Chairman PARC briefed PM steps taken to uplift underdeveloped areas of GB, deserts ecologies, newly merged districts / FATA, coastal areas and Balochistan.
Islamabad:During the farmers' convention organized by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the stalls set up by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council for exhibition. Products and other items manufactured by PARC were displayed in the exhibition. On the occasion, the Prime Minister lauded the role of PARC in the agricultural sector. Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan while briefing the Prime Minister said that no attention was paid to remote and undeveloped areas before today. PARC came to the forefront, started the work to carry out value addition of products from all the remote areas including Gilgit-Baltistan, ex-FATA, Tharparkar and others.
Dr. Azeem Khan told the Prime Minister that Pakistan imports at approximately 590 million U.S dollar worth of tea annually while there is no competition for herbal teas from different parts of the country including thyme, olive, rosemary and chamomile. These are superfoods, we will take Pakistan forward by including it in tea exporting countries.
While discussing about GB’s development, the Chairman PARC said that the total area of Gilgit-Baltistan is 17.91 million acres in which the cultivated area is 214,977 acres, whereas 178,406 acres of cultivable is barren land. We are working on the value addition of all the herbs in Gilgit-Baltistan as per the vision of the present government and soon the products of these areas will not only be spread domestically but also exported.The Chairman also briefed that Hatcheries are being set up to develop trout fish and 3 million good offspring will be given to fish farmers every year. The number of trout farms here will be increased to 300. In addition, the cow in GB produces less milk. On the direction of Special Assistant, PARC is going to give 10 good breed bulls to the people there. In NARC, sperms are being made only for Gilgit so that more milk can be obtained by improving GB’s cow breed.
Discussing steps for FATA, Balochistan & Sindh with PM, the Chairman PARC expressed“we are working on fruit processing in former FATA, olive will also be cultivated there as much as possible. The cultivation of organic pulses along-with olive will be increased in Balochistan, processing / value addition of fruits and dried fruits will also be done”.Moreover, the land in the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh is ideal for cotton and oil palm cultivation. In these areas, 5 to 8 million acres of land is available for these two crops. By cultivation of palm oil in these areas, the import of oil will definitely be reduced. Adding further, the Chairman told “making Tharparkar greener, we have developed an excellent model which will be spread all over Tharparkar and all crops will be grown with brackish water”.
(Ghulam Shabbir Mirza)
Incharge (PR&P) PARC