Introduction to City:
It is a city in the Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan.Located in the Valley of Peshawar, Mardan is the second-largest city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (after Peshawar).It is a fast-growing city that experienced a population boom in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Around 1800 BCE, the area around Mardan was part of the homeland of the Gandhara grave culture. Rock edicts of the ancient Indian King Ashoka in the nearby Shahbaz Garhi, written in the right-to-left Kharosthi script, date from the Mauryan period (mid-200s BCE) and represent the earliest irrefutable evidence of writing in South Asia. The nearby Takht-i-Bahi which has remains of an ancient Buddhist monastery was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
The area constituting Mardan district is a part of the Peshawar valley, which first appeared in history as a part of the Gandhara Kingdom. Until 1937, Mardan district was a part of Peshawar district but in 1937, Mardan was set up as an independent district after the name of its headquarters town. Mardan is the 19th largest city in Pakistan. It is the headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe, although a significant number of Momands have settled there over the past years. It is the second most populous city in the province, located in the south west of the district at 34°12’0N 72°1’60E and an altitude of 283 meters (928 ft)
The region has a very rich cultural and heritage History. The district contains the famous archaeological sites of Takht Bahi, Jamal Ghari and Shahbaz Garha.
Mardan is located in a region rich in archaeological sites. In 1962, the Sanghao Caves were discovered outside of Mardan, which yielded artefacts from the Middle Paleolithic period,over 30,000 years ago. Other sites in the immediate area have yielded evidence of human activity from the Upper Paleolithic period.Further excavations from the area around Jamal Garhi near Mardan recovered artefacts from the Mesolithic period.
Mardan is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe of Pashtuns. A significant number of Mohmand Utmankhel and Awan tribe members have settled in the city over the years.
According to the 2017 Census of Pakistan, the city of Mardan had 358,604 inhabitants, making it the second-largest city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These inhabitants were spread out among 45,429 households, making the average household size in Mardan 7.89.Mardan experienced explosive growth throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, as the population of Mardan grew fivefold in just 50 years. The city’s growth has, though, over time, slowed down by quite a bit, and between the years of 1998 and 2017, its population only grew at about 2% every year
There was no public or private sector university in Mardan until 2009. The first public sector university, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan was established in 2009.In 2016, a public sector women university Women University Mardan started functioning while in 2017, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar Mardan campus was upgraded to full-fledge university and named University of Engineering and Technology Madan.
Bacha Khan Medical College, Mardan, which was established in 2010, is the city only medical college.There is also a campus of University of Agriculture, Peshawar, which is named as Agriculture university Ameer Mohammad Khan Campus Mardan.
There are also two Postgraduate colleges in Mardan, one each for boys and girls. Government Post Graduate College Mardan, which was established in 1952 while Government Post Graduate College for women Mardan was established in 1963.
There are numerous public and private Schools and colleges for Boys and Girls in Mardan. Among them, the most renowned and famous is Fazal e Haq Mardan.
Mardan is located in the south west of the district at 34°12’0N 72°1’60E and an altitude of 283 metres (928 ft).Mardan is a district headquarter of Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Risalpur is located to the south, Charsadda is located to the west, Yar Hussain to the east and Takht Bahi & Katlang to the north. It is the second largest city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while 19th largest city of Pakistan.
With an influence from the local steppe climate, Mardan features a hot semi-arid climate. The average temperature in Mardan is 22.2 °C, while the annual precipitation averages 559 mm. October is the driest month with an average rainfall of 12 mm, while the wettest month is August, with an average 122 mm of precipitation.
June is the hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 33.2 °C. The coldest month January has an average temperature of 10.0 °C.
|Climate data for Mardan|
|Average high °C (°F)||17.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||10.0
|Average low °C (°F)||2.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||47
Economy of Mardan:
Mardan is part of a growing industrial centre, and is home to textile and edible oil mills, as well as one of the largest sugar mills in South Asia.An economic zone is planned as a part of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) near Rashakai. Although Rashakai is part of Nowshera District, its proximity with Mardan is expected to directly benefit the city.
In 2006, Mardan District government with the help of Government of Pakistan created a sports complex in Mardan city.The complex, Mardan Sports Complex, has facilities for all major sports such as cricket, football, field hockey, swimming, and basketball. The swimming pool facility was built in 2011 while an international standard hockey turf was constructed at the sports complex at the cost Rs. 67.69 million in 2016. Pakistan international football player Mansoor Khan is from Mardan.
As per KP Bureau of Statistics report of 2012-13, Mardan truly is rich with different types of minerals including dimension stones (marble, bartyes, granite and dolomite etc.), industrial rocks (limestone, soapstone etc.). Marble and limestone, in particular, are produced in enough quantity not only to meet the domestic demands but also international demands (China, Middle East and Central Asia via CPEC route).
Rich with minerals.
Close proximity to CPEC western route.
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: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 minerals 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 USAID, DFID 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.
Horticulture sector of Mardan District produce a vast variety of vegetable and fruit products. Among fruits are orange, plum, peach, apricot, pear, citrus are of good quality (http://agriext.kp.gov.pk/page/horticulture). In the vegetable category, potato, turnip, tomato, peas, pumpkins, okra and beans are quite well known. Mardan has one of the highest annual horticulture output in KP. Given the advent of CPEC in KP, it is high time that the horticulture of Mardan District is given a boost so that it can become a major ”Fruit Supply Centre” to China, Afghanistan and Central Asia. As per Livestock department census of 2006, an estimated 616, 214 farm animals are reported in Mardan.
Production of vast variety of fruit.
Could become a major fruit supply center.
To fully utilize the potential of this sector, following steps can be taken by KP Agriculture Department:Create an environment facilitating interface among the growers, traders and exporters.Minimize the pre and post harvest losses through strategic planning.Ensure availability of certiﬁed plant materials.
Build the capacity of all the stake holders, extension workers, businessmen and farmers including women.
Promote mechanism for public private partnership.
Assist the local farmers in restoring and expanding their farms in cooperation with USAID and Botany Department of University of Peshawar.
Regular workshops and seminars should be conducted to educate farmers on modern farming techniques. In this regard, assistance from USAID could also be sought.
Secretariat of Commerce can facilitate the 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 Mardan via CPEC and corresponding OBOR trade network.
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.
‘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.
As per crop statistics of Agriculture department report of 2015-16, Mardan district has cultivated area of 99926 hectares. Like the sector of horticulture, Mardan District also carries a signiﬁcant comparative advantage in production of cereal crops (wheat 91004 tons, maize production of 89651 tons etc.) cash crops (sugarcane production of 1369273 tons etc.) In fact, the agricultural production of Mardan is right among the production leagues of Peshawar, Charsadda, Swabi (among the highest). It is why this district has a number of ﬂour mills and sugar mill along with industrial setup of Khyber Tobacco Company. 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.
Production of cereal and cash crops.
Large number of ﬂour mills and a sugar mill.
Khyber Tobacco Company.
The Government of KP can act upon following recommendations to increase the efﬁciency of this sector:
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 UNFAO, USAID could also be sought.
Ministry of Commerce
It 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.
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.
Educate the farmers how easy credit schemes could help them in getting accessories and expanding their output.
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 Mardan with CPEC route, it would be much feasible for China to invest here.
Tourism and Hospitality Sector:
Mardan District has minor potential to be the ”Hub of Archaeological” in the province; by virtue of having the world renowned Buddhist Ruins at Takht Bai, which is an attractable commodity for foreign tourists especially from Japan and South East Asia.
Hub of archaeological sites are attractable for foreign tourists.
Tourism Cooperation of Government of KP (TCKP) needs to take following steps to make “Hub of Archaeological Tourism”Coordinate with Provincial Transport Department and Communication Department to improve road and telecommunication setup for facilitation of tourists to the site.
Identify new locations for building of quality TCKP Guest houses and camping sites for tourists in the area, and upgrade the existing ones.
Open tenders and invite private hospitality businesses to open their setups in the area.
Identify areas for construction of family theme parks, adventure parks etc. in these villages and invite private sector for investment.
Preserve and develop Buddhist archaeological sites.Seek technical assistance from UNESCO, Aga Khan Foundation and Government of Japan, Sri Lanka or Thailand.
Invite private sector, through process of bidding, to develop resorts on these sites.Train local people in hospitality management.Promote proﬁle of Mardan where large number of population follow Buddhism especially in China, Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Promote tourism for Mardan District through promotion campaigns on TCKP website and Television Ads.
Mardan has potential of hosting heavy manufacturing base of KP especially auto mobile industry (cars, trucks and buses).
Various manufacturing units spread all over district.
Government of KP can take following route to make Mardan a major Industrial and Manufacturing Hub: of the province:
In Rashakai 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 designed for the zone.
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 renounced auto manufacturers like Audi, VW, Renault, GM, Tesla to setup their manufacturing plants in the area.
Similarly, companies dealing in heavy duty vehicle manufacturing (Trucks and Buses) like Hino, Nissan, Volvo can also be invited to invest here.
Mardan district is full of opportunities for the investors in manufacturing, agricultural business, mining and processing sector, hospitality management and if the concerned departments develop and implement an effective strategy, these opportunities would enable to district economy to grow excessively resulting in creation job opportunities, revenue generation and uplift living standard of the locals.