KARACHI - Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), sub-regional office Hyderabad, organised a seminar on export potential of ‘guargum’ the other day at Mithi, Tharparkar, under supervision of Ashiq Hussain Khoso, deputy director TDAP.

The seminar was attended by around 120 guar growers and traders of the region and researchers, soil scientists, officers from the departments concerned shared their in-depth knowledge and skills with the audience and highlighted the export potential of this product. Guargum is a substance made from guar beans which has thickening and stabilising properties useful in various industries such as textile industry, paper industry, pharmaceutical industry, cosmetics and toiletries industries, explosives industry, fire retardant industry, food industry and mining.

Dr Lal Hussain Akhtar, guar botanist, Agriculture Research Institute, government of Punjab, on the occasion said that Pakistan, being the 2nd largest producer of guar, meets 10% to 15% of world’s supply. Guar, being a crop of arid and semi-arid regions, is also sown as a major crop in Tharparkar. He emphasised that there should be a research institute in Tharparkar helping the growers to increase the yield by introducing the promising seeds. Dr Jhaman Das, PHD in Guargum, told that Agriculture Department in Tharparkar district had estimated total kharif production of the crop in 2011 at about 7,20,000 maunds cultivated over an area of about 6,00,000 acres. Agriculture experts working are of the view that production of guar could be increased many times more in the area. There is also need to set up a guar-gum processing industry in Tharparkar for its direct export. This will help gain optimum economic returns on the product benefiting local producers. The representatives of Sindh Horticulture Research Institute, Department of Agriculture Research /Extension, Department of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Agriculture University etc also shared their research and skills.

Azhar Dahar, director general TDAP, elaborated the export potential of guargum and its possible socio-economic impact on lives of the people of Thar. He said that Trade Development Authority will encourage the progressive growers of guar to further enhance its quality to compete with other competitors. Director General, Product Division also said that TDAP Hyderabad team is available to assist progressive growers of Thar in their queries and ensure every possible support from available resources of TDAP.