Food & Beverage

Dec 31, 2015

Potatoes For All

Although its origin is very clear, the arrival of potato to Pakistan is a little blurry. In the late 16th or early 17th century, the potato was introduced to the coastal southern Asia. Potato derives from the word "batata", which, in its origin area refers to "sweet potato", and this variety arrived earlier to Europe, from its original place, the American Andes, so it is unclear as whether the mentions of this product in the subsequent two centuries refer to potato or sweet potato.

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Despite this early history hiatus, the history of potato in Pakistan is clear in the 19th century. Under British colonial rule, cultivation of potatoes in the area of contemporary Pakistan remained very small-scale: in 1947, the year of the independence of Pakistan, there were less than three thousand hectares under potato cultivation, producing no more than thirty thousand tons. At this time, industrial infrastructure in the country was very small, but the country had a solid agricultural resource base.

In 1970, the state got more involved in the management of the economy, with price controls on producers and consumers, which led to the constraint of prices of marketed agricultural commodities. Today, agriculture is essential to the country, not only as employment of more than half of the labor force and as a source of export revenue, but also for food security. Potato cultivation has been increased very rapidly in Pakistan since independence. By the mid 1990s annual production exceeded a million tons, and by 2003, total annual production was approaching two million tons, making the potato the fastest growing staple crop in Pakistan in the past few decades.

Potato has emerged as a high production crop and the area for potato cultivation has increased from 3,000 hectares in 1947 to 154,000 hectares in 2009. Punjab province is the leading potato producer, yielding 3,340 thousand tons, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa118.2, thousand tons, Balochistan, 29.7 thousand tons and Sindh 3.9 thousand tons by 2014. Potato consumption in the country is seasonal and high during the harvest season.

Al-Rafique Enterprises

M/s. Al-Rafique Enterprises, is one of the oldest and biggest Fruit Handling Firm in Pakistan. Al-Rafique in Arabic literally means "the companion", and the company affirms itself as
"A Business Companion." M/s. Al-Rafique Enterprises started its business operations in 1937 by the hand of Mr. Fazal Muhammad. They are pioneers in handling all types of fruits and over the years have not only gained even more in experience, but also in expertise, and now are considered to be one of the biggest fruit handlers in Pakistan, with a relationship of trust, not only among the exporters from the country, but also among the importers abroad. Through high quality and expertise, they have not only made Pakistan proud, and provided more foreign exports, but have also helped introduce Pakistan's produce all over the world.

Al-Rafique enterprises takes pride in the state of the art and sophisticated fruit processing machinery in the heart of Kinoo fields. With an area of over 7,500 m2, the plant has been recognized for its efficiency with a processing capacity of 150 Metric Tons /Day. The company also has cold storage facilities in collaboration with its sister company, M/s. Madina Cold Store. These facilities have a capacity of 1,250 Metric Tons approximately, and use approved and food graded materials.

Al-Rafique Enterprises has excelled when it comes to its quality consciousness, which remains their ultimate commitment with the buyers. A trusted, diligent and innovative companion that ensures quality in every stage of each process, to deliver consistent and high grade products.

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