15 - 21, 2001
New canola varieties to hike edible oil output
Pakistan Oil Development Board (PODB) has initiated a plan to
increase edible oil production by promoting cultivation of canola to meet
domestic requirement of 1.9 million tons every year.
About 0.5 million tons is produced by the local growers while
the remaining 1.2 million tons is imported to bridge the gap between the produce
and consumption. According to official sources, PODB has developed new varieties
of canola with indigenous resources. These varieties include synthetic as well
as hybrid varieties. Local canola varieties have performed better than the
imported varieties cultivated at various locations in the country under
different agro-ecological conditions and these local varieties are fully
acclimatized to local environment.
Local canola seed production has resulted in self-sufficiency
in canola seed requirements and now there is no need to import canola seed by
public or private sectors. Local canola seed production has reduced the cost of
the seed providing a relief to the growers. Local seed of synthetic types costs
Rs50 as compared to the international price of Rs180 to 250 per kg. Local hybrid
seed of canola costs Rs150 per kg.
There is a vast potential to increase production of canola
oil and main thrust is being laid for replacement of sarson acreage by canola
cultivation. Sarson crop is being cultivated on about 700,000 acres annually
replacement of which will enhance canola acreage to about 1.0 million acres thus
enhancing the canola production to 200,000 tons valued at Rs7.5 billion per
Canola crop can be grown throughout the country and it
requires minimum three irrigations at the time of its sowing, flowering and seed
In Pakistan, canola cultivation started in 1985-86 on
experimental basis with imported varieties. Commercial cultivation of canola
started in Pakistan in 1995 when it was planted on 100,000 acres compared to
8,000 acres of 1994. Now canola has become a popular oilseed crop in Pakistan.
Economy & business after Sept 11
The world has changed for everyone since the day of the
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But because of its location
— in immediate neighbourhood of the country that is in the eye of the storm
— the status of Pakistan has quickly spiralled from one of not much
significance to that of perhaps the most closely watched nation in the world
today. The limelight may turn out to be both a boon and a bane for the country's
Immediately after the September 11 incident, the country
received the last tranche of $136 million, which already was in the pipeline.
Economic sanctions were as quickly lifted as they had been clamped. Grants, even
if in smaller sums as $40 and 50 million flowed in from Japan and the US.
Pakistan, which is saddled with the enormous sum of $36.8 billion in total
debts, is asking for waiver, write-offs and rescheduling. The Finance Minister
is in Washington to negotiate the $2.5 billion PRGF soft term loan and to seek
relief from quota restrictions, duty-free access to US markets, all of which are
expected to meet with sympathetic considerations from the US and other donors.
New varieties of wheat seed approved
The variety evaluation committee of National Agricultural
Research Centre (NARC) has approved for release of six new varieties of
high-yielding wheat seed.
According to a Pakistan Agricultural Research Council press
release, the new wheat varieties developed by Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI)
Bhakkar, Nuclear Institute for Agriculture Tandojam, Agriculture Research
Station, Sarai Naurang, Wheat Programme NARC Islamabad, Cereal Research Crop
Institute, Pirsabak and Agriculture Institute Sariab Quetta respectively include
Bhakkar 2001, Marvi 2000, Marvat J-01, Wafaq 2001, Saleem 2000, Zariashta 1999.
The varieties approved for release were claimed to be
high-yielding, disease resistant with superior quality traits and tolerance
against various abiotic stresses prevalent in the area.
1m cotton bales procurement by TCP flayed
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) chairman
Nadeem Maqbool has expressed concern over the government's decision for allowing
TCP to procure one million bales of lint cotton at Rs1,855 per maund of grade
In a statement Aptma chief pointed out that TCP will tender
this cotton for export to competitors at a colossal loss to the exchequer. He
said "our competitors will get raw material at a price much lower than the
price offered to the local textile industry. Nadeem Maqbool said that the last
sale of cotton concluded by TCP at 30.06 cents per pound, had allowed " our
competitors to buy cotton at Rs1,400 whereas textile mills were purchasing
cotton at around Rs1,600 per maund.
Industrial output plummets by 50pc
The manufacturing output in the city's four main industrial
estates plummeted by 50 per cent as a result of strike observed on Friday
against the US bombing on Afghanistan.
Industrialists said 50 per cent of work force failed to turn
up at the factory gates as the strike, which was called by Pak-Afghan Defence
Council, crippled the movement of public transport.
The situation in three main industrial centres — North
Karachi, Site and F.B. Area — became highly tense specially after Juma
prayers. More than 50 per cent of plants were forced to close down after Juma
prayers due to panic caused by a big rally in Banaras area.
Turkmen gas pipeline
US-based energy firms through Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC) are likely to reactivate over $2 billion investment in
Turkmenistan to Pakistan gas pipeline project.
Informed sources in the energy sector said that Pakistan and
the US have started initial consultations to materialize benefits of removal of
economic sanctions on Pakistan that allowed OPIC and US Exim Bank to finance
private sector projects.