Business Recorder

  • Canals' closure hurting crops

    Farmers are hard hit by the re-closure of water in the canals in Abbasia and Cholistan areas of Tehsil Liaqatpur, which is affecting the standing wheat crop. Several local councillors including Dr Muhammad Aslam, Chaudhry Asghar Ali lumbardar Abdul Karim and others have urged early release of water in the canals, which had again been closed after a short reprieve earlier. They said water scarcity was also impacting sugarcane sowing, and if the canal closure continued, it would not only hurt the local farmers financially, but would also affect the per acre yield of those vital crops. Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2008

  • Poultry farms registration campaign launched

    A country-wide campaign for the registration of poultry farms has been launched with an aim to provide maximum security against birds flu outbreak. Animal Husbandry Commissioner Dr R.H. Usmani said that according to an estimate there were about 25,800 poultry farms producing large scale as well as small scale poultry products like meat, eggs and poultry breeding. He said that the campaign was initiated in all four provinces including AJK which will collect data about the status of all farms existing at district level and he added that work on the project has been initiated from Peshawar. Dr Usmani informed that a number of Rapid Response Teams consisting three doctors with highly trained, fully equipped staffers were also increased from 18 to 23 to control any outbreak of bird flu around the country. He said that these teams will also provide proper education to farmers about safety and security measures including vaccination of birds and adoption of safety measures for workers, working inside the farms. Animal Husbandry Commissioner said this campaign will help the ministry to provide proper compensation to affect farmers registered during current practice. All those farms who failed to register itself during the campaign would not get any compensation in case of any outbreak. Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2008

  • 'Pakistan tops in global CNG industry'

    City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil has said that attainment of world No 1 position by Pakistan in CNG industry is a matter of pride. She said CNG is a environment-friendly fuel and the city government has started setting up 40 CNG stations at various bus terminals and defunct KTC depots under its management to raise infrastructure prior to arrival of large-sized CNG buses in the metropolis. In the first phase, bids have been invited to set up of five CNG stations to be constructed under public-private partnership. She was talking to a delegation of the CNG Station Owners Association of Pakistan, led by its Chairman Malik Khuda Bux, which met her here on Wednesday. Nasreen pointed out that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) is focusing on infrastructure improvement on the one hand and taking various steps for environment improvement on the other. She said establishment of model fitness and vehicle testing station is in its priority list. Malik Khuda Bux informed the Nasreen Jalil that there is no shortage of gas in Karachi and Sindh and when gas supplies slumped in the Punjab in winter, Sindh had supplied 47 mcb to that province. At present, Khuda Bux said 1923 CNG stations are in operation in Pakistan and some 1.65 million vehicles are operating on gas out of which 40 percent were in Karachi. In Karachi, he stated, there are 169 filling stations and 22 more were coming up while the city needs 200 stations. He appreciated the development schemes implemented in the metropolis and paid glowing tributes to the CDGK and Haq Parast leadership for carrying out speedy development. Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2008

  • World Bank to provide $25 million for Balochistan irrigation project

    The World Bank (WB) would provide 25 million dollar for Balochistan Small-Scale Irrigation Project (BSSIP), which will support efforts by the Government of Balochistan (GoB) to improve the management of scarce water resources in the Pishin Lora Basin (PLB) by reducing the overall impact of the present water crisis. The project's objectives include increasing surface water availability and reducing groundwater depletion, increasing water productivity through a combination of engineering, management and agricultural measures and expanding local capacity and participation of farmers to implement similar schemes and formulate plans for sustainable water resources development and watershed management. The project will focus on the PLB in the northern part of Balochistan. The project will follow three components that include partial restoration of the water storage capacity, developing small-scale irrigation schemes in the PLB and strengthening and building the capacity of the Irrigation and Power Department, water management institutions, and farmer and community organisations, and implementing studies. The project can contribute to strengthening provincial water management capabilities. The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved the credit with maturity of 35 years and 10 years grace period. Copyright Business Recorder, 2008

  • NIBGE to undertake 11 new research projects from March

    National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) will undertake eleven new research projects from next month. NIBGE sources mentioned that among these projects include, Cloning of cellulase genes for ethanol production from plant biomass, Chloroplast-based over expression of pharmaceuticals to develop cost-effective therapeutics, cloning, expression and characterisation of INGAP encoded gene: A prospective means of Amelioration of diabetes, Engineering and production of re-combination proteins for the diagnosis and control of hepatitis B virus infection, Bio-control of Pathogenic infection through competition using plant growth promoting Rhizo bacteria, Identification and Characterisation of ACC deaminase gene in specific PGPR (Plant Growth) promoting Rhizo-bacteria, Gene mining slides on extermorphilic micro-organisms using integron specific probes, Finding single Nucleotide polymorphism in cotton genome, Gene pyramiding through genetic engineering for increased salt tolerance in wheat, control of mealy bug in Pakistan and improving crop salt tolerance through genetic engineering. Out of these 11 projects, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has funded 5 while Ministry of Food and Agriculture will provide funding for 2 projects. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Pak-US and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) will fund the remaining projects. Copyright Business Recorder, 2008

  • Growers urged to get training to save orchards from diseases

    After Sargodha, Toba Tek Singh is on the second position in the production of citrus fruit orchards, said agriculture deputy director and vegetable development project in charge Dr Shafiq Muhammad while addressing the farmers. He said the production of citrus fruit was increasing gradually in the district and presently the citrus orchard was on 26,300 acres of land. He urged growers to get proper training so that they could use modern techniques to save their orchards from different diseases and pest and insect attacks. District Officer Agriculture Yousaf Hasan Tatla directed the department concerned to provide all required facilities to the owners of citrus orchard. Copyright Business Recorder, 2008

  • 'Coal reserves enough to meet energy needs for 350 years'

    Advisor to caretaker Prime Minister and Chairman, Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Sardar Yaseen Malik, has said that Pakistan has enough coal reserves to meet its energy requirement for the next 350 years. Speaking at a reception, hosted by Honorary Consul General of Albania Zafar Ansari, he said that the government was working on various alternative energy projects to meet the energy requirement. Referring to the PSO, he said that the PSO was meeting around 70 percent oil requirement of the country and its daily sale on working days was around Rs 1.5 billion.

  • $500 billion waterfront project to be launched soon

    The project of around $500 billion to develop waterfront at western coastline of Karachi centred around Hawksbay will be launched soon as the Request For Proposal (RFP) will be published in almost all foreign press next week. Official sources in the Sindh planning and development department told Business Recorder on Tuesday that the process was in final stages and the RFP would be published in all major foreign press, including Financial Times, Dubai Times, Khaleej Times, Straight Time, London, etc, bring initial $150 billion to restore the project.

  • $100 million Swiss ethanol plant project in jeopardy

    A Swiss company's $100 million plan for setting up maize-based ethanol generation plant near Port Qasim has been jeopardised due to poor law and order situation in the country. Sources in Sindh Environment and Alternative Energy Department told Business Recorder on Friday that the poor law and order and political instability have put the project in doldrums as the company is reluctant to invest in the country in present scenario. Without naming the Swiss firm, sources said that a high-level delegation of the firm has called on Mohammadmian Soomro some six months back in Islamabad, when he was Senate Chairman to brief him about the project. Soomro had asked the delegation to work jointly with Board of Investment and Planning Commission to remove the financial and legal hitches in the plan. Later, the Alternative Energy Development Board was asked to see the possibility of setting up the plant near Port Qasim, the sources said, adding that the AEDB had also started feasibility study of the project in collaboration with Swiss firm. Sources said the firm was also intending to invest in large-scale projects in oil and gas sector. Sindh Alternative Energy department had also announced setting up of a $110 million ethanol plant on which AEDB was working but this project was also in doldrums owing to indifference of the officials concerned. Copyright Business Recorder, 2008

  • $100 million Swiss ethanol plant project in jeopardy

    A Swiss company's $100 million plan for setting up maize-based ethanol generation plant near Port Qasim has been jeopardised due to poor law and order situation in the country. Sources in Sindh Environment and Alternative Energy Department told Business Recorder on Friday that the poor law and order and political instability have put the project in doldrums as the company is reluctant to invest in the country in present scenario. Without naming the Swiss firm, sources said that a high-level delegation of the firm has called on Mohammadmian Soomro some six months back in Islamabad, when he was Senate Chairman to brief him about the project. Soomro had asked the delegation to work jointly with Board of Investment and Planning Commission to remove the financial and legal hitches in the plan. Later, the Alternative Energy Development Board was asked to see the possibility of setting up the plant near Port Qasim, the sources said, adding that the AEDB had also started feasibility study of the project in collaboration with Swiss firm. Sources said the firm was also intending to invest in large-scale projects in oil and gas sector. Sindh Alternative Energy department had also announced setting up of a $110 million ethanol plant on which AEDB was working but this project was also in doldrums owing to indifference of the officials concerned. Copyright Business Recorder, 2008

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