AGRICULTURE NEWS

AGRICULTURISTS STRESS GROWING MORE OILSEED CROPS

Chairman Punjab Agriculture Research board Dr Abid Mahmood said Pakistan could earn huge foreign exchange by exporting oilseeds products to other countries. Addressing an international seminar held under the aegis of the oilseeds department at Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, he said that previous year, Pakistan had exported sesame of Rs 32 billion and there is a vast scope to enhance the oilseeds production in the country to boost the exports. He said that various measures were being taken for the development of agriculture sector in the country under CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) phase-II which would help to promote the exports of fisheries, livestock and agriculture products. He added that Pakistan would soon achieve self-sufficiency in cooking oil by increasing its oilseed production for that purpose, Punjab Agriculture Research Board had approved Rs 100 billion Oilseed and Soybean project. He shared that Ayyub Agriculture Research Institute Faisalabad has introduced more than 40 varieties of oilseeds and pre-basic seeds had been provided to over 32 private seed companies besides Punjab Seed Corporation.

A significant increase in production of various crops has been witnessed by provision of quality seed to small farmers during the last two to three years, he continued that now oilseed crops had become cash crops. The representative to a China Machinery Engineering Corporation Mr Alen Che express his view that under CPEC project, several Chinese companies were active in Pakistan for increasing per acre yield of different crops and promotion of cultivation through machinery and corporate farming. Chairman Poultry Association Pakistan Dr Rana Sajjad Arshad said that egg and meat were the basic need of every kitchen adding that 4.5 million populations were increasing every year in Pakistan and fulfilling their food needs has become a challenge. There is a dire need of increasing per acre yield of high-value poultry needed crops including Maize and Soybean to boost the poultry and egg exports. Hafiz Saad Bin Mustafa, Mian Idrees Ahmed, Miss Saira and others also expressed their views.