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Monday, December 17, 2007


We sit again around an enormous table with the Minister (Interim) for Finance Dr. Salman Shah (first on the left). This was a meeting relating to the financing of horticulture as part of the on-going Task Force for which CSF (via Geoff JQB) is providing the secretariat. On the right is Amir Jahangir our senior media consultant and GJQB writing the minutes. The meeting successfully promulgated Guidelines for investing in the industry prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan and approved by the Minister at this meeting.

Monday, November 26, 2007


This $400,000 project in the Ghizer district of the Northern Area of Pakistan in the foothills of the Himalayas gathers medicinal berries and extracts “neutraceuticals” from the seeds to tackle prostate and breast cancer, it also makes skin ointments from the fruit pulp. The project innovates by extracting oil by using state-of-the-art super critical carbon dioxide fluid extraction. The technology is also used to extract oil from other fruits such as apricots and grapes.

The work is financed via private sector investors and the Competitiveness Support Fund (see post below - FoodWorks provides technical and economic advisory services to CSF). The project addresses poverty by putting value to otherwise non-commercial wild plants of the Sea Buckthorn (for more details of the health aspects of this important medicinal plant check our partner blog The project targets around 1,200 households by reinvesting profits back into the community for better growing and harvesting practices. Over 70% of the beneficiaries are women.

The main partner, Rural Development Initiative (RDI), is a Pakistani NGO which aims at generating employment opportunities by utilizing local natural resources. RDI has established a fruit processing and pulping unit in Ghakuch, Ghizer NA (see photo). The Sea Buckthorn pulp and seeds are transported to Lahore for final extraction. Products such as neutraceutical organic juices and medicine capsules will be marketed not only in Pakistan but exported to Japan, Europe and North America.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


This is the launch of Quartermaines's World! I have developed three blogs, Q's World is my personal blog open to close friends and relatives only, FoodWorks is,of course, my company blog describing my work in agribusiness and food, Boom Generation Fitness ( is about health and fitness (mind and body) for the Baby Boom Generation - those over 50. All of this is driven thru the domain via Google Apps and my principal email addresses are now: (personal), (business) and (pleasure). Please enjoy the blogs and comments are always welcome.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The Pakistan Horticulture and Export Development Board is the leading organisation in this country for promoting an industry that contributes 12% to agricultural GDP and for which there is enormous potential. Pakistan grows the full range of horticultural crops from tropical bananas in coastal Sindh, through mango and citrus in Punjab, apples and grapes in Balochistan to apricots, peaches and unique medicinal plants such as Sea Buckthorn in the Himalayan foothills. Floriculture is another sub-sector that offers huge opportunities for investment. FoodWorks (via the Competitive Support Fund) is working with PHDEB and an inter-ministerial Task Force to formulate initiatives covering all aspects of the industry. However the focus is on improving quality especially via infrastructure. A multi-million dollar project financed by the World Bank entitled the "Northern Trade Corridor" includes provision for building packhouses, cool storage facilities and a pool of reefer containers. For more information check out the PHDEB website at or contact the CEO Mr. Shamoon Sadiq on

Thursday, August 23, 2007


FoodWorks has worked with the Competitiveness Support Fund in Pakistan to establish a Task Force on Horticulture Finance and Competitiveness. Meetings have been held covering finance, infrastructure (especially transport, logistics and aspects such as cool chains), production/processing/marketing and quality control and standards. The first phase of this work will be completed in September 2007 with related work being carried forwards by various line ministries and private sector partners. The goal of the Task Force is to significantly increase the volume and quality of exports of major crops such as mango, kinnow, peaches, apples. For more information on what CSF and FoodWorks are doing in horticulture please check the CSF website on


Geoff Quartermaine Bastin is acting as the Senior Advisor to the Competitiveness Support Fund based in Islamabad, Pakistan. CSF is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance and USAID with an initial financing package of US$20 million. The Fund is managed by its CEO Arthur Bayhan and has two main operational windows: technical assistance (consisting of policy advice and sector or industry assistance) and a matching grants facility where the Fund works with small enterprises on the basis of establishing links between industry, academia and government in a public-private partnership approach. Work is also starting in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the trouble-torn north-west of Pakistan in a campaign to win hearts and minds via the development of small industry in sectors like livestock and horticulture. For more information on CSF, take a look at the website

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Inspecting fish quality as part of the preparation work for the Fish Action Plan for the Pakistan Ministry of Finance (Competitiveness Support Fund). The work has targeted Karachi Fish Harbour as a critical point for intervention by the government. The Harbour exports $160 million of fish and seafood to various parts of the world, 40% to the EU. It is well below acceptable standards and the AP being prepared will recommend changes in management and upgrading of infrastructure to conform to HACCP standards.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Not really!! Geoff Bastin is in the Uruk Valley near Quetta in Balochistan, taking time out from a field survey of almond producing areas. Apples, onions, dates are the other major crops. People husband sheep and grow wheat and fodder crops. In this area water is not a problem unlike most of Balochistan that has suffered a six year drought. FoodWorks is undertaking a food industry study for the Competitiveness Support Fund, a subsidiary of the Pakistan Federal Ministry of Finance and supported by USAID. Geoff is Food and Fisheries Advisor to CSF. The FW team consists of Geoff, Robert Lindley (fisheries) and Elena Timchenko who provides project support.