Agriculture sector consider as backbone of Pakistan’s economy employing 44.7% of the work force. Nature has blessed Pakistan with an ideal climate for growing a large variety of vegetables and fruits .The production of fruits and vegetables in Pakistan has often not been accompanied by appropriate post-harvest management and processing for value added product Poor post harvest handling causes huge loses to growers .According to Agriculture department 30% of vegetables/fruits are wasted due to negligence and lack of processing facilities
Based on consultation / feedback of stakeholders in general and mango growers in particular SMEDA took initiative and planned to develop a common facility centre in collaboration with Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC), Mango growers Association (MGA) and Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Multan (MCCI) so that stakeholders may get benefit of value addition and contribute to national economy by earning better returns on indigenous agro produce. The concept developed by the SMEDA comes into existence as Common Facility Centre named “Agro Food Processing Facilities (AFP) Multan” for the processing of different fruits/vegetables produce Pulp/Puree and also provide Grading facility of Citrus for the local growers, farmers, processors and allied businessmen.
Agro Food Processing (AFP) Facilities Multan was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 25, 2009 and is operational since then.
Currently, AFP Project has been incorporated with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) under section 42 of the Companies Act 1984 as Public Company, Limited by Guarantee on July 09, 2012 in name of “Agro Food Processing (AFP) Facilities Multan”.
Agro Food Processing (AFP) Facilities Multan is a non-profit organization aimed at providing processing facilities for domestic fruits/vegetables and guidance on latest processing techniques being used in developed countries.
Agro Food Processing Facilities believes in empowering farmers by providing technical assistance from research institutes in the food industry to support the farmers in achieving better quality and higher yields by developing the gardening and harvesting techniques. Further to educating farmers with latest horticultural techniques, AFP is encouraging farmers to mobilize the fruits directly to the factory, thereby minimizing the fruit handling damages and high value realizations.
Agro Food Processing (AFP) Facilities gives exposure to stakeholders about latest fruit and vegetables processing techniques. It would provide the processing facilities for pulp extraction on state-of-the-art imported plant for various fruits like Mango, Guava, Apple etc and processing facilities on nominal charges. The produce of AFP would further be utilized by manufactures of fruit/vegetable juices, jams, squashes, ice-cream etc.
The founding philosophy of AFP Company is to focus on delivering the best services to the growers, processors and customers. With a team dedicated to meeting clients’ needs and a focus on the best quality natural resources, AFP strive to achieve and maintain international standards. Today, it recognized as a leading Processing Facility in Pakistan.
AFP has become an approved processing unit for multinational companies Like Nestle, Pepsi cola International and Engro Foods etc that shows the market driven approach and success of the Company. Being the pioneering project, AFP has set an example of value addition and progress for the SMEs in the Southern Punjab Region. Following the trend set by AFP, two other food-processing plants have been established by the private sector entrepreneurs in Multan. AFP also creates direct and indirect employment opportunities for approximately 400 persons during each season. Above all, AFP has introduced a progressive culture within the regional SMEs of value addition and quality improvement; and has provided a growth platform for the region’s SMEs.
Supplier Quality Audit (SQA) of AFP was conducted by Pepsi Cola International, Nestle Pakistan and Coca Cola. The supplier reviewed Food Quality & Safety System and approved AFP as Approved Pulp Supply Unit for their plants.
The AFP Company has been certified for Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Organic Production. The Company has undergone surveillance audits of above certificates successfully.
The mango pulp sample got tested from Eurofins Laboratories, France. The test results revealed that Mango Pulp produced at AFP is in accordance with the European (AIJN) standards.