Nishat Group expands into corporate farming, local manufacturing

Although farm mechanization offers significant benefits, it requires substantial capital expenditure to implement

Nishat Group, one of Pakistan’s largest business conglomerates, is increasingly focusing on the agricultural sector, aiming to revolutionize farming practices through precision technologies and local manufacturing initiatives.

Over a decade ago, Nishat Group embarked on its agricultural journey by establishing a modern dairy farm near Sukheki. Now, the conglomerate plans to venture into manufacturing “precision” farm machinery within the country.

Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman of Nishat Group, expressed optimism about Pakistan’s agricultural sector, highlighting significant business opportunities in key commodities such as wheat, rice, cotton, meat, and milk.

“Our investment in agriculture is driven by the immense potential for sustainable growth and export opportunities,” Mansha stated in an interview.

Nishat Agriculture Farms Limited (NAFL), a subsidiary, has made substantial investments in agriculture since its inception in 2013. The company currently manages five farms spanning 1,500 acres, including a state-of-the-art dairy farm producing packaged milk in collaboration with a Turkish partner.

“When Nishat Agriculture acquired the land, it was water-logged and barren. Through continuous investments in mechanization since 2017, from seed planting to irrigation and harvesting, we have transformed the land into one of the most fertile in the region,” Mansha noted.

The adoption of modern farming practices not only enhanced productivity but also benefited local farmers in Thatha Raika village, who recovered thousands of acres of previously water-logged land.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s agricultural challenges including water scarcity and low productivity, Mansha emphasized the need for mechanization to optimize resource use and reduce costs.

Nishat Agriculture has introduced advanced technologies such as pivot irrigation systems, significantly cutting water consumption compared to conventional methods and improving crop yields. The company also plans to manufacture agricultural equipment locally, starting with Japanese technology like the Yanmar rice transplanter, aimed at reducing labor costs and enhancing efficiency.

“Agriculture is crucial to Pakistan’s economy, employing a significant portion of the workforce and contributing substantially to exports. To unlock its full potential, we must invest in research, technology, and infrastructure,” Mansha highlighted.

With corporate involvement poised to play a pivotal role in transforming Pakistan’s agricultural landscape, experts underscore the need for policy reforms and substantial investments to realize sustainable growth and rural development.

Nishat Group’s strategic focus on precision farming and local manufacturing signals a transformative step towards enhancing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security amidst evolving climate challenges and economic dynamics.

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