Population Density / SqKm
Total Housing Units
Housing Units having Electricity
Housing Units Having Piped Water
Housing Unit using Gas for cooking
Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics
District Swabi is one of the economically developed region of KP Province. The sectors on which the future development of district stands are Agriculture (cereal & cash crops), Manufacturing (potentially leather, textiles and light and heavy engineering) and Mining (limestone, marble etc.).
Additionally, the economy of this district can support a world class Knowledge City. KPOGCL has identified hydrocarbon deposit in Nowshera block which consists of Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi and Buner districts presenting joint venture opportunity for national and international firms for exploration and production.
Swabi District carries a significant comparative advantage in production of cereal & cash crops (tobacco, wheat, maize etc. annual production is around 56%, 5.4% and 7 % of the province) http://kpbos.gov.pk/PDFs_310818/indicator_18.pdf. Sugarcane is produced on 2,253 hectares with 86,783 tonnes production (Crop Statistics year 2015-16 by Agriculture Dept.). There is a scope of further development of this sector since water availability is good (Tarbela Reservoir) and soil is extremely fertile. Additionally, 61,643 hectares of fallow land can be used for cultivation if needed(Crop Statistics year 2015-16 by Agriculture Dept.). Which implies that an Agro-Based Industrial setup in the area is possible.
- High production of crops, especially tobacco which is 56% of the province.
- Water availability due to Tarbela reservoir and soil is fertile.
- Agriculture department of KP, in collaboration with Agriculture University of KP, could apprise local farming community of productivity levels of different crops in their area.
- Farmers could 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 could 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 could be conducted to educate farmers on modern farming techniques. In this regard, assistance from USAID could also be sought.
- Ministry of Commerce could 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.
- To make credit easily accessible to local farmers following actions can be taken.
- Encourage commercial banks to open Islamic branches in the area that offer credits to the farmers. Khyber Bank and ZTBL branches can also be opened in the area.
- Educate the farmers how easy credit schemes could help them in getting accessories and expanding their output.
- Increase overall production and value of horticulture crops
- Create an environment facilitating interface among the growers, traders and exporters.
- Minimize the pre and post-harvest losses through strategic planning.
- Establish gene pool in the public and private sector.
- Ensure availability of certified plant materials.
- Companies specializing in Cereal Based Products and Cereal Storage Facilities (Silos) can be invited to set up their units in either Ghazi or Gadoon Economic Zone.
- Upon consultation and consent of the concerned 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 Swabi with CPEC route, it would be much feasible for China to invest here.
2. Manufacturing Sector
Given the geographical proximity with established industrial complexes like Taxila, Wah and Kamra, along with availability of locally produced raw material; wide range of manufacturing items can be produced here such as cement, processed food, light and heavy machinery. The district also has a well-established engineering university to provide skilled labor. With CPEC getting implemented, the scope of setting up aforementioned industries is immense.
- Access to raw materials and established industrial complexes.
- Well established university to provide skilled human resource.
Government of KP can take following route to make Swabi a major Industrial and Manufacturing Hub of the province:
- In Gadoon and Ghazi Special 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 diesel based) designed for the zone.
- An impregnable security system.
- Water Treatment Plant.
- Residence colony for workers equipped with modern educational, health and shopping facilities.
- Provide special insurance bonds to foreign companies so that their security and damages fears could be removed.
- Invite renowned local and foreign brands specialized in different light and heavy manufacturing goods to reap benefits from this region.
- In cooperation with Pakistan Railways, the rail connections between Swabi and other Industrial cities of Pakistan (Sialkot, Taxila, Faisalabad, Lahore etc.) could be strengthened through fast trains. This would allow quick transportation of raw materials and industrial products.
3. Mining Sector
Swabi has reserves of different types of minerals including dimension stone (granite, marble and dolomite, limestone etc. with annual production of 3,050 tons, 97,883 tons and 96,362 tons respectively), industrial rocks (limestone, slate stone, sand stone with annual production of 94,769 tons, 4,300 tons and 2,175 tons respectively). Though these production figures are not impressive as neighboring Mardan or Buner districts; the reserves are thought to be enough to meet domestic demand for years to come. Hence there is a strong case for Mining City in the region.
- Rich reservoirs of minerals including granite, marble and dolomite.
- Abundance of Industrial rocks including limestone.
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:
- Establish a ’Mineral and Construction Complex’ ensure provision of:
- Plots and basic utilities, i.e. electricity, gas, insurance, security etc. for potential investors in construction sectors.
- A small scale power generation unit, (solar based or diesel based), for supplying uninterrupted electricity to the industrial units.
- A research institute on for mineral extraction and processing.
- Technical Training Center.
- Business Park and Office Space.
- Representative offices of KP Mineral Development Department.
- Freight Handling & Customs Centre.
- Bids should be open to invite local and international companies which have a reputation in construction business to open their facilities.
- The office of KP Mineral Development Department should offer regular assistance to industry in general on modern mining techniques, equipment handling and environmental safety.
- Immediate surveys should be conducted to estimate the exact amount of heavy metals found in the district;
- Assistance for geological survey could be sought from Germany, Italy Austria etc. (countries with experience of mining heavy metals).
- Financial assistance could be taken from World Bank or Asian Development Bank etc.
- 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.
- 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 owners.
4. Knowledge Park
Rapid and sustainable economic growth of KP is only possible on the back of skilled and qualified labor force. At present there is a shortage of quality universities and education centers in KP (only 17 functional universities recognized by HEC). District Swabi is ideally placed to have small “Knowledge Park” of its own. Geographical location of Swabi is such that students from all over KP can easily travel here, plus individuals from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Attock. Presently there is one HEC recognized engineering university functional here (Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute).
- An ideal placed to establish a knowledge park.
- Geographically feasible for KP students to travel there easily.
The proposed ‘Knowledge Park’ can have following features:
- University Campuses that impart knowledge on these particular sectors: Engineering, IT, Economics and Finance, Services Agriculture, Veterinary, Aerospace sectors;
- KP Government should immediately designate a piece of land (1000 acres minimum) for this area and ensure basic amenities are provided for (gas, electricity, security etc.).
- Reputable foreign universities in the above mentioned fields like Caltech, UC Berkley, Carnige Melon, ANU, American University, University of Beijing can be asked to open their foreign campuses in the area.
- A Research and Development Lab, related to each of the above mentioned sectors should be open there, with exchange programs for scholars.
- Housing complex along with shopping malls and hospital for the residents and students.
5. Gadoon Economic Zone
Address: KPEZDMC Zone Office, Main Road Gadoon, Topi Swabi KP
Contact Person: Tanveer Farooq (Acting Manager Estate Office-Gadoon)
Phone Number: +92 306 9632776, 0938 270318, 0938 270417,
Swabi district is full of opportunities for the investors but if these opportunities are availed properly while defending the above mentioned threats, the region’s economy can grow excessively.