PARC promoting cultivation of olive, pomegranate in FATA

Around 165 acres of olive plantation has been made in different areas of Federally Administrated Territory Area (FATA). One nursery has been established and 7,000 cuttings have been planted in the nursery.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) said pomegranate was also being planted in the area to increase the farmer income. 400 plants of pomegranate have been planted. PARC promoting cultivation of olive, pomegranate in FATA
He emphasised that there was need to introduce Arabic olive plantation (olive along with fig, pistachio and pomegranate etc) in the area which would not only increase the income of farmers but also it might result to eliminate poppy cultivation. Alternative high value crops like olive fig pistachio and pomegranate can make a revolution in the area and play a role in poverty alleviation.
He said development of certified nurseries using sterilised compost and according to international standards was essential to meet the local requirements of quality olive plants.
Rehmat Jaan Director SPDP FATA presented the current status of olive planted under the olive promotion project in FATA. He said too get rid of load shedding and for sustainable source of irrigation tube-wells with solar power has been installed.
Members of National Assembly from FATA Malik Nazir and Ghalib Khan Wazir also attending the meeting were very much interested in development of FATA in agriculture sector.
They said they would lead for agriculture development especially for olive, pomegranate pistachio, walnut and fig cultivation, development of cottage industry and value addition of agricultural products in the FATA areas.
Dr Muhammad Munir acting member PSD PARC and olive expert said PARC was providing every type of assistance for the development of FATA in agriculture sector.
Dr Nasir Mahmood Cheema DPD (Olive) said MNAs of FATA were spokesmen of PARC in tribal areas and olive cultivation would result in terrorism reduction as more income from olive and other fruit plants would divert the attention of people towards agriculture expansion and they would have no time for any other anti activity.

News Source: Daily Times    News Collected: agrinfobank.com Team

July-October, 2013-14: import of agriculture machinery, tools fall 61 percent

According to official figures, Pakistan’s import of agriculture machinery and implements fell 61 percent to $20.122 million during July-October period of the current fiscal year. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) report, import of agriculture machinery and implements showed a decline of $31.115 million during the first five months of the current fiscal year as compared the machinery import of $51.237 million in the same period of last fiscal year. import of agriculture machinery, tools fall 61 percentHowever, import of construction and mining machinery grew by $84.398 million or just over 90 percent to $144.140 million in the first five months as compared to the machinery import of $59.742 million in the same period of last year.
On the other hand, import of textile machinery went up by $20.28 million over 15 percent to $153.793 million in July-Oct, 2013-14 as compared to the machinery import of $133.513 million in the same period of 2012-13. Import of other machinery posted a $13.673 million or 3 percent rise to $483.539 million in July-Oct, 2013-14 as compared to the machinery import of $469.866 million in same period of last year.

News Source: Business Recorder  News Collected: agrinfobank.com Team

Temporary move: Russia lifts ban on kinnow imports

Russia – one of the biggest markets for Pakistani kinnow – temporarily lifted the ban from Pakistani Kinnow imports for this season, fruit exporters said.

The Russian government imposed the ban on Pakistani agriculture imports a couple of months ago over concerns of fruit and vegetable diseases. The removal of the ban is the result of an extensive talk between the two governments. Nevertheless, the restriction on import of potato from Pakistan would remain intact until the phyto-sanitary issues are resolved.Russia lifts ban on kinnow imports

The Russian team will visit Pakistan in January 2014 to inspect the facilities and quarantine methods and practices. The team will see safety measures in place for diseases in the country. Exporters say Pakistan may lose the major market if Russian market is not open this season.

News Source: Tribune    News Collected: agrinfobak.com Team

Kinnow: Pakistan may lose Russian market

Pakistan may lose one of its most profitable Kinnow markets, Russian market, and suffer heavily in case Russian government does not rescind its decision by December 1, banning import of fruits and vegetables from Pakistan. The ban was imposed by Russian government a few months back as the quality of fruits and vegetables did not meet the laid down sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) conditions. Pakistan may lose Russian market
According to fruit and vegetable exporters, Pakistan’s department of plant protection should immediately lay down its quarantine policy in consultation with Russian authorities so that the quality of horticulture products could be improved.
The ban would impact on the export of around 50,000 ton Kinnow if the same is not lifted as the season has started and exporters are getting ready to ship the fruit to various markets.
They said that Russia is a good market for Pakistan’s fruits and vegetables, particularly Kinnow but in order to increase the volumes, they need to reduce the trust deficit and establish banking channels between the two countries.
Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of National Food and Security must take cognisance of this alarming situation and raise the issue at diplomatic level as the ban may cause colossal loss to country’s economy at this crucial juncture, they said.
A bumper Kinnow crop is expected during 2013-2014 and according to preliminary estimates the production might touch 2.1 to 2.3 million ton.
This year Kinnow will be shipped to Indonesia at zero percent duty as Indonesian government has allowed Pakistani Kinnow to be shipped to Tanjung port, Jakarta. The activation of PTA followed the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on plant quarantine and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures between Pakistan and Indonesia wherein Indonesia officially acknowledged Pakistan as pest-free area for Kinnow.
Ministry of Commerce may initiate kinnow export agreement at zero percent duty with Thailand following the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Talking to Business Recorder, acting CEO of Harvest Trading, Azam Ishaque said currently Thai market is not open for Pakistani fruits but due to our geo-economic position Kinnow may easily serve the consumption volumes in ASEAN region.
Thailand is a trading nation and the exchange of business delegations could be a better option for exploring areas of common interest. Thailand has recently been recognised as the `world kitchen’ owing to the plenty of food resources as well as the continuous success in development in food industry. Pakistan could benefit from Thailand in processing of food to increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables to curtail post harvest losses.
In this regard, Azam Ishaque suggested that both countries may set-up a joint committee on agriculture and share the concepts of modern technologies in agricultural systems for the improvement of agricultural productions such as crop yield, livestock production, aquaculture production and sustainable agriculture.

News Source: Business Recorder                                                                                                        News Collected: agrinfobank.com Team

Gardening Talk: Soil Preparation

Begin soil preparation by removing old plant supports, plastic mulches, excessive vegetative residues and other debris from the garden area several weeks before planting to allow the soil to dry out. The amount of plant residue that may be turned under depends on how large the pieces are, how the garden will be turned and how long before the area will be worked.Gardening Talk Soil Preparation

If there’s no already-prepared-for-planting soil in your backyard, then you should do it yourself. If you know nothing about its quality, you have two options: buying a home testing kit, or sending a sample to your local agricultural extension office. You will get all the necessary data about the soil for low cost, and you’ll get detailed information about the nutrients that the soil needs.


Long cucumber or tomato vines, for example, may be spaded or plowed under but may tangle on the tines of a rototiller. Cover crops and thick mulch or crop residue should be turned under six weeks or more before planting. This will promote decay and reduce nutritional and insect and disease problems in the garden. Adding three pounds of ammonium nitrate per 1000 square feet of soil surface before turning organic materials under will speed decay considerably.
Turning under significant amounts (an inch or more) of plant materials such as compost, organic mulches, leaves or cover crops annually will gradually increase soil organic matter content and improve most garden soils. The moisture-holding capacity will improve, as will the soil structure and nutrient-holding capability. Root penetration will improve on clay soils and soil crusting will be reduced.
Garden soil should not be worked when it is too wet. Pick up a handful of soil and roll it into a ball. If the soil sticks together and does not crumble when dropped, it is too wet to work. Soil worked too wet forms large, hard clods which are difficult to break up and are completely unsuitable for a seedbed.

Soil should be worked to a depth of at least 6 or 7 inches and smoothed before planting. Seed should be planted only in moist, finely aggregated soil. Soils worked into a powdery condition are more likely to crust. Small seed planted in cloddy soil usually dry out and germinate poorly. Garden soil may be worked with farm equipment, a rototiller or spaded with a shovel.

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Pakistan needs 50 percent more agriculture production by 2025

Investment in agriculture sector not only ensures food security of any country but also help to produce a healthy nation besides promoting rule of law in the society. Farming is just not a profession but an effort to save 194 million people of Pakistan from hunger. Pakistan needs 50 percent more agriculture productionKeeping in view the population growth, Pakistan needs 50 percent more agricultural production by 2025 and it can only be done by strengthening the agricultural sector and promoting good agricultural practices for maximum per acre yield. These views were expressed by Chief Executive Officer Auriga Group, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema while addressing the annual dealers’ conference here on Tuesday. Jamshed, who also heads the Pakistan Agricultural Scientists Association (PASA), threw light on different factors which can contribute to a better agricultural production.

He regretted that Pakistan which is attributed as basically agricultural country lacks in provision of sufficient food and it is in the ranks of those countries which have low grains per capita for its citizens.
He also said that Pakistan at present has only 1000 cusecs per capita water availability and it is being forecast that it would reduce to 575 cusecs per capita in 2050. ‘Pakistan is facing acute water shortage and water is basic ingredient to promote agricultural production,’ Jamshed Cheema added.
Cheema said Pakistan’s 27 percent land is populated by the people so there is no dearth of land for increasing agricultural production but we had to promote balanced use of fertilisers and pesticides and certified seeds. He said his company’s vision for the next year is to become the most socially responsible, efficient, technologically advanced, environmental friendly and customer support company in the agriculture sector. He disclosed that his company would launch 32 different pesticide products during next year.

This News is collected by Pakistan best agriculture information website https://agrinfobank.com.pk Team Source: http://www.brecorder.com

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Considering Culinary Herbs

Before the advent of refrigeration, herbs with antibacterial properties, including garlic, oregano, and thyme, were enlisted to help preserve foods that had to be stored for use during times of scarcity, such as in midwinter when fresh  foods were hard to come by. These and other herbs and spices with strong  lavors and aromas were also used to mask the tastes and smells of foods that were beginning to go rancid, making them more palatable.Considering Culinary HerbsNow that we can control the temperature in our refrigerator with the turn of a dial, most of us enjoy herbs for the way they enhance the flavor and coloring of food and drink. Most recipes contain one or more ingredients purely for aesthetics — better taste, more attractive presentation. What would pickles be without dill, or pesto without basil?Purists use the word herbto refer to plants grown for their leaves and stems; spicesare those cultivated for their flowers, seeds, bark, wood, resin, and roots. You also may come across the word potherb.That’s an old term that refers to vegetables and herbs used in salads, soups, and stews. For our purposes, spicesare culinary herbs.

Honey bees can be trained to detect cancer “in ten minutes

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees

Dezeen_Susana_Soares_Bees_Design_2

The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.

“Trained bees only rush into the smaller chamber if they can detect the odour on the patient’s breath that they have been trained to target,” explained Soares, who presented her Bee’s project at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven last month.

Dezeen_Susana_Soares_Bees_Design_1SQ

Scientists have found that honey bees – Apis mellifera – have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

Bees have also been trained to detect explosives and a company called Insectinel is training “sniffer bees” to work in counter-terrorist operations.

Dezeen_Susana_Soares_Bees_Design_3

“The bees can be trained within 10 minutes,” explains Soares. “Training simply consists of exposing the bees to a specific odour and then feeding them with a solution of water and sugar, therefore they associate that odour with a food reward.”

Once trained, the bees will remember the odour for their entire lives, provided they are always rewarded with sugar. Bees live for six weeks on average.

“There’s plenty of interest in the project especially from charities and further applications as a cost effective early detection of illness, specifically in developing countries,” Soares said.

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Here is a project description by Susana Soares:


Bee’s / Project

Bee’s explores how we might co-habit with natural biological systems and use their potential to increase our perceptive abilities.

The objects facilitate bees’ odour detection abilities in human breath. Bees can be trained within 10 minutes using Pavlov’s reflex to target a wide range of natural and man-made chemicals and odours, including the biomarkers associated with certain diseases.

The aim of the project is to develop upon current technological research by using design to translate the outcome into systems and objects that people can understand and use, engendering significant adjustments in their lives and mind set.

How it works

The glass objects have two enclosures: a smaller chamber that serves as the diagnosis space and a bigger chamber where previously trained bees are kept for the short period of time necessary for them to detect general health. People exhale into the smaller chamber and the bees rush into it if they detect on the breath the odour that they where trained to target.

What can bees detect?

Scientific research demonstrated that bees can diagnose accurately at an early stage a vast variety of diseases, such as: tuberculosis, lung and skin cancer, and diabetes.

Precise object

The outer curved tube helps bees avoid from flying accidentally into the interior diagnosis chamber, making for a more precise result. The tubes connected to the small chamber create condensation, so that exhalation is visible.

Detecting chemicals in the axilla

Apocrine glands are known to contain pheromones that retain information about a person’s health that bees antennae can identify.

The bee clinic

These diagnostic tools would be part of system that uses bees as a biosensor.

The systems implies:
– A bee centre: a structure that facilitates the technologic potential of bees. Within the centre is a beefarm, a training centre, a research lab and a healthcae centre.

– Training centre: courses can be taken on beetraining where bees are collected and trained by beetrainers. These are specialists that learn beetraining techniques to be used in a large scope of applications, including diagnosing diseases.

– BEE clinic: bees are used at the clinic for screening tests. These insects are very accurate in early medical diagnosis through detection on a person’s breath. Bees are a sustainable and valuable resource. After performing the diagnose in the clinic they are released, returning to their beehive.

Bee training

Bees can be easily trained using Pavlov’s reflex to target a wide range of natural and man-made chemicals odours including the biomarkers associated with certain diseases. The training consists in baffling the bees with a specific odour and feeding them with a solution of water and sugar, therefore they associate that odour with a food reward.

Source: http://www.dezeen.com

Seminar on Peace through Dam: ‘KBD has potential to wipe out rural poverty’

Kalabagh Dam (KBD) has the capacity to wipe out loadshedding and increase industrial output by $5-6 billion a year, while its contribution to value addition in agricultural output could go up to $10 billion a year. The dam has also potential to single-handedly wipe out rural poverty in Pakistan. Every province stands to benefit from this project.
This was the crux of the speeches delivered at a seminar on Peace through Dam jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sindh Taas Water Council here at LCCI on Saturday. Former chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shamsul Mulk, former federal finance minister Dr Salman Shah, LCCI President Engineer Suhail Lashari, Chairman Sindh Taas Water Council Muhammad Salman Khan, Dr Ibrahim Mughal, Advocate A K Dogar, Colonel Abdul Razzaq Bugti from Sindh, Major Saddique Rehan (Retd), President Pakistan Engineering Congress Engineer Riaz Ahmad Khan, Engineer Muhammad Ayub Kakar from Balochistan, Nazar Hussain Dareshik, Faqir Muhammad Amin Khan, Prof Syed Nisar Safdar, Captain Syed Khalid Sajjad (Retd), Professor Dr Engineer Zahid Ahmad Siddique, Aziz Zafar Azad and Neweera Babar and Chairman STWC Engineer Saeed Iqbal Bhatti expressed their views on the subject of vital national importance. The speakers said that Kalabagh Dam could produce up to 15 billion units of power every year at an average cost of Rs 3 to 5 /kwh in next five years. The annual cost will be around Rs 22 billion. This cheap power will annually displace costly power worth approximately Rs 300 billion with consequential savings of costly oil imports. This saving alone would enough to done away with current account deficit, boost reserves and strengthen the rupee, they added. Seminar on Peace through Dam 'KBD has potential to wipe out rural poverty'
Engineer Shamsul Mulk said that he had been talking on the issue for a long time now but unfortunately neither any politician nor any government gave due attention towards this problem, which has now put the very survival of the country at stake. He said the dam is absolutely essential to irrigate 800,000 acres of cultivable land that is located 100-150 feet above the Indus river level in NWFP.
He said this land could only be brought under cultivation if the river level is raised that is only possible if Kalabagh Dam is built. He said the other alternative is to pump the water, which is very costly. The creditable studies have indicated that pumping water for potential cultivable land would cost farmers Rs 5,000 per acre per year while canal water after construction of Kalabagh Dam would cost only Rs 400 per acre per year.
Dr Salman Shah said that the KBD is the only project in Pakistan that can make power affordable for the masses in a short period of five years. It is also the only project that can make the economy competitive and sustainable without the crutches of bailouts and loss of sovereignty.
Over the years, Sindh’s irrigation network has stagnated. The marvellous north-south Nara irrigation canal system that emanates from the Sukkur Barrage irrigates 2.5 million acres of land. The Kotri Barrage was constructed in 1955 with a command area of three million acres, while the Guddu Barrage was completed in 1962 and irrigates around 2.9 million acres of land. The additional water made available by the Mangla and Tarbela dams was channeled through these barrages to the water-rich districts of Sindh.
The water-starved districts of the east, however, were ignored. The future prosperity of eastern Sindh is now certainly closely linked to water storage from the construction of the Kalabagh dam. This epic mega project can transform the rural economy of Sindh, generate large-scale employment, huge agricultural surpluses and quickly wipe out rural poverty. Its benefits can set rural Sindh’s economy on a continuous high growth path.
LCCI President Suhail urged the government to focus on construction of water reservoirs in the country. He said that country had already suffered a huge financial loss due to unavailability of electricity, gas but it is very unfortunate that Kalabagh Dam had been labelled as a political issue. It is not a political issue at all it is an economic issue and merits priority keeping in view the economic conditions.
The LCCI President said that Balochistan and Sindh would be the biggest beneficiary of Kalabagh Dam. He said that the country’s economic well being is directly linked to the construction of water reservoirs therefore the government should take practical measures for early construction of Kalabagh Dam.
Counting benefit of this dam, Dr Ibrahim Mughal said that it would help bringing additional two million acres of land under irrigation in Sindh, Badin, Thatta and other districts while 800,000 acres of land in Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu in KP. It would also help irrigation of 700,000 acres of land in Balochistan and also provide essential water to Punjab. He said this dam would generate 3,600 mega watt cheaper electricity and electricity consumers would get over Rs 133 billion relief in the bills and it would also help ending loadshedding from the country.

Source: Business Recorder