Pakistan is the largest country where wheat is the staple food of nearly entire population. Wheat Flour Mills of Pakistan have raised to the challenge of grinding up to half of 24 to 25 million tonnes of wheat harvested in the Pakistan every year. The Pakistani Flour Milling Industry provide not only for Pakistan’s 180 million mouths, but also produce up to 700,000 tonnes of flour for export to Afghanistan in some years.
The Flour Milling Industry was just by the name at the time of Pakistan born in 1947 but it was the necessity of the people just like in today’s life. At present over 1400 flour mills are operating in Pakistan process almost exclusively domestic wheat. Few flour mills are equipped with imported milling equipment as low cast local manufactured plants are available. There is no foreign direct investment in Pakistan’s milling sector.
The first Flour Mills was built in Pakistan in 1950s relied on equipment imported from Europe. Most of the mills built since the 1980s, used equipment referred to as “Russian Mills” through it was 100 percent produced in Pakistan. At present, larger Flour Millers in some big cities like Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi have begun to replace the decade’s old technology with the latest equipment from abroad.
The largest concentration of Flour Mills is in the Punjab Province, which accounts for 66.78 percent of the total Flour Milling Industry in Pakistan. Though there is only 38 percent capacity utilization industry wide, new flour mills continue to build, keeping profit margins razor thin.
Milling practices across the Pakistan depending on type and quality of wheat flour demanded in the local market. In Punjab province, the Flour Mills extract between 12 percent and 18 percent bran for chapaties made in tandoor or on griddles. In urban area, extractions are higher, converting 55 percent to 60 percent wheat grain to wheat flour for baking flat bread or Nan. The reminder is divided between fine flour (Maida) demanded by industrial backers and semolina (Suji) for confectionary products. The Flour Milling Industry in Pakistan is far behind in number of fields some of them are below.
About 90 percent of flour mills are behind in this field. Most of the millers make their calculation on the basis of their experiences that is an old method. If their calculation becomes wrong, the millers don’t have any other option.
The lack of analysis facilities of wheat and its products is the major drawback of Flour Milling Industry of Pakistan. This is also a reason of less export ratio in our country. Some bigger flour millers have realized the need and have begun installation of analysis equipment’s, but they are few till now.
Skilled and Semi-Skilled Personals
Wheat flour Milling Industry of Pakistan is among the largest industries of Pakistan. There is no training institution or Miller’s Training School in Pakistan for the training of milling personals. That is the major reason of lake of skilled personals of milling industry. That is also a hurdle in industrial automation of wheat flour milling industry in Pakistan.