ISLAMABAD: The government is putting special focus on agricultural research to increase the per hectare yield to achieve sustainable agriculture development in the country, a government official said.
Chairing a symposium, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that Korean Programme on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Pakistan Centre and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) will jointly develop locally-customised technologies and serve as a hub for sharing agricultural technologies and knowledge between the two countries.
“Our collaboration will contribute to increasing farmers’ income and developing Pakistan’s agricultural industry,” he added.
Imam apprised the delegation about the livestock sector in Pakistan and the need for the development of value-added animal products.
He expressed the hope for further enhancing the volume and quality of agricultural products between the two countries and assured full support for further cooperation by the government of Pakistan.
The two delegations agreed to expand the cooperation in the field of machinery and vegetable seed production.
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Pakistan Suh Sangpyo said that he expected that Pakistan’s agriculture will go beyond domestic food self-sufficiency and contribute to the global food problem.
Hur Taewoong, administrator of the Rural Development Administration (RDA), said that technological advancement is closely linked to a country’s economic development, adding that RDA was willing to share Korea’s best practices with Pakistan.
Secretary Agriculture Serves Show Cause Notices To Officials Over Delay In Cotton Advisory
Secretary agriculture south Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel on Monday issued notices to three senior officials to explain their position on their failure in extending in time advisory to cotton farmers when crop was facing pests' attack including pink bollworm.
Deputy director agriculture extension Multan Sheikh Yousuf Ur Rahman, assistant director Falak Sher and assistant director Shujabad Liaquat Ali Gondal were issued show cause notices after a meeting chaired by secretary agriculture at the agriculture secretariat here Monday.
Cotton crop in Multan was facing pest attack of pink bollworm and others but farmers were not getting official advisory in time, Saqib said in the meeting, according to an official release.
Cotton crop was passing through a critical phase and can not afford even a smaller mistake, the secretary said.
Saqib ordered extension and pest warning officials to share their temporary visit schedule with monitoring officials adding that their ACRs would be written on the basis of monitoring reports.
He also ordered extension and pest warning officials to exchange information for action against fake pesticides dealers to tighten noose around them.
He said that hot spots of Thrips, white fly and Jassid should be treated in the presence of officials and their follow up treatment be also prescribed to farmers.
He said that pest pressure was on the rise due to rains and climate change.
He advised farmers for daily inspection and twice a week pest scouting of their crops.
He advised farmers to follow guidelines of officials to control pests including Thrips, Mealy Bug, white fly, Jassid and pink bollworm.
Deputy secretary agriculture Asif Raza, directors Malik Najam ul Hassan, Shahzad Sabir and others participated in he meeting.
Laboratory For Analysis Of Camel Milk Established At IUB
The Faculty of Veterinary and the Animal Sciences, Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB) has established Camel Milk Analysis Laboratory at the Department of Animal Nutrition.
The private sector will be collaborated through this laboratory to facilitate and provide practical experience to students. Shakil Sadiq, CEO of business Development, Etihad Group, and Dr. Nauman Rauf, CEO of Dairy Heed Pakistan met Dr. Zahid Kamran, Chairman Department of Animal Nutrition at his office.
Dr. Ali Raza Abbasi, Deputy Director Cholistan Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Punjab was also present during the meeting.
The Etihad Group intends to establish a processing plant for camel milk in near future.
In this context, the collection of camel milk from the Cholistan and technical support for its composition analysis at PARB Camel Milk Analysis Laboratory was discussed.
Dr. Zahid Kamran shared his experiences of camel farming and offered technical support in this regard also in addition to its analysis. The delegates visited the laboratory and both the parties agreed to meet further for streamlining future collaboration.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khalid Mansoor, Dean Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences appreciated the efforts of Dr. Zahid Kamran in establishing industrial linkages.
Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Rawalpindi on the directives of Advisor to the Chief Minister Punjab and Chairman PHA, Asif Mehmood has accelerated its ongoing Monsoon plantation campaign.
PHA teams with the help of citizens and shopkeepers have planted thousands of saplings at greenbelts, medians and open spaces alongside various roads including Airport Road, Arid Agriculture University and adjoining greenbelts and other areas.
Advisor to the CM, Director General PHA Rawalpindi Zaheer Ahmed Jappa and PHA officers also took part in the campaign by planting saplings.
The advisor to CM said, PHA was striving to reduce air pollution and make the city green.
He said, the authority was trying to provide an attractive and healthier natural environment to residents.
He urged, the citizens to come forward and play a role to make the monsoon plantation campaign launched by PHA a success.
Vice Chairman PHA, Malik Abid Hussain said, PHA had come up with a tree planting plan on the banks of Nullah Leh and Sowan river. As many as 25,000 seed balls were thrown on the banks of Soan River under monsoon tree planting campaign.
He said, all possible steps were being taken in the light of the directives of the Chief Minister Punjab to make the city green.
Seeds of locally grown plants in over 50,000 soil balls would be planted along the banks. The soil balls were being thrown over a 14 kms stretch and the tree-planting process was also extended to Soan River.
The Vice Chairman said that urban trees could help reduce air pollution. Every citizen should plant a sapling and ensure its care as well.
The PHA was planting maximum saplings and enhancing greenery particularly in parks and green belts of the city, he added.
To encourage citizens and different organisations, the authority had prepared a plan. Students, traders, social and political leaders and civil society members were also being encouraged to participate in the campaign, he said.
The PHA Rawalpindi had also planned to develop 50 Miyawaki urban forests in different city areas, he added.
According to a PHA spokesman, maximum saplings would be planted under the ongoing monsoon plantation campaign at different locations.
She informed that thousands of saplings were also distributed free of cost among the citizens.
Flooding in Islamabad because of cloudburst: Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat
ISLAMABAD: At least two people were killed on Wednesday when urban flooding caused by cloudburst wreaked havoc in Islamabad, Geo News reported.
In a weather update on his official Twitter handle, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat said, “Cloudburst in Islamabad has caused flooding in various areas. Teams are clearing nullahs/roads. Hopefully we will be able to clear everything in an hour”.
Videos from Islamabad's sectors E-11 and D-12 show cars floating in gushing waters after heavy rains that lashed the federal capital and Rawalpindi for hours.
The twin cities received the highest rains during the current monsoon season.
Sources in the Pakistan Meteorological Department said that some areas in Islamabad received up to 330mm of rain in the last few hours.
High alert in Rawalpindi, army called in
Pakistan Army troops were deployed in Rawalpindi after the local government sought the military’s help following incessant rains that triggered a high flood in Nullah Lai.
“Heavy rains caused high water level in Nullah Lai and water accumulation in E 11, the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.
OGDCL Makes First-ever Oil, Gas Discovery At Kawargarh Formation In KP
Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) on Thursday announced of making first-ever discovery of gas and condensate reservoirs at Wali Block (Kawagarh Formation) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.
"The well has tested 11.8 MMSCFD [Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day] of gas and 945 BPD [Barrels per Day] of condensate with wellhead flowing pressure of 3000 Psi at 32/64" choke size," the company said in a news release.
The OGDCL, being operator of the Wali Exploration Licence with 100 percent working interest, has made a gas and condensate discovery over Kawagarh Formation from its exploratory efforts at Well Wali-1 which is located in FR Lakki, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
"It is the first-ever discovery made in Kawagarh Formation in Pakistan and will open new avenues for exploration and this will give boost to exploration activities in the country," the company said highlighting its uniqueness.
The structure of Well was drilled down to the depth of 4,727 meters in Kawagarh formation and tested using the OGDCL's in-house expertise.
The company said the discovery was the result of its aggressive exploration strategy, adding "OGDCL is pioneer of making landmark discoveries of hydrocarbons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa e.g. previously it made discovery of Canda Oil Field and likewise now it has discovered Oil & Gas from Kawagarh Formation (Kohat Basin) in Pakistan, upholding its record."The discovery would add to the hydrocarbon reserves of OGDCL, in addition to increasing hydrocarbon supply and reducing the energy crisis in the country, the company added.
Imam Stresses Need To Promote Climate Smart Agriculture, Water
Federal Minister for National food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Thursday stressed the need for promoting climate resilient and water smart agriculture in addition with water conservation to avert climate change challenges in the country.
Addressing a seminar, the minister said that Pakistan was one of the least contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change yet worst affected by their underlying impacts due to its higher vulnerability caused by geographical location.
The minister addressed a seminar organized by The Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on "Climate threat: Opportunities and Challenges in Pakistan's Agriculture, said a press release.
Fakhar Imam said that the mean annual temperature in the country has increased by 0.6 degree Celsius during the last half century and there has been a considerable increase in the frequency and intensity of floods and droughts.
Critical modifications in strategies and action plans for hydropower generation, construction and operation of storage reservoirs, irrigation withdrawals, flood control and drought management will be required to optimally manage water resources in the basin, he added.
He pointed out the immediate steps that should be carried out to counter the devastating impact of climate change.
The government was investing heavily in increasing water storage capacity to maximize the utility of the available water, he added.
The minister pointed out that it was imperative to promote climate resilient and water smart agriculture in addition with water conservation.
He further said that crop diversification integrated with livestock rearing can lead to positive results.
Cotton Support Price To Increase Production, Bring Stability In Market: Fakhar
Federal Minister for National food Security Syed Fakhar Imam Wednesday said the minimum support price of cotton would increase production and bring stability in the market.
Chairing the meeting for cotton intervention price, he said the incumbent government was resolutely committed to support the cotton farmers in the country as the cotton production was on decline over the past few years, said a press release.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and senior officials of the ministry also attended the meeting.
Illegal constructions caused nullahs to overflow in Islamabad's E-11
E-11, located in the heart of the city, is dotted with unauthorised high-rise buildings and several illegal cooperative housing schemes. However, no serious action was taken against them by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and district administration, which deal with such housing schemes.
On the other hand, housing schemes and other owners have narrowed down nullahs that cross through the sector. The street where the affected house is located has been built on a nullah.
During a visit to the area, it was noted that seemingly the incident took place due to heavy rain (103mm) and existence of narrow nullahs.
The nullah in the E-12/D-12 side was covered and narrowed down due to construction of the housing society; after around 200 metres, it joins another narrow stream coming from the D-11 side, creating a bottleneck, forcing the water to gush out.
The water entered the basements of a large number of houses and commercial plazas and till evening the owners of buildings remained busy in draining the water out.
“After offering Fajr prayers, I saw flash flood inundating our street. I tried to run away, but I could not do so due to water in the street. It was a terrible scene,” said Farhan Zafar, a resident of the worst-affected street of E-11.
The deaths took place in a house in Zafar’s neighbourhood.
“When I heard screaming and mourning, I thought my neighbours are worried due to flash flood, but later we came to know that rainwater had entered their basement from the rear side of their house,” he said.
Another resident, Chaudhry Saeed, said: “We were helpless; we saw the flash flood, which also washed away at least three cars and some motorcycles.”
He recalled that a few years ago, the management of the society had built a road on the nullah after covering it. He said the nullah had also become a dumping site for the societies operating in E-11.
Real Estate Golra, which also falls in E-11, was exempted from acquisition by the orders of former president Gen Ayub Khan due to presence of the Golra shrine. Therefore, CDA did not acquire the sector, except a portion of it, namely the northern strip, which was allotted to those affected by land acquisition in F-11 and F-12.
Those allotted the land, however, sold it to private developers, who built five housing schemes in the sectors. These are Medical Cooperative, Federation Cooperative, Federal Services Society, Police Foundation and Multi-Professional Housing Society.
Many other developers have also constructed unauthorised multi-storey apartment buildings in E-11.
Sources in CDA said the Medical, Federation and Services cooperative housing schemes did not have the approved layout plan and the civic agency’s no objection certificate. They said the layout plan of Medical Housing Scheme was approved, but due to violations it was cancelled many years ago.
The CDA after cancelling the layout plan did not take any action to stop growth of the scheme, whereas office of registrar, Cooperative Housing Society of ICT also failed to take any action.
Like E-11, there was flooding in D-12 and some other areas of Islamabad. Rainwater entered in slums of F-6, F-7, G-6 and in some houses of G-7.
CDA’s rescuers and officials of fire brigade, sanitation directorate and water supply remained busy in the rescue operation. CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed and Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat also visited E-11.
Addressing a joint press conference, CDA Member Finance Rana Shakeel Asghar and DC Hamza Shafqaat told journalists that the operation for draining out water from all affected areas of Islamabad had been completed.
Mr Asghar said the society had been served a show-cause notice while CDA had decided to check construction and bylaws of all housing societies.