New trends in tunnel farming discussed


MULTAN (APP): Tunnel farming is a profitable business but many farmers using this technique are not properly familiar with it, said Muhammad Shaukat, who introduced tunnel farming in 1995 in the country, while speaking at a seminar titled as "New Trends in Tunnel Farming" held at the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA) here on Friday. He said several farmers were associated with tunnel farming but, unfortunately, they could not get proper access to information about it. "We have arranged a training session for farmers at the farm to facilitate them," he said and added that farmers could get good profit by tunnel farming besides using less fertilisers and spray. MNSUA VC Dr Asif Ali said famers could get good profit by this technique of farming, adding that the seminar was meant at attracting farmers towards tunnel farming. He said the Punjab government had announced to extend subsidy on this business which was a positive step.

CDNS notifies comparable profit rates for saving certificates

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) have notified similar profit rates for various saving certificates from October 1, 2017 to benefit its investors especially the widow and pensioners. “The consistency in previous rates is made in the backdrop of current market scenario and in accordance with the government’s policy to provide market based competitive rate of return to the investors of National Savings”, a senior official of CDNS told APP here on Friday. He said as per notification issued by the federal government, the rates for Defence Savings Certificate, Special Saving Certificate and Account, Regular Income Certificate and Savings Accounts had been revised upward at an average of 7.54 percent, 6.03 percent,6.54 percent and 3.95 percent, respectively. The official said the profit rate of return for specialised savings schemes like Bahbood Savings certificates and Pensioners’ Benefit Account had also been revised up and fixed at 9.36 percent to provide safety net to specialised segments of the society.

The CDNS has achieved Rs52 billion in first quarter of current fiscal year from July 1 to September 30, 2017-18. The CDNS has set Rs250 billion net target for fiscal year (2017-18). The CDNS had achieved the revised target of Rs228 billion set for the financial year 2016-17 by June 30, 2017, the official said.

BASF signs agreement to acquire

significant parts of Bayer’s businesses

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): BASF has signed an agreement to acquire significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses. Bayer intends to divest these assets in the context of its planned acquisition of Monsanto. The all-cash purchase price is €5.9 billion, subject to certain adjustments at closing. The assets to be acquired include Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium non-selective herbicide business, commercialized under the Liberty®, Basta® and Finale® brands, as well as its seed businesses for key row crops in select markets: canola hybrids in North America under the InVigor® brand using the LibertyLink® trait technology, oilseed rape mainly in European markets, cottonin the Americas and Europe as well assoybeanin the Americas. The transaction also includes Bayer’s trait research and breeding capabilities for these crops and the LibertyLink® trait and trademark. For the full year 2016, sales of the business to be purchased from Bayer amounted to around €1.3 billion and EBITDA to around €385 million.

The transaction is subject to the closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto and approval by relevant authorities. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.



SECP hosts awareness sessions for

budding entrepreneurs

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): In order to spread awareness through its investor education programme ‘Jamapunji’, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in collaboration with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the National Incubation Center (NIC) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has conducted awareness sessions in Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. The sessions conducted in collaboration with TiE in Lahore and Islamabad were part of a competition series for aspiring entrepreneurs titled Start-up Cup 2017, being conducted in several cities of Pakistan in collaboration with the US Embassy and the HEC. The primary objective of these sessions is to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan so that new businesses contributing to national economic prosperity are created. The SECP’s experts mentored and guided several start-ups on the importance, procedures and benefits of incorporation.

The start-ups presented business plans relating to new ideas expected to deliver economic value in the areas of technology, mobile applications, e-commerce, financial services, agriculture and social development. Additional sessions are scheduled to take place in Karachi and Peshawar in the coming weeks. A session of a similar nature was subsequently conducted at the NIC head office in Islamabad for many start-ups representing sectors such as technology, travel, retail and others. The sessions were followed by an interactive session in which attending start-ups sought clarity on the process and requirements of registering their entities with the SECP.

Another session on company incorporation and equity financing was conducted at the regional centre of the HEC for Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (ORICs) of various universities in the northern region of the country. Senior academics from Kohat University, SBB Women University KPK, UET Peshawar, Shaheed Benazir University Shiringle, Islamia College Peshawar, University of Science and Technology Bannu, and CECOS University of IT and Engineering Peshawar also expressed their views on the occasion.

The speakers provided information on the SECP’s online incorporation services, fast track registration services and in particular the SECP’s supportive role for development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan. The attendees expressed their appreciation for the SECP’s ongoing efforts and acknowledged the awareness impact of such sessions. They invited the SECP to conduct such sessions at their respective ORICs and university campuses to help educate and encourage budding student entrepreneurs.