TDAP committed to address exporters' issues

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The government is committed to address the trade related issues being confronted by the exporters and all the stakeholders will be taken on board to resolve their trade related concerns. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Secretary Inam Ullah Khan told a four-member delegation of footwear sector who called on him at TDAP, Lahore. He said that Trade Development Authority of Pakistan was endeavoring to facilitate the exporters to help enhance the level of exports and with the joint efforts of public-private sector would help increase the momentum of the export sector.  Adil Hasan, Senior Vice Chairman Pakistan Footwear Manufacturer Association (PFMA) apprised the secretary Trade Development Authority of Pakistan about their trade related issues especially with reference to their participation in the Expo Riva Garda exhibition to be held in Italy in June this year.

 Cotton crop to be cultivated over 2,955 thousand hectares

ISLAMABAD (APP): Cotton crop will be cultivated over 2,955 thousand hectares of land across the crop growing areas in the country during current sowing season. The cotton production targets for the crop season 2018-19 were fixed at 14.370 million bales with an average per hectare output of 850 kg per hectare, said an official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Talking to APP here on Thursday, he said that cotton crop will be cultivated over 2,300 thousand hectares in Punjab, whereas crop production during the period under review was fixed at 10.0 million bales. The average crop output was fixed at 739.5 kg per hectare by ensuring the availability of certified high yielding seed verities and efficient use of other inputs, he added. Meanwhile, he said that the crop sowing target for the Sindh was fixed at 620 thousand hectares to produce about 4.200 million cotton bales during current Kharif season by achieving an average output of about 1,152.3 kg per hectare.

On the other hand, cotton crop willo be cultivated over 5 thousand hectares in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 30 thousand hectares in Balochistan provinces respectively to produce 20,000 and 150,000 cotton bales respectively.

He further informed that in order to achieve the sowing targets, government had ensured the availability of all inputs including certified high yielding seeds, pesticides and access to credit facilities to purchase these inputs on time.

The federal government in collaboration with the field extension departments had started awareness campaign for cotton growers and initiated different training programmes at field level to cultivate the crop in more areas and to achieve more output, he added.

He said that the government had also introduced short messaging services for farmers for providing them proper weather forecast and climatic conditions during the season and updating them about any pest out attacks to avoid any damage to crop.

 Agri machinery distributed among winners of crop production contest

MULTAN (APP): Commissioner Bilal Ahmad Butt here Thursday distributed agricultural machinery as prizes among the farmers declared winners in a divisional level crop production contest. The ceremony was held at Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan where successful farmers, who had participated in production contests of seven different crops including mango, cotton, kino, paddy, maize, guava and potato, received prizes. Forty-five farmers of Multan, Vehari, Lodhran and Khanewal were given agricultural machinery worth millions of rupees, says a release. The machinery awarded to farmers as prizes included rotovators, tractor-mounter stress sprayers, engine wheel harrow sprayers, cotton ridgers, tractor-mounted boom sprayers, disk harrow, potato planter, mango orchard sprayers, and zero tillage drills.

 Former NA Speaker Syed Fakhar Imam, MPA Mehdi Abbas Langah, chairman Zila Council Diwan Abbas Bukhari, Vice Chancellor Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Dr Asif Ali, deputy mayor Multan Munawwar Ehsan Qureshi, director agriculture extension Rana Ahmad Muneer, director cotton Dr Sagheer and other officials attended the ceremony.

 Investment in Thar coal should be increased, say traders

ISLAMABAD (INP): Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Thursday said three mega LNG-based power plants have failed to produce electricity despite repeated deadlines. The failure of the contractors to deliver has resulted in massive losses as the government has to cut LNG imports and face fines, it said. The three LNG-based power plants with a total capacity of 3600 megawatts are not expected to start commercial production any time soon, therefore, the government should increase investment in coal, said patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. The LNG is imported fuel while coal is locally produced which is economical therefore investment in the Thar coal should be increased, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that Thar holds more energy than the combined energy of Saudi Arabia and Iran which is said to be 68 times more than the combined gas reserves in the country.

The 175 billion tonnes of coal in Thar can cater for Pakistan’s energy requirements for centuries saving billions of dollars in oil import bill.

It can also help earn hefty foreign exchange through energy exports to the neighbouring nations, he said.