Cement export declining for last 15 months

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The cement exports have been declining constantly for the last one and a half year, as the exports declined by 0.39 per cent in September, 3.29 per cent in August and 0.75 per cent in July 2013.  According to latest statistics, the cement export to India has also declined due number of restrictions and lower demand. In the same way, the Afghanistan export has also declined owing to uncertainty prevailing in the country as NATO and US Troops are planning of withdrawal by 2014. During the first quarter of current fiscal year, the over all exports recorded a decline of 1.40 per cent compared with exports during the first quarter of last year.

 However, the overall situation during first quarter of current fiscal year showed 1.12 per cent growth compared to the same period of last fiscal year.

The industry asked the government to reconsider its decision of bringing cement sector into 3rd Schedule by putting in the normal sales tax regime to raise the growth.

Sacrificial hides, a lucrative business during Eid-ul-Azha

ISLAMABAD (APP): The collection of sacrificial hides have been a lucrative business throughout the history on Eid-ul-Adha as religious, political and welfare outfits spring into action to generate funds for their vested interests. On the pretext of charity, these outfits collect sacrificial animals’ hides but do not fulfil their commitments and use them for their own purposes. Due to the reason, international media portray a pessimistic aspect of life on the issue and charge the people with creating extremism and terrorism. Political parties and religious organisations compel the people for sacrificial hides through different tactics and some times threaten them of dire consequences. 

In the opinion of an economic analyst, there millions of animals are sacrificed on Eid-ul-Adha which could be a good source of revenue and spent on nation building projects if sacrificial hides are obligatory to submit in national treasury by the people across the country.

He said that the government can play a vital role into this matter and can rid the masses off unreliable institutions for the collection of sacrificial hides.

Tunnel farming becoming popular in Sialkot

DASKA (APP): Tunnel technology for vegetable production is becoming popular among small growers in Sialkot district.  Sources of Agriculture Department told APP on Sunday that at present more than 1,000 small farmers had adopted tunnel farm technology and more farmers were considering opting for it keeping in view economic benefits in four tehsils of Sialkot district.  A large number of farmers have successfully installed walk-in and low tunnels in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils of the district and cultivating off-season vegetables like cucumber, tomato, green chilly, paprika, pumpkin, bitter gourd, watermelon and melons etc.

The technology has paved the way for bringing about revolutionary changes in the agriculture sector not only enabling growers to produce off-season vegetables but also improving their economic conditions.

Ali Muhammad and Akhtar Chaudary, progressive farmers, said, “We are successfully attaining the yield of off-season vegetables and gaining better returns and farmers have installed walk-in and low tunnels without the finical support of the provincial government. The per acre yield of vegetables cultivated under tunnel farming technology is much higher as compared to traditional farming.”

Call for technology to increase rice produce

FAISALABAD (APP): Agriculture technology should be modernized to enhance rice production to meet food demands of the increasing population of the country. Talking to APP here on Sunday, Dr Noor-ul-Islam, former DG Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI) Faisalabad, said that rice was a precious cashy crop which also contributed to catering food demands at global level. He said that Pakistan was ranked 4th among rice producing countries of the world whereas Punjab’s share was 58 percent in national exports. He rice varieties had the potential to give 50 to 100 maund per acre yield but growers were getting below 40 maund per acre due to lack of  latest technologies.

Keeping in view food requirements of the increasing Pakistani population coupled with food security challenges, scientists should concentrate to modernize technologies so that we could also get maximum yields of crops, he added.

Agriculture’s share more than 22pc in national kitty

FAISALABAD (APP): The agriculture sector is contributing more than 22pc to the national kitty and the share can be increased by improving the sector on modern lines. A spokesman for the agriculture department said on Sunday that Pakistan was ranked amongst big agrarian countries of south Asia where more than 70 percent population was directly or indirectly linked with the agriculture sector whereas the ratio increases in Punjab because more than 80pc population of the province depends on agriculture.  He said reforms in agriculture coupled with farmer friendly steps of the Punjab government could materialize the dream of self-reliance in food requirements.

He urged the government to provide maximum relief to farmers especially small growers by decreasing in prices of fertiliser, seeds and pesticide so that they could play a role in national prosperity by producing maximum food.