01 - 14, 2001
Sugarcane output projected at 60m tons
Keeping in view the future growth of domestic sugar demand
the productivity of sugarcane and efficiency of sugar industry, sugarcane
production is projected at 60.0 million tonnes by 2010.
This envisages a target of 36.3 million tons for Punjab, 18.5
million tons for Sindh, 5.1 million tons for NWFP and a little less than 0.1
million tons for Balochistan.
According to official sources with the pace of gradual
progress self-sufficiency in sugar production can be attained. Even with a
medium technology level, these improvements are well within the reach.
However, since sugarcane is a highly water consuming crop, it
is necessary that in water scarce zones its cultivation is rather discouraged.
Due to limited availability of water in the future, sugarcane area is projected
to slightly decline to one million hectares from the present level of 1.06
Even in water abundant areas, more economical use of water on
sugarcane is recommended through adoption of modern irrigation techniques such
as sprinkler and drip irrigation. Sugarcane policy will focus on high production
per unit of land rather than expansion in area.
Moreover, balanced crop nutrition would considerably increase
both cane yield and sucrose content. The emphasis will, therefore, be on
improving the efficiency of sugar production per unit of irrigation water and
reducing the tonnes of cane per tonne of sugar at the mills. This will result in
enhancing their profitability and this would be achieved through a realistic
quality payment scheme. With high crop yield, the amount of land needed to
supply the cane to the mills could be reduced and released for other crops.
'Rice output can be doubled'
Pakistan has the potential to double its rice production with
the use of appropriate seed and technology. It was proved by the result of a
pilot experimental project, conducted recently by the FAO in collaboration with
the Pakistan Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Under the project called "FAO Programme for Food
Security in Pakistan", which was carried out on the fields of 112 farmers
in Dera Ismail Khan and Daska, the average yield of Basmati reached 3.380 tons
per hectare in 1999 and 4.01 tons per hectare in 2000.
The FAO had devised a strategy based on replication of
programme interventions at national level with minimum investment,
implementation of nationally-tested technologies and revival of Water Users
Associations with a view to their transformation into a village organization.
When compared with the benchmark yield for 1998 of 2.668 tons
to 3.95 tons of Basmati per hectare and of 1.387 tons as national average for
1999, the project thus registered an increase of 50.3 per cent and 189.1 per
cent, respectively, Dr Masood A. Rana, Project Coordinator told on Wednesday.
More than 8.6 million bales have arrived at the ginning
factories till January 1, showing an increase of 4.88 per cent compared to same
period last year.
According to Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA)
Thursday, the total arrival was estimated at 8.601 million bales against 8.202
million bales last year. This year, the arrival has witnessed an increase of
398,810 bales over last year.
Of the total, textile mills have purchased more than 6.537
million bales while exporters procured 309,347 bales and TCP 10,900 bales.
Liberty Power Limited, a subsidiary of Tenaga of Malaysia has
commenced production of Power from its 235 MW power plant at Dharki located
about 70 km from Sukkur.
Liberty Power Limited has invested over 300 million US dollar
on this project and was one of the first few companies who amicably settled the
tariff issue with WAPDA.
Wheat sowing exceeds target
Wheat crop in Punjab has been sown on 15.126 million acres
land during the current Rabi season, exceeding the target by 0.68 percent.
According to a report issued by the Agriculture Department on Tuesday, wheat
sowing has been completed on 15.126 million acres upto end of December while the
target fixed for Punjab province by the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA)
is 15.024 million acres. The area brought under wheat cultivation during the
corresponding period previous rabi season was 15.097 million acres.
Petroleum hike to affect farm sector
Government's decision to raise diesel prices by Rs 3 per
litre is bound to increase the cost of production of crops, reduce use of farm
inputs and frustrate officials efforts to achieve targeted growth rate of 3.9
per cent in the farm sector this year.
These views were expressed by agriculture ministry's
officials on Monday, while talking on the impacts of raise in oil prices on farm
They said, the hike will also lead to atleast 20 per cent
increase in the prices of food items, in the local markets as well.
Balochistan to open up coast for investment
The Balochistan Government has decided to open up the entire
coastal belt of Mekran and Lasbela for investment, both domestic and foreign.
This was stated by Provincial Governor Justice (retired) Amirul Mulk Mengal,
while talking to senior editors and bureau chiefs of national dailies at the
Governor's Secretariat on Tuesday.
He said that the government would establish a Coastal
Development Authority shortly for speedy development of seafood industry,
fisheries, agriculture sector and for catering to the needs of the people living
in Hub and Jiwani areas.
The governor said that fish harbours at Pasni and Gwadar
would be upgraded and brought under the administrative control of the Coastal
Development Authority for improving its working.