AMRI develops three agri-machines

MULTAN (APP): Agriculture Mechanization Research Institute (AMRI) developed another three agri-machines including sugarcane crusher, sugarcane loader and garlic planter to facilitate the farming community. Talking to APP Director AMRI, Ghulam Siddique said  that AMRI was playing important role in promotion of cost effective agriculture machinery which was not only facilitating farmers but also promoting agriculture sector. About Sugarcane Crusher, he said that newly prepared machine had good efficacy as it extract sugarcane juice to 70 per cent which was higher as compared to the conventional machines with 45 to 50 percent juice recovery. The farmers were taking interest for making "Gurr" due to frustration triggered due to low prices allegedly offered by sugar mills in the country, he added.  He said that the Institute also prepared another cost effective machine garlic planter. The garlic planter was good replacement than manual system he said added that it not only save labour and timing but also cost effective.

Beside this, another machine Sugarcane loader was also developed at the institute, he said and added that it could load trailers within few hours. The farmers had to hire labour to load sugarcane on tractor-trolleys, he added.

He said that recently introduced three machines would ease working of the farmers.

About AMRI, the director said that institute was undertaking Research & Development for low cost and appropriate agricultural machinery and farm mechanisation technologies. It comprises of different sections i.e. design & development, fabrication, test & field research,agronomy,and instrumentation, he added.

He said that the institute was providing industrial extension service to the local agricultural machinery manufactures for production of standardized and quality machinery. It also imparts technical guidance to the farmers for proper selection, operation and maintenance of agricultural machinery and equipment, he added.

He said that AMRI had developed over 120 cost effective agriculture machines so far since its inception from 1978. Out of locally developed over 120 machines, nearly 49 machines had become commercial, he said and added that developed machines were identified as Seed Cleaner/Grader, Rabi Drill, Cultivator Drill, Dry sowing/Runner Drill, Rota Drill, Thresher, Wheat straw Chopper Drill, Rota Drill, Thresher, Mobile Bhoosa Baler, Seed Delinter, Seed Treater, Kharif Drill, Precision Planter, Cotton Ridge with Fertilizer, Bed and Furrow shaper planter, Rotary Slasher, Root Digger, Intercultural Toolbar, Sugarcane Ridger, Sugarcane planter, Stubble Shaver, Axial Flow Pump, Sprinkle Gun, Vegetable Ridger, Potato Planter, Rotary Potato Digger, Post hole digger, Fruit Picker, Potato Digger Shaker,Mango Hot water treatment plant, Vegetable nursery transplanter, Maize Sheller, Self Leveling Boom Sprayer, Orchard Sprayer, Fertilizer Broadcaster, Fodder Cutter, Fodder Chopper, Mango prouner and some others.

Women in business festival held

ISLAMABAD (APP): Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI)  Sunday organized 'Women in Business Festival' (WIBFEST") festival here at Lok Virsa, Shakarparian. The day long festival was aimed at encouraging women entrepreneurs in the country. Women participants from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Sailkot, Peshawar, Mardan and Faisalabad attended the festival. These women were involved in creative businesses. The fun filled activities were also arranged for kids while other than conventional products, women entrepreneurs displayed different different foods on the occasion. Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO) also joined hands with Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry in order to promote Women entrepreneurs and arranged a stall in the festival. The stalls of embroided dresses, art work, mosaic work, work on glass and canvas were also arranged in the festival. The painting stalls,  art work on camel skin and blue pottery especially attracted visitors.

The IPO especially focused on the promotion of women art work, designing and registration of their businesses for the protection against piracy and counterfeiting.

Iran says Opec could ease oil output cuts in 2019: Wall Street Journal

DUBAI (Reuters): Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could agree in June to begin easing current oil production curbs in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Zanganeh also told the WSJ in an interview that Iran wanted Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to work to keep oil prices around $60 a barrel to contain U.S. shale oil production. "If the price jumps [to] around $70 ... it will motivate more production in shale oil in the United States," Zanganeh said. Iran will press for carefully bringing back some of its own production, the WSJ cited Zanganeh as saying, adding the OPEC member currently pumps about 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd) and could produce about 100,000 bpd more. He did not say when Iran could raise its output. Iran is allowed to pump up to 3.8 million bpd under a global pact between OPEC, Russia and other oil producers to limit supply. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets next in June.

France pledges $861m for new solar


NEW DELHI (AFP): French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday pledged hundreds of millions of dollars for solar projects in developing countries, as world leaders met in India to promote greater investment in renewable energy. Macron, who in December warned that the global shift to a green energy future was too slow, said France would extend an extra $861.5 million through loans and donations by 2022 for solar projects in emerging economies. France had already committed $300 million to the initiative when it co-founded with India a global alliance in 2015 to unlock new cash for solar projects in sunny yet poor nations. "We need to remove all obstacles and scale up," Macron said at the launch of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- who has committed to reducing India's sizeable carbon footprint through a massive scale-up in renewable energy -- said it was vital that nations were not priced out.

"We have to make sure that a better and cost-effective solar technology is available to all," Modi told the gathering of investors and world leaders from about 20 mainly African nations.

"We will have to increase solar in our energy mix."

India, the world's third-largest polluter, is undergoing spectacular growth in its solar sector and is on track to become one of the world's largest clean energy markets.

It pledged at the Paris climate summit in 2015 to source at least 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030, mainly via solar.

The energy-hungry giant of 1.25 billion people is banking on solar to electrify homes for hundreds of millions of its poorest citizens without adding to its considerable emissions output.

Macron and Modi hope the alliance will spur $1 trillion in new solar spending by 2030 in 121 countries lacking investment in the sector.

These countries have "the paradox of being the sunniest in the world while enjoying the least solar energy," said Segolene Royal, a former French minister in India as a special envoy for the alliance.

Macron told world leaders in Paris in December that "we are losing the battle" against climate change and urged faster action to combat global warming.

The French leader called on private sector attendees in New Delhi to engage more actively because "solar investments are becoming more profitable".

Energy and investment has been a focus of Macron's three-day visit to India.

He and Modi will open a new 100-megawatt solar plant near the holy city of Varanasi on Monday built by the French company Engie.

India and France also signed a technical agreement Saturday on the French-assisted nuclear power project at Jaitapur in western Maharashtra state.

But the two leaders have also struck a key defence accord for the Indian Ocean. Under the deal, India and France will open their naval bases to each other's warships, a move seen as an attempt to undermine China's territorial ambitions.

Modi, who welcomed Macron with a bear hug on his arrival Friday, said the accord was crucial as the Indian Ocean region would play a "very significant role" in the days to come.

France's 40-year-old president and his wife Brigitte on Sunday also visited the Taj Mahal, a few hours drive from the Indian capital.

Marvelling at the monument to love is a near-mandatory stop for visiting leaders, with Canada's Justin Trudeau and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu also touring the Mughal-era marble wonder during tours of India this year.