Kohat District

Trend Analysis




Area SqKms






Total Housing Units



Housing Units having Electricity



Housing Units Having Piped Water



Housing Unit using Gas for cooking



Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics


Kohat has a total area of 2545 sq. kms. with a population size of 993,874. Kohat District is a reasonably advanced district of KP with well-developed Mining, Hydrocarbon extraction, Agriculture and Horticulture sectors. Though all these sectors have potential to carry the district forward, Mining (Gypsum and Limestone mining and Rock Salt) and Hydrocarbon extraction (oil, gas and coal) are key sectors to focus here, since reserves of are estimated to be in really high numbers. Besides these, Manufacturing sector (cement, textiles, arms and ammunition), Handicraft sector and Forestry (Carbon Credit) also carry minor growth potential. 


 1. Mining Sector


Kohat district holds immense reserves of industrial rocks (limestone and gypsum). There is already a cement factory working in the area with a potential to install more factories in the district, given the amount of expected limestone reserves of 780 million tons and regional demand. Certainly with such potential Kohat can serve as the “Cement Hub” of South Asia in the future.



  1. Immense reserves of industrial rocks.
  2. Plenty of space to add few more factories in the district.


In order to overcome the above mentioned challenges faced by the industry, and make it more competitive for global market, following policy recommendations can be adopted:

  1. Establish a ’Mineral City’, preferable in Kohat Economic Zone and ensure provision of:
    • Plots at reasonable prices and basic utilities, i.e. electricity, gas, insurance, security etc. for potential investors in construction sectors.
    • A small scale power generation unit, (solar or coal based), for supplying uninterrupted electricity to the industrial units.
    • A research institute for mineral extraction and processing.
    • Technical Training Center.
    • Representative offices of KP Mineral Development Department.
    • Freight Handling & Customs Centre
  2. A small electricity generation unit based on coal can also be setup in the area with Chinese help.
  3. The office of KP Mineral Development Department should offer regular assistance to industry in general on modern mining techniques, equipment handling and environmental safety.
  4. KP Mineral Development Department needs to prepare an Investor’s Brief that clearly quantify / identify the potential of mining minerals in the area, and state the current level of investigation for the total amount of minerals available.
  5. To increase accessibility of local mine and industry owners to finance, KP Government can use following options:
    • Establish a ‘Mineral Development Bank’ for financial and technical support of mining industry.
    • Encourage all state owned and private banks to offer Islamic banking to the local businesses offering loans on easy terms.


 2. Hydrocarbons


The district of Kohat is estimated to have huge reserves of hydrocarbons including oil, gas and coal. There are already operational gas fields and oil fields in the area, with exploration and feasibility for more such fields being are carried out. There are 24 Oil and Gas seepages reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the following are reported in Kohat district:

  1. Jainu Malgin (Oil)
  2. Panoba (Oil)
  3. Chorlakki (Oil)
  4. Khushal Ghar (Oil)
  5. Qamar Dhok (Oil)

Plans have also being developed to establish an oil refinery in the region (Khushal Ghar). Pakistan along with China looking for double digit growth in the next fifteen years, these hydrocarbon reserves from Kohat can certainly play their role in driving the regional economy.



  1. Reservoirs of Hydrocarbons presenting potential for further exploration and joint ventures.


For development of this sector KP government can take the following route:

  1. The government of the KP along with geological survey of Pakistan and Geological department of University of Peshawar should conduct an intensive survey of the area and jot down the exact estimates of hydrocarbons in the region.
    • Technical Assistance could be sought from reputable Geological Survey Companies and KPOGDCL.
    • Financial assistance could be sought from Financial Institutions.
  2. Investor brief should be prepared after the survey and hydrocarbon hotspots should be identified properly for the investors.
  3. Proper security arrangements be provided to foreign investors willing to drill in the area along with options for insurance.
  4. A special investment insurance program for Energy Sector can be launched for Investors, to woo foreign investors into bringing in their capital.

 3. Horticulture


In the horticulture sector, the fruit products of Kohat are famous all over Pakistan. In particular, guava and citrus fruit are found to be of exceptional quality and taste. In addition honey production via bee farming is also very common in the district. The annual output of horticulture sector of Kohat is relatively higher than many other districts of the province. In conclusion, it is fair to say that Kohat has a high development potential in this sector, and appropriate attention should be diverted towards this course.



  1. Honey production via beef farming.
  2. Relatively production of quality guava fruit than other areas.


To fully utilize the potential of this sector, following steps can be taken by KP Agriculture Department:

  1. Assisting the local bee farmers in restoring and expanding their farms in cooperation with USAID and Botany Department of University of Peshawar.
  2. Regular workshops and seminars should be conducted to educate farmers on modern farming techniques. In this regard, assistance from USAID could also be sought;
  3. Food companies, specialized in making fruit based products –– juices, marmalades jams, yoghurts, creams etc. –– can be invited to setup their processing plants in the area. For instance, Mitchells’, Shehzan.
  4. Assisting the local bee keepers and fruit farmers in restoring and expanding their farms in cooperation with USAID and Botany Department of University of Peshawar.
  5. Invite local and foreign companies which deal in production and sale of honey, to lease or buy local farms. Their production units can be setup in Kohat Economic Zone;
  6. Secretariat of Commerce can facilitate the guava farmers in establishing new linkages with foreign buyers, in Middle East, Central Asia, China and Eastern Europe –– since these regions would now be more easily connected to Kohat via CPEC and corresponding OBOR trade network.
  7. ‘Private regulated markets’ can be introduced in the region, which not only can increase the productivity of horticulture but would also benefit both consumers and sellers. For this, these steps are needed to be taken:
    • Streamline the management structure.
    • Educate the farmers and distributors about the value of hygiene and value addition, and ensure they provide quality products.
    • Promote gradual institutional development.
    • Investments to improve common infrastructure and facilities should be a continual process.
    • Improved packaging facilities and warehouses.


 4. Agriculture


Like the sector of horticulture, Koat District also carries a significant comparative advantage in production of cereal crops (wheat, maze, barley etc.). In fact, the agricultural production of Kohat is among the highest in the entire province, largely thanks to irrigation system and fertility of the land.Though the agriculture sector is fairly developed there is still an opportunity to improve and make it an able sector that can compete with global markets.



  1. Comparative advantage in production of maize, wheat and Rabbi season fruits (source: Crop Statistics of Agriculture Department GoKP 2015-16 report).
  2. Agriculture production is among the highest in the entire province.
  3. Strong irrigation system and land is fertile.


The Government of KP can act upon following recommendations to increase the efficiency of this sector:

  1. Given low education level of local farming community and their subsistence farming approach, it is advised that:
    • Agriculture department of KP, in collaboration with Agriculture University of KP, should apprise local farming community of productivity levels of different crops in their area.
    • Farmers should be encouraged by the government to plant crops in which their given area holds comparative advantage. In this regard, a certain amount of financial cushion should be provided to farmer to help them in the transition phase –– in cases where farmers are not used to or not familiar with a high yielding agricultural product.
    • Regular workshops and seminars should be conducted to educate farmers on modern farming techniques. In this regard, assistance from USAID could also be sought.
    • Ministry of Commerce should help provide the local farmers to have access of their products to the neighboring countries, i.e. Afghanistan, China and Central Asian States. As area is close to the newly developed CPEC road infrastructure, it would be a very feasible initiative.
  2. To make credit easily accessible to local farmers following actions can be taken;
    • Encourage financial institutions to offer credits to the farmers. Khyber Bank and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL) can play important role.
    • Educate the farmers how easy credit schemes could help them in getting accessories and expanding their output.
  3. With the consent and consultation of stakeholders, China could be offered to buy some of the land for farming, given the expected shortage it would face in future for cereal products. It has already bought some land in Africa and Russia for this purpose. Given the proximity of Kohat with CPEC route, it would be much feasible for China to invest here.


 5. Manufacturing Sector


Kohat host an industrial setup that manufactures cement, textiles, arms and ammunition. Among these, cement, fertilizers and sporting arms products are exported worldwide. With the normalization of security situation in the province and advent of CPEC, it is high time that the industrial setup of Kohat is given a boost by wooing local and foreign investors to move in and setup new industrial units, especially focusing on sophisticated technology (automobile, agriculture support equipment, LPG cylinders etc.)



  1. Manufactures cement, textiles, arms and ammunition.


Government of KP can take following route to make Kohat a major Industrial and Manufacturing Hub of the province:

  1. In Kohat Economic Zone, ensure that;
    • Investors willing to setup industrial units for sophisticated new technology be given special concessions.
    • Uninterrupted supply of discounted electricity from special power generation plant (solar or coal) designed for the zone.
    • Uninterrupted supply of gas.
    • Water treatment facility.
    • A impregnable security system.
    • Modern residence colony for workers equipped with modern educational, health and shopping facilities.
  2. Foreign investors in the fields of arms and ammunition should be invited to open their units here, since the region (Dara Adamkhel in particular) has comparative advantage of making such goods for centuries.
  3. Especial focus can be laid on setting auto assembly plants of foreign automobile manufacturers, given the monopoly of Japanese in the country. In this regard, GM, Audi, VW, Skoda can be approached.
  4. Provide special insurance bonds to foreign companies so that their security and damages fears could be removed.
  5. In cooperation with Pakistan Railways, the rail connections between Kohat and other Industrial cities of Pakistan (Peshawar, Taxila, Faislabad, Lahore etc.) could be strengthened through fast trains. This would allow quick transportation of raw materials and industrial products.


 6. Forestry


Kohat District has a considerable forest cover, which extends over an area of 699,258.25 hectares and covers Kohat, Hangu and Karak districts as per Billion Tree Afforestation Project the entire area falls under sub-tropical zone.

There are also some small scale industrial units in the area which make some good quality furniture. Plus, there is opportunity to earn some “carbon credits’ with the available forest, as developed countries have well exceeded their quota of carbon emission and hence can buy it from Pakistan.



  1. Considerable forest cover – 4539 hectares, cultivated area 72786 hectares, cropped area 37707 hectares, uncultivated area of 222345 hectares (Source: crop statistics of Agriculture department 2015-16 report).


The Government of KP can act upon following recommendations to increase the efficiency of this sector:

  1. Campaign of ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ should be implanted in letter and spirit in the area.
  2. To completely curb the timber mafia, the forest guards should be equipped be with modern facilities and their number should be increased as well.
  3. A small vocational institute in the district for training of local people in quality carpentry.
  4. The area under forest should be offered to international companies for carbon trading, through competitive bidding process;
    • The selected companies would be leased a selected portion of land under forest or land designated for plantation of forest.
    • Companies would primarily responsible for protection of the forests. They could involve local community in this regard creating job opportunities for the locals.
    • The revenue earned through carbon crediting would be shared appropriately between the companies, the Forest Department of KP and the locals resulting in revenue generation for the district.
  5. For the preservation of current forest reserves in the area, the government should also collaborate with REDD+ Project in Pakistan (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), an initiative International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and WWF-Pakistan or other projects of similar nature;
    • REDD+ Project officials would develop capacity development of all stakeholders in the area.
    • They would also provide consultancy to the stakeholders and independently monitor the progress of whole process.


 7. Handicraft


Kohat District is home to some of the best handicraft work in the country. They include garments, rugs, shawls, leather slippers (Kohati Chappals), mazri products (products of dwarf palm) and some handmade furniture. Employment in this sector is dominated by women. This sector in Kohat also enjoys comparative advantage to skilled and cheap labor. If given proper attention, handicraft items of this region can bring substantial revenue for the district and the whole country; and can generate further employment opportunities.



  1. Home of best handicrafts products in the country.
  2. Female dominated industry.
  3. Cheap labor force.


In order to boost the handicraft sector of Kohat District, it is recommended that following course of action be taken by the Provincial Government:

  1. A Quality Enhancement Center (QEC) be setup in the area which enlightens the local owners about the standard quality require for export of handicraft items.
    • SMEDA and Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN) can be involved in this scheme.
    • Collaboration can also be sought with EU and USAID.
  2. Open at least one high quality Skill Enhancement Institute and Women Business Development Centers at every sub-division of Kohat for facilitation of workers and cottage owners.
  3. Encourage banks to offer credit schemes to local firm owners. Also arrange seminars on lending system of banks and how they are useful in expanding businesses across the world.
  4. Promote the handicraft products of Kohat in Pakistan and abroad through:
    • Brochures and booklets.
    • A specially designed website on handicrafts of KP. The booklets and website should carry product pictures and contact information of all cottage owners in the area.
    • Expos and short documentaries.
    • Display centers of local artisans in metropolitan cities, through involvement of AHAN.


 8. Conclusion

Kohat district is full of opportunities for the investors specially in Oil and Gas & Limestone mining sector and if these opportunities are addressed systematically while ensuring involvement of all stakeholders on a sustainable manner, the district economy can grow substantially creating further job opportunities and uplifting of living standards for the locals.