June 22 - 28, 2009

There are five surahs in the Holy Quran where the name of iron has been mentioned. These Surahs are: Bini Israel 17 Ayat 50, Al-khaf 18 Ayat 96, Pilgrimage 22 Ayat 21, Saba 34 Ayat 10, and Al-Hadid 57 Ayat 25.

In the particular Surahs mentioned above, The Almighty Allah has expressed His Greatness about the important of iron for the benefit of human beings. In Surah Al-Hadid 57 and Ayat 25, the Allah has mentioned, "And We brought forth Iron wherein mighty power (in matters of war), as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help Him (His religion) and His Messengers in the unseen. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.

In rest of the other Surahs the Al-mighty Allah also has mentioned the importance of iron for the benefits human beings. It our duty to read the Holy Quran regularly and to accept every thing whatever Allah has mentioned in the Holy Quran. It is our duty to strictly follow the teaching of Allah's Book, the Holy Quran without any hesitation.

Iron is one of the most important and useful metals that is widely used in industry in our country and throughout the world. Our style of life is mostly based on the use of machinery major components of which are made from iron. The central core of earth crust is largely composed of iron. Iron is the fourth most abundant element found in the earth crust. The earth crust is composed of 5.5 per cent of iron by weight as ores after oxygen (47.6%), Silicon (27.5%), and aluminum (8.6%).

The important ores of iron found in the earth crust are hematite, limonite, magnetite, and iron pyrite etc. in the form of oxides and sulphides.

Iron is involved in energy producing and is known to be an essential element for human body. It is mostly stored in liver and spleen. It is present as hemoglobin. Iron enzymes are aconitase, catalase, cytochromes, nitrogenase, ferrodoxins, and peroxidases. In plants, the iron deficiency causes chlorosis of the plant leaves and reduction in crop yield. In human body, iron deficiency causes hemolytic anemia, stomatities, palpitation, exertion and reduces physical activity.

Everyone wants to live a healthy and complete life. Many do not pay much attention to diet, whereas it is important to have a balanced diet, which includes proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and some level of fat. Such a diet will provide our body with all the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. Their shortages in human body affect the normal health of a man. One of these important nutrients is iron. Deficiency of iron can affect physical and mental performance therefore, we must ensure that there is no deficiency of iron in our diet.

Iron is the fundamental element of hemoglobin, a key component of human blood. It plays an important role in transporting oxygen via blood circulation in the body. It also strengthens the immune system, which prevents us from getting sick by infections.

Growing children need more iron and its deficiency can slow down their mental and physical development, which can affect their performance in educational institutions. It can also affect their immune system, which increases the risk of getting sick. Young adults also need iron, especially girls because menstruation can cause a deficiency of blood in the body. Similarly, an iron deficiency in pregnant women increases the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and even death during delivery.

Anemania is the main symptom caused by the shortage of iron in the human body. Out of all the various types of anaemia, iron deficiency anaemia happens to be most common. It has been observed that women of childbearing age, pregnant women, infants, and teenage girls are all at a great risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia, as their bodies need a lot of iron to function and grow normally.

Women of childbearing age and teenage girls need iron because they lose heavy amounts of blood during their menstrual cycles. Iron demand also increases in pregnant women because the iron present in a women's body is not sufficient for both mother and child present in the mother's womb. In infants, iron deficiency can hinder mental and physical growth.

Iron deficiency affects the whole body symptoms such as hair fall, fatigue, pale skin, pales eyes, brittle nails, frequent headaches, cold hands and feet, soreness of tongue,

Any person older than 4 years needs 15 mg of iron daily. It is important that along with iron, we get a diet, which is also rich in vitamin C, as it helps the absorption of iron in the body. It also improves the immune system as well as promotes healing and recovery of wounds.

Heme iron present in food is most important. Heme iron is also present in foods like guava, orange, grapefruit, dates, beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, strawberry, pineapple, mango, tomatoes, sweet potato cauliflower, lemons, red and green chillies, peanuts, green peas, soya bean, kidney bean, spinach, papaya, etc. They contain vitamin C and should be a regular part of our diet.

It is necessary to take normal vegetables and meat of healthy animals to keep balanced state of the body. If anyone will take the meat of deficient animals then he may fall ill or he may develop deficiency symptom in his body. We should create a public realization of the need for superior food products.

We must take care of our health by using iron bearing foods in form of meat, chicken, vegetables, and dried fruits etc. In addition, regular exercise is also necessary.

Happiness is the main criterion for a good, peaceful, and healthy life. In addition, this is only possible by using food purchased from Halal earning. In the present day scenario of Pakistanis' lives, the concept of obtaining Halal food from Halal money is impossible. The maximum numbers of the population are earning Haram money through depositing money in banks, which pay huge amounts in form of interest.

Earning interest money from any source is haram and totally forbidden in all the four Surahs (Surahs no. 2, 3, 4 and 30) of the Holy Quran and in sayings of ten prophetic traditions. As Muslims, we must ignore the earning of haram and impure money. Eating of food items purchased from harm money is wholly responsible of all sorts of diseases and calamities fallen on human beings. Almighty Allah is very kind to his creatures, but we must obey the orders of Allah and his Prophets if any one likes to live a happy and disease free live.


In its 17th meeting, the Appraisal Panel of Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) approved 153 grants for projects worth a total of approximately PKR 55 million for different private sector agribusiness enterprises with a focus on reducing poverty in rural areas especially in AJK, NWFP, and Balochistan.

Grants were approved for enterprises ranging from farmer groups to SMEs, from all over Pakistan for purchase of different BDS (Business Development Services). The grants will support 121 Farmers Enterprise Groups (around 1300 farmers in the groups) in establishing High Tunnels for cultivation of off-season vegetables, initiating cultivation of gladiolus, cultivation of mushrooms, and potato seeds production. Other initiatives include establishment of a fruit and vegetable "Processing Common Facility Center" and gaining expertise in orchard management and intercropping.

Grants for SMEs approved by ASF were for a variety of projects. The projects include collaboration with NUST for establishment of a Model Jatropha Nursery as well as identifying economic bio-diesel extraction process. Other SMEs will be supported in attaining international certifications including BRC and ISO 22000. Six Start-up Agribusiness Enterprises will be provided with support for different initiatives. The initiatives include establishment of a floriculture farm to meet demand for flowers and setting up a cold storage facility to cater to demand.

Finally, ASF also approved grants for mango orchards owners to increase the yield and reduce losses at farm level by implementation of best practices in pre and post harvest techniques. The enterprises will also be supported in establishment of mini pack houses at farm level and in creation of skilled workers.

ASF was created with Rs4.1 billion Agribusiness Development and Diversification Project of MINFA with support from Asian Development Bank. The aim of ASF is to develop the agribusiness sector in Pakistan and thereby supporting economic growth and employment generation. ASF has been tasked with promoting the private sector agribusiness enterprises by providing matching grants for purchase of "Business Development Services" and also providing capacity building support to BDS providers.