential in various sector particularly fisheries sector of Pakistan .