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The growing interest in corporate farming.

Corporate farming has gained attraction in the wake of the Kissan package for the agriculture sector in the last budget, as a growing number of companies are enrolling themselves with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. The rationale behind corporate farming is to provide the sector with capital, technology and improved management.

As many as 185 such companies have been incorporated from Sept 15, 2015 to Sept 27, 2016. Most of them are in seed, fish farming, poultry, livestock and feed businesses. It raises hope for an injection of fresh investment.

The highest number of corporate farming companies 116 has been enrolled in Punjab, followed by 43 in Sindh, 16 in Islamabad and 10 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; but no company has been registered in Balochistan in the last year.

A senior SECP official, however, said it will be difficult to assess the volume of investment in farming just from increasing registrations. Even so, 70 companies the largest number are registered in the seed business followed by over 20 in the livestock and dairy sectors respectively.

In the last budget, the government announced a string of concessions in customs duties and other taxes for dairy, livestock and poultry sectors. The rate of duty was reduced to 2% from 5% on import of machinery for these sectors.

Similarly, incentives were announced for the promotion of fish farming and duty was exempted on certain feeds. The customs duty on cold chain storage and capital spending in this segment was also removed.

A tax official said the tax concessions are increasing investment in farming. Few years ago, the government allowed people to invest their undeclared money in livestock as part of an amnesty scheme.

A policy for corporate farming was evolved in 2000, and enforced through an ordinance but it remained dormant as no concession was offered to prospective investors.

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Publication:Pakistan Food Journal
Date:Oct 31, 2016
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