Tunnel farming can be more  successful with drip irrigation


MULTAN (APP): Agriculture experts say that tunnel farming was necessary to enhance vegetables production and it can be more successful with application of drip irrigation and solar systems. In a release issued by the media liaison unit of the Punjab agriculture department, experts said the Punjab government was doing its level best to introduce modern technologies and assist farmers to adopt them at minimum cost. He said the provincial government was providing financial assistance to farmers to develop tunnel farming at 3,000-acre area. The agriculture department was providing subsidy to farmers at the rate of Rs 225,000 per acre or 50 per cent of the total cost (whichever is less) on the development of tunnel farms for vegetables production. However, rest of the cost would be borne by farmers themselves. The Punjab government was also providing assistance to farmers for installation of drip irrigation and solar systems.
Vegetables are a cheap source of necessary food ingredients, including minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and most of the vegetables have medicinal effect against different diseases and increase immunity. Nutrition experts and medical researchers prescribe enhanced consumption of vegetables. However, in Pakistan, per person consumption of vegetables was only 51 kilogram per year that is far less than average per person per annum consumption of 71 kilogram in the rest of the world. Vegetables' demand was increasing with the passage of time but its production remained stagnant. Tunnel farming can enhance vegetables production to ensure availability of vegetables throughout the year.

Decision to involve private
sector in gas distribution lauded
ISLAMABAD (APP): Business community here on Wednesday lauded decision of the government to unbundle gas utilities and involve the private sector in distribution. In a statement, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain said that the move would contain theft and enhance transparency which would result in new local and foreign investments in the energy sector to the tune of billions. He urged the provincial governments for cooperating with the federal government to create a new transmission company and four provincial distribution companies. The decision to involve the private sector in the distribution of gas would result in competition, reduced rates, and best practices as bulk consumers would not be bound to buy gas from a single entity, he added. The proposal has taken care of the domestic consumers who will be not affected by the new arrangement as they would continue to get locally-produced gas.
The transmission charges would be fixed by the Ogra to minimize chances of exploitation, he observed.

MoU inked to strengthen
trade with Mauritius
KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) according to which both chambers will initiate a number of actions aimed to strengthen bilateral trade and relationships between Pakistan and Mauritius. The MoU, which was initially inked by Mauritius chamber President Azim Currimjee in Port Louis Mauritius in presence of Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan’s High Commission in Mauritius Zahid Ahmed Khan Jatoi, was subsequently brought to Karachi by the board member of Mauritius chamber Shehzad Abdullah Ahmed so that it could officially be signed by KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo who formally signed the MoU at a ceremony held at KCCI in presence of Honorary Consul of Republic of Mauritius Sohail Yasin Suleman, Senior Vice President Asif Nisar, KCCI Vice President Younus Soomro and Managing Committee members.
According to the MoU, KCCI and Mauritius chamber have agreed to initiate establishment of friendly and cordial relations through increased cooperation among industrialists, businessmen and entrepreneurs of the two chambers. They will also recognise the possibilities of growth, development and promotion of bilateral trade, investment and tourism, besides appreciating the scope of further expansion of bilateral trade relations within the framework of laws and regulations prevalent in the two countries.
On the occasion, Honorary Consul of Mauritius Sohail Yasin termed the signing of MoU between KCCI and Mauritius chamber as the first step in the right direction which will pave way for more such initiatives, resulting in enhanced trade between the two countries. He was of the view that Mauritius was an impressive country where the business and industrial community of Karachi can not only do good business but can also explore scenic tourism sites.
The board member of Mauritius chamber Shehzad Abdullah Ahmed, who is also the president of Pakistan Mauritius Joint Business Council, said that although Mauritius itself was a small country but it was the gateway to 47 countries in Africa which can easily be accessed by the business and industrial community of Karachi via Mauritius. Mauritius, being the land of opportunities, offers profitable business in different sectors of the economy particularly fisheries, real estate development, agriculture, textiles and pharmaceutical etc, he added.
Earlier, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo said that although Pakistan and Mauritius have been enjoying decades old relation but the existing trade volume was not depicting the same which was the basic reason why KCCI was keen to have a MoU with Mauritian chamber. He was of the view that the declining trade has to be tackled through collective efforts and more interaction between the business communities of the two countries which is the only way forward.
Shamim said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened up abundant lucrative opportunities not just for the business and industrial community of Pakistan but also for the rest of the world including Mauritian businessmen and industrialists who can surely benefit either by investing or undertaking joint ventures.

UK PCCI assures of promoting
made in Pakistan brands in UK
ISLAMABAD (APP): UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UK PCCI) here on Wednesday assured for playing its role for promoting "Made in Pakistan" brands in UK market as many Pakistani products have good potential to meet the needs of British consumers. A delegation headed by Jehanzaib Anis, Company Secretary, UK PCCI visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and said that a delegation of their chamber would visit Pakistan in November this year to attend Karachi Expo. He said some members of delegation would also visit Islamabad and Lahore to explore possibilities of further improving bilateral trade between Pakistan and UK. He said UK PCCI was also planning to organize an Expo of Pakistani products in UK after Ramzan in 2018 and urged that ICCI members should take active participation in that expo to showcase potential of their products in UK. He said based on the interest and response of Pakistani private sector, the size and scope of the expo would be finalized.
He said UK PCCI wanted to work with ICCI for promoting Pakistan's trade with UK and assured that it would facilitate Pakistani delegations in business visas of UK.
Speaking on the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President ICCI, said that Pakistan and UK had had good potential to enhance bilateral trade and both countries should facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore untapped areas of mutual cooperation.
He said UK PCCI should maintain regular liaison with ICCI to strengthen connectivity, especially between the SMEs of both countries that would help in realizing significant boost in bilateral trade.
He said that ICCI and UK PCCI should establish virtual liaison to strengthen business linkages between the private sectors of both countries.
He said CPEC had started a new era of economic activities in Pakistan and emphasized that investors of UK should visit Pakistan to explore joint ventures and investment in CPEC projects.