Mango produce slashed to half this year: growers

MULTAN (APP): Urbanization, prolonged winter, fog, intense duststorms and rains are the main causes of low yield of mangoes this year, says former president Mangoes Growers Association, Muzaffar Khakwani. Talking to this news agency here on Monday, Muzaffar Khakwani, said that mango production reduced to half as compared to last year that is why the fruit was available in domestic market at higher rates these days. He added that for the last four to five years, the export had also been slashed to 5 per cent which used to be up to 8 per cent in past. Commencement of flights by Emirates and Qatar Airlines from Multan International Airport (MIAP) from next month will definitely boost the export from South Punjab in future.

, which is known for best quality mangoes across the globe, he hoped.

Khakwani who has been associated with mango farming for the last 23 years informed that Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Bosan last year engaged Federal Department for Plant Protection to make standard protocol for exporting the best quality mangoes.

Pre Shipping inspectors also ensured grading and packing process before export of mangoes, he said and added that Emirates International Airline had ensured to carry 100 tonnes cargo weekly from the MIAP which would include mangoes too.

Regarding other reasons of lesser production of mangoes this time, former president mango growers association stated that inflorescence and fruit setting both were comparatively fewer and added that that is why pollination could not take place.

Jamal Labar, another mango grower said that severe duststorm and rain have shortened the production of the fruit. He informed that mango were costly in the market because of the shortage of yield.

When contacted, Director Mango Research Institute , Dr Hameed Ullah said that it was a fact the long winter, fog and strong duststorms had reduced mango crop specially in Multan division.

He, however said that crop has yielded good results at Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan divisions in this season.

This time, he said, mango production had reduced to 40 per cent adding that the there have been problems with inflorescence and fruit setting problems.e

SCO membership to pave way for investment in Pakistan

LAHORE (APP): Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Chairman Abdul Basit said here Monday that full membership to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will benefit Pakistan in many ways besides paving way for investment in this land of opportunities. He said, Pakistan permanent status at SCO would ensure regional stability and further economic integration to realise the common goal of progress and prosperity. It would also help mitigate differences, resolve outstanding disputes and create a favourable environment for the betterment of almost half of the world population. Such positive developments would not only give new strength to Pakistan’s economy but also help improve its perception.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was undoubtedly a great achievement of the present government that also proved catalyst to the achievement.

Abdul Basit said that Pakistan’s accession to SCO was a significant shift that would definitely increase Pakistan’s engagement with the world that is a very positive sign.

The PBIT Chairman also expressed the optimism that new status for Pakistan would also help weed out terrorism and extremism from the region that were biggest impediments to the investment. When Pakistan and India would be sitting on the same table at this prestigious forum of the world, it would also help both the countries to sort out their differences, he maintained.

The PBIT Chairman said, it would also help resolve Pakistan’s energy woes as getting a permanent seat at SCO means closer ties between Pakistan and Russia at a time when the latter is viewing the CPEC development as to its own advantage as well for the export of energy resources, among other things. He said that the data and research sharing among the SCO countries would bring down the graph of unemployment.

It is pertinent to mention here that Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday last announced that Pakistan and India will join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as permanent members, a group dominated by Russia and China which also includes former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Russia sees the organisation, expanding for the first time since its creation in 2001, as a counterweight to Western alliances.

IRSA releases 523,155 cusecs water from various rim stations

ISLAMABAD (APP): The IRSA Monday released 523,155 cusecs water from various rim stations with inflow of 563,910 cusecs. According to the data released by IRSA, water level in the Indus River at Tarbela Dam was 1514.00 feet, which was 134.00 feet higher than its dead level 1380 feet. Water inflow in the dam was recorded as 271,500 cusecs while outflow was recorded as 232,700 cusecs. The water level in the Jhelum River at Mangla Dam was 1230.90 feet, which was 190.90 feet higher than its dead level of 1040 feet whereas the inflow and outflow of water was recorded as 61,955 cusecs and 60,000 cusecs respectively. The release of water at Kalabagh, Taunsa and Sukkur was recorded as 339,126, 196,085 and 152,455 cusecs respectively.

Similarly, from the Kabul River, a total of 84,800 cusecs of water was released at Nowshera and 145,655 cusecs released from the Chenab River at Marala.

Slight increase of 0.2pc witnessed in domestic fertilizer production

ISLAMABAD (APP): The domestic production of fertilizers during just ended fiscal year has increased slightly by 0.2 per cent over last year. The imported supplies of fertilizer also witnessed an increase of 15.4 per cent, hence the total availability of fertilizers reduced by 4.4 percent during the period mentioned above. Sources at Food and Agriculture Division on Monday said fertilizer is the most important and expensive agriculture input and contribution of balanced use of fertilizers towards increased yield is from 30 to 50 percent in different crop production regions of the country. One kg of fertilizer nutrient produces about 8 kg of cereals (wheat, maize and rice), 2.5 kg of cotton and 114 kg of stripped sugarcane.

Almost hundred percent soils in Pakistan are deficient in nitrogen, 80-90 percent are deficient in phosphorus and 30 percent in potassium.

The sources said during the period total offtake of fertilizer nutrients witnessed a small increase of 1.1 percent.

Nitrogen offtake decreased by 0.5 percent, phosphate increased by 5.6 percent and potash offtake recorded a significant increase of 33.8 percent.

They said major reason for increase in offtake of phosphate fertilizer is stability in prices of DAP. Kharif 2014 started with inventory of 386,000 tonnes of urea. Total availability of urea (including 122,000 tonnes of imported supplies and 24,51,000 tonnes of domestic production) was about 2,959,000 tonnes against the offtake of 2,716,000 tonnes, leaving an inventory of 184,000 tonnes for Rabi 2014-15.

The sources said total availability of DAP during Kharif 2014 was 1,023,000 tonnes, comprising 99,000 tonnes of inventory, 524,000 tonnes of imported supplies and 400,000 tonnes of local production.

The DAP offtake was 586,000 tonnes leaving closing balance of 430,000 tonnes for coming Rabi 2014-15.

Rabi 2014-15 started with an opening balance of 1,84,000 tonnes of urea. Domestic production during Rabi 2014-15 was estimated as 24,93,000 tonnes. Urea offtake during current Rabi 2014-15 is expected to be 31,00,000 tonnes, against 3,253,000 tonnes of total availability, leaving a closing balance of 151,000 tonnes for next season. DAP availability in current season of Rabi is estimated as 1,260,000 tonnes, which included 430,000 tonnes of inventory, 498,000 tonnes of imported supplies and domestic production of 332,000 tonnes.

Offtake of DAP during current Rabi season was about 1,140,000 tonnes, leaving a balance of 118,000 tonnes for next season.

The sources said total availability of urea during Kharif- 2015 was estimated to be about 2,740,000 tonnes comprising of 151,000 tonnes of opening stock, 39,000 tonnes of imported supplied and 2,550,000 tonnes of domestic production. Urea offtake is expected to be around 2,900,000 tonnes, reflecting a shortfall of 160,000 tonnes which will be covered through imports.

Total availability of DAP will be 484,000 tonnes against expected offtake of 6,00,000 tonnes.

The supply and demand gap in DAP will be met by imports through private sector during Kharif 2015, the sources added .

Chinese delegation visits PBIT

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): A four-member delegation from China Shandong CEPREI Electronic Information Engineering Company Limited visited PBIT. This visit is in furtherance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that will translate into $46 billion investment in infrastructure sector of Pakistan, said the PBIT spokesman here Monday. The delegation is interested in developing the health sector of Punjab through introduction of best practices and E-Platform, he said, adding that delegation is on study tour to analyze the associated costs and expected benefits of the project that will translate into innovation and development in health sector of Pakistan. Members of the delegation suggested that the entire data/statistics regarding the health sector should be complied at one platform.

as it would be convenient not only for investors but also for the government to control diseases on daily basis and to forecast the funds needed for future.

The delegation will also meet officials of Planning & Development (P&D), Public Private Partnership (PPP) Cell, Health Department and shall also visit health facilities in Lahore district. This visit is expected to transform into interest generator for Chinese investor and pave way for further development in Social sector of Pakistan.

The PBIT team assured the delegation of their full support and assistance in finding the suitable opportunities and establishing the project.