Chili sector getting USAID assistance

KARACHI (APP): The USAID has initiated a project to promote good agricultural practices among the chili farmers Thar area of Sindh. Under the project "U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) program" USAID is providing technical assistance to the chili farmers to help them identify and address inefficiencies through provision of grants and technical assistance ultimately improving their competitiveness. Special attention is also being paid to help these farmers explore more efficient water management technologies and provide additional livelihood options to rural families in Sindh. According to concerned authorities special attention is also being paid to enhance their understanding about other cropping systems. Similar trainings were said to be also being conducted in other chili growing areas in the province, other than Kunri and Naukot. To review the scheme, provincial director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Sreen, and Deputy Director, Michael Hryshchyshyn, visited the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) to support USAIDs agricultural investments.

The day-long visit included a discussion with progressive chili farmers on issues and concerns pertaining to the sector. The visit provided the USAID team the opportunity to interact with the chili growers, and processors, as well as witness the USAID sponsored technical trainings being conducted in the field.

Smith-Sreen on the occasion said his team was proud of the role the United States Government has played to support the development of Pakistan's agricultural sector.

He expressed his confidence that with continued technical assistance and engagement with Pakistani trade envoys USAID will help expand market access for Pakistani chili exports.

The Chairman, Chili Growers Association, Mia Muhammad Saleem, thanked the USAID delegation for their support to the chili sector and its role in helping the chili farmers confront the various challenges faced in the sector.

USAID launched the U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development to improve the ability of Pakistan's commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in international and national markets in the four target product lines; meat, high value and off season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus.

This partnership acts as a catalyst for development and investment in the target product lines, helps improve the quality and increase the quantity of exportable agricultural produce, and promotes cooperation among farmers, processors, exporters, and buyers of Pakistani agricultural products in international markets resulting in increased incomes and generating employment opportunities for Pakistanis.

SECP signs MOUs with universities

ISLAMABAD (APP): The SECP has signed MOUs) with the heads of University of Karachi, Iqra University and Institute of Business Management (IBM). SECP's Commissioner Investor Education Shauzab Ali signed the MOUs with Dr Tahir Ali of University of Karachi, Dr Irfan Hameed Iqra University and Dr Syed Irfan Hyder of IBM, an SECP press statement said here Saturday. The SECP said it was a one more leap under the banner of Jamapunji, a campaign that was launched to create awareness regarding personal finance and investment. The MOUs were aimed at creating awareness and enhancing financial education among students. The signatories would extend cooperation in conducting seminars, workshops and educational activities for students. For capacity building of the varsity faculty members, the SECP would impart training through Faculty Development and Master Trainer Programmes. Various collaborative activities, including exchange of scholarly ideas and development of programmes on issues related to personal finance and investment would be conducted.

Shauzab Ali on the occasion appreciated the vision of the university heads and the potential of students to become contributors in the mainstream economic growth of the country.

He mentioned that the SECP through its investor instruction programme was successfully getting the message across over to existing and potential investors for enhancing financial literacy and helping to further build our capital market.

He added that the future of the financial industry in Pakistan belonged to capital markets; therefore, collective efforts of regulators, industrialists and academics are the need of the hour.

The university heads lauded SECP's efforts and expressed their resolve to get maximum benefit from the SECP.

The signatories agreed on the dire need of building a culture of savings and investments in the society and pledged to sincerely collaborate for the region's betterment under the MOUs.

New textile package being planned: MPs

FAISALABAD (APP): The PTI government is actively working on a new textile package to enhance exports. This was disclosed by newly-elected parliamentarians, including Farrukh Habib, Raja Riaz Ahmed, Khurram Shahzad, Nawab Sher Waseer and Faizullah Kamoka, in a reception hosted by the Faisalabad Dry Port Trust (FDPT) in their honour here Saturday. They said:" We are duty bound to resolve issues being confronted by the city in general and the business community in particular.We will make efforts in and outside the assemblies." They said that work on the textile package was in a final stage and might be announced the next week. They said that the payment of refund had been pending for the last many years and hopefully it would also be settled once for all by December 2018. They also assured that the railway level crossing of the Faisalabad Dry Port Trust would be opened very soon. In this connection, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed will be invited to visit Faisalabad as early as possible.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chaudhry Mushtaq Ali Cheema, Chairman Faisalabad Dry Port Trust, congratulated the newly-elected parliamentarians and hoped that they would come up to expectations of the business community.

Later, a documentary on FDPT was screened while founding chairman of Faisalabad Dry Port Trust Mian Muhammad Lateef gave a detailed presentation on problems of exporters.

Trustees of Faisalabad Dry Port Trust Amir Khurshid and Shahid Nazeer also spoke.

Cotton Control Act violators to face action

MULTAN (APP): Director General Agriculture Syed Zafar Yaab Haider directed cotton inspectors to take strict action against violation of cotton control act. Cotton Control Act is aimed to ensure neat and clean cotton especially at ginning factories, the DG agri said this while witnessing demonstration of neat and clean picking of cotton at Qadirpur Rawan, a suburban area of Multan, here. He informed that Pakistan was facing loss of billions of rupees due to polluted cotton. Cotton picker women, farmers, middleman and other stakeholders should focus on neat and clean picking and transportation of cotton, he said. He informed that the country received low price of cotton at international market. Pakistan remained deprive of about two to three cents against one pound cotton due to impurities. Impurities meant that presence of bits of shopping bags, plastics, human hairs, birds feathers, "sapari", pieces of cigarettes, oil, paper etc. He stated that there should be supervision of cotton picking. He suggested that picker women should make line during picking of cotton from agriculture field.

Cotton plants should be picked from lower part, he advised Similarly, the picked cotton shouldbe placed at neat and clean sites.

He maintained that the wages of picking should be given after grading related to cleanliness. The cotton must be transported in clean bags to ginning factories. He further remarked that the cotton inspectors should pay regular visits of cotton factories in order to check impurities. They should impose fine on violation of cotton control act.