New USAID initiative brings technology to agriculture

ISLAMABAD (NNI): USAID and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on Tuesday launched USAID’s Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activity. Partnering with roughly 30 of the largest private agri-technology businesses, the four-year initiative will introduce advanced technologies to an estimated 122,500 farmers, whose agricultural sales are projected to reach $8.58 million. "This project will help Pakistani farmers realize the full potential of their land and labour,” said USAID Mission Director Jerry Bisson.  The technologies the programme will introduce to the horticulture industry include integrated pest management, controlled production, improved plant genetics and post-harvest handling and packaging. The livestock and dairy sectors will benefit from nutrition and breed improvement, including artificial insemination and embryo transplants that will offer rapid improvement in livestock genetics. Pakistani agriculture department officials and Dr Yusaf Zafar, chairman PARC, also attended the event.

"Our partnership with USAID has lasted decades, but with interventions such as these, the pace of development will increase multifold,” said Dr Zafar. “We hope to support these initiatives over the project lifespan and beyond.”

PIA to extend Tokyo-Beijing-Islamabad flight to Karachi from 29th

BEIJING (APP): Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will extend its current Tokyo-Beijing-Islamabad flight to Jinnah International Airport Karachi from June 29. “The management has decided to extend the present Tokyo-Beijing-Islamabad flight to Karachi keeping in view the increasing demand of passengers on this route,” a senior official of PIA said here on Tuesday. At present, the national flag carrier is operating two flights in a week on this route and this move would benefit those travellers who intend to go directly to the port city from China, he told APP. The number of passengers from both Pakistan and China has increased manifold after the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). An increasing number of students and businessmen are also travelling from Pakistan to China and back. He informed that PIA is providing 17 per cent discount to Pakistani students studying in China and said even students up to 40 years of age are availing this facility.

The PIA is the only airline which is providing 40-kg baggage facility to its customers, he added.

It may be mentioned here that PIA is also making arrangements to launch a flight to the Chinese city of Guangzhou for which a feasibility report has been completed and submitted for the approval.

Guangzhou is one of the most important cities of China having huge trade and investment potential and direct air links between Pakistan and this city by the national flag carrier will provide immense benefits to people of both Pakistan and China.

Malysian company willing to make investments in Karachi

KARACHI (NNI): A delegation of Malysian company 'Ranhill Holdings Berhad' visited Sindh Board of Investment office Tuesday where the delegation discussed the matters of mutual interest with chairperson SBI Naheed Memon. The delegation informed chairperson SBI that Ranhill Holdings has vast experience in water supply, waste water treatment and power sectors. The company has more than 3000 employees and is being listed with Malysian exchange. The company has expressed its interest in investment in water supply, waste water treatment, billing and power sectors. Chairperson SBI appreciated their services and experience in the specific fields. She said that Sindh province specially its mega city Karachi has been facing acute shortage of clean water and treatment of waste water. The chairperson SBI said that the services and interest of Ranhill holdings in these specific fields is appreciable and ‘we need a comprehensive investment plan from the Malysian company regarding their proposal’.

Punjab caretaker minister vows to address problems of industry

LAHORE (APP): Caretaker Provincial Minister for Industry, Commerce and Trade (IC&T) Mian Anjum Nisar Tuesday said the caretaker government was fully aware of its responsibilities and would utilize all resources to address the problems faced by the industry. He said this while taking briefing about the industries department in Industries Secretariat on Tuesday. Secretary Industries Sayyed Jawed Iqbal Bukhari briefed about Industries department. He told the minister that it was the top agenda of industries department to promote and industry, commerce, investment and sustained development in Punjab through a business friendly environment. He said that vision of Industries department was to provide modern industrial infrastructure services, skilled workforce, access to capital, investment facilitation, promotion of local arts & crafts, research and development, and effective coordination with stakeholders. The provincial minister Mian Anjum Nisar appreciated the role of Industries department.