National Foods aims to reduce Pakistan’s Dependency on Imported Raw Materials

Karachi: National Foods Limited (NFL) has embarked on a remarkable journey of import substitution through the project Seed To Table. By means of formal partnerships with progressive farm-managing companies, National Foods Limited aims to empower local farmers and fortify Pakistan’s agri value chain.

NFL, fueled by the vision of reshaping Pakistan’s agricultural landscape, launched the ‘Seed to Table’ project in August 2023 with a vision to reduce the country’s dependency on imported raw materials, particularly the annual import of tomato paste amounting to USD 10 million. Through the dedicated efforts of all stakeholders in the project including farmers, tomato seeds were cultivated in September 2023 over 500 acres in different parts of Sindh. The harvests started in February this year, yielding around 8,000 tons of premium-quality tomatoes so far.

“The revolutionary ‘Seed To Table’ project has already saved USD 2mn with a realized localization potential of around USD 10mn. It presents us with opportunity to export in a USD 10bn+ market,” This was stated by Abrar Hasan, Global CEO of National Foods Limited (NFL) while addressing the Pakistan Agriculture Connection Expo & Conference 2024 here in Lahore.

The project aims to empower local farmers ensuring their continued growth and prosperity through formal partnerships with progressive farm-managing companies including Syngenta, Ibtida Ventures, Vital Green, Indus Acres, Kevlaar, Al-Rahim Agri Processing, Farmdar, Farmevo, and Salaam Takaful.
“Even in its early stage, the ‘Seed to Table‘ project has exceeded our expectations and we are incredibly proud of the results,” said Abrar Hasan, adding that NFL aims to double the acreage next year and will continue to expand further. “By taking control of the entire supply chain, we’ve ensured a consistent supply of high-quality fresh tomatoes directly to NFL’s production facilities. We are dedicated to building upon the success of the ‘Seed to Table’ project by replicating this model with other key ingredients like red chilies, further strengthening domestic agriculture, and reducing reliance on imports,” he added.

It is worth mentioning here that the country produces approximately 144,000 tons of red chilies annually. In contrast, over 20,000 tons of red chili have to be imported per year to meet specific industry requirements. Similar to the tomato yield project, NFL has already forged partnerships with esteemed entities for red chili cultivation.
It is important to mention that National Foods has been an integral player in the food sector for over five decades, offering a comprehensive portfolio of 250 products over 12 key categories, in Pakistan and 40 countries across five continents.

Saleem Mahmood
Chief Executive

Saleem Mahmood, founder and CEO of “The Passage,” has a passion for strategic PR and communications. His journey began as a public relations officer at Pakistan International Airlines, leading him to establish The Passage in 2000. Under his leadership, the company has executed thriving PR campaigns and set industry standards. Mr. Mahmood holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Karachi University.