ICCI launches project to promote women entrepreneurship

ISLAMABAD (NN): The ICCI in collaboration with Aurat Foundation on Thursday launched a project titled “Enhancing Women Economic Empowerment through Skills Development and Capacity Building”, which is a USAID funded project under its Gender Equity Programme. The ICCI would undertake many initiatives under this project to promote women entrepreneurship in the region. Addressing the launching ceremony, ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said that the project would go a long way in enhancing the economic empowerment of women through their skills enhancement and capacity building. He said ICCI has already taken many initiatives for women entrepreneurs including establishment a Women Business Growth Centre in collaboration with UNIDO Pakistan and assured that ICCI would continue to work for the economic empowerment of women so that they could play effective role in the development of the country.

Agriculture production cost down

by 5-10pc: API

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Cost of agriculture production has reduced by 5-10 percent due to various incentive packages introduced by the government. “If these measures continue next year, the agricultural produces including wheat, rice, sugar and other products would be able to compete in international markets,” Agriculture Policy Institute (API) Chief Economist Sohail Muhammad Khan said. Talking to media on Thursday, he said that decreasing production cost of local agricultural produces would help to create a reasonable space and capture the international markets by competing in these products. He said the government was taking appropriate measures to further bring down the cost of agriculture production in order to compete in international markets and enhance the exports. He said the government has announced different measures for the promotion and development of the agriculture sector of the country including kissan package, subsidy on fertilisers, installation of solar tubewells as well as reduction in electric tariff for farmers.

Pakistan Food Festival kicks

off in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (APP): Sri Lanka’s Minister for Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Pakistan’s High Commissioner Maj Gen (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain on Thursday opened Pakistan Food Festival by cutting ribbon in a simple yet traditional. The opening ceremony was attended by the people from different walks of life including diplomats, Sri Lankan parliamentarians, government functionaries, members of Pakistani community in Sri Lanka and prominent personalities. Invitees of the event were of the view that festivals of this nature are a good medium to bring people closer to each other and further strengthen the strong brotherly relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. During the event, High Commissioner Maj Gen (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain said that Pakistani cuisine is a kaleidoscope fusion of culture which showcases the abundance and diversity of Pakistan's food products. Within Pakistan, cuisine varies greatly from region to region, reflecting the country's ethnic and cultural diversity, he added.

BCI, Cotton Australia join hands to train cotton farmers

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The Australian government, Cotton Australia, and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) have together launched a partnership to support the training of approximately 225,000 Pakistani cotton farmers commencing with the 2017 cotton season. This partnership will deliver practical tools and the latest environmental and cutting-edge management practices aligned with internationally recognised quality assurance for sustainable cotton production, said a statement on Thursday. Pakistani farmers will be trained in techniques for growing cotton with a focus on improved environmental, social and economic benefits, in line with the Better Cotton Standard System. Cotton is an important export earner for Pakistan – the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world. The partnership has been established to support Pakistan’s ability to compete in premium international cotton markets.

The Australian government has committed AUD500,000 to this project which will be supported through the Australian aid programme’s Business Partnerships Platform. Australia’s contribution will be matched by AUD2.4 million from the BCI Growth and Innovation Fund.