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Friday June 21, 2024

Punjab accelerates efforts to promote oilseed crops

By Our Correspondent
June 06, 2024
Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani speaks at the consultation session in this still taken on June 5, 2024. — Facebook/Agriculture Department Punjab
Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani speaks at the consultation session in this still taken on June 5, 2024. — Facebook/Agriculture Department Punjab

LAHORE: Provincial Agriculture Department on Wednesday held a consultation session to explore options for reducing imports of edible oil and soybean.

Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani while speaking at the consultation session said that Pakistan imported edible oil and soybean worth 6.2 billion dollars annually, which is a burden on the country's economy. Punjab chief minister is taking effective steps for the development of agriculture sector. According to her vision, a comprehensive programme is being introduced to ease the country's import bill of edible oil and increase the area under cultivation of soybeans.

The provincial minister maintained that a new era has been initiated for agricultural development and prosperity of farmers in the province and the implementation of the multi-cost ‘Transforming Punjab Agriculture Programme’ of Rs400 billion is in progress. He endorsed that improving the value chain and value addition of oilseeds and soybean is the need of the hour to boost production of these crops. The present government will provide facilities to the industry and farmers for this purpose and in this context, linkages between farmers, industry and market will be improved.

The minister directed to formulate a joint working group consisting of experts of livestock, agriculture and industry to promote soybean cultivation in Punjab. He urged the industry to support the Punjab government to reduce the import bill of oilseeds and promote soybeans.

He clarified that the goal of food self-sufficiency can be achieved by promoting the cultivation of oilseeds and soybeans. He further said that the services of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad for the promotion of soybean cultivation are commendable. The University of Agriculture Faisalabad has cultivated soybeans in 170 places in Pakistan on an area of 700 acres under the comprehensive programme.

Punjab Agriculture Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that many projects have been approved for the development of agriculture sector and the implementation of these projects is in progress. Today's session is meant to bring together all stakeholders under one roof to get actionable suggestions on oil commodity production and value addition.