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Govt committed to make country self-sufficient in food production: PM


Govt committed to make country self-sufficient in food production: PM

https://nation.com.pk/NewsSource/web-desk
Web Desk
8:48 PM | August 31, 2021


Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the incumbent government is committed to making the country self-sufficient in food production.

This was stated by him on Tuesday during a meeting with Minister for Food Security Fakhar Imam who briefed him about the expected increase in the production of crops of rice, sugarcane, corn, and cotton.
Premier Imran Khan said the government was ensuring the implementation of an agriculture transformation plan to modernize the sector.

Minister Food Security informed the prime minister about the reforms brought by the ministry in the sectors of livestock and fisheries.

The prime minister was told that improvements were being introduced in the reproduction of livestock, supply of food, and provision of health facilities.

He was apprised about the reforms that were being introduced in the research institutions for further increase in the production of crops.
 

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Over 8.46 million bales of cotton production expected this year

Wed, 1 Sep 2021, 9:28 PM


ISLAMABAD, Sep 01 (APP):The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) on Wednesday told over 8.46 million bales of cotton production was expected during current season.

The committee met here with Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research in the chair.

Representatives of cotton growers, provincial agriculture departments, associations and senior officials of the NFS&R also attended the meeting.

The minister welcomed the participants and thanked for their participation and invited them all to share their feedback and recommendations for the development of cotton crop in the country.

Fakhar Imam was told that the province of Sindh expected production of 3.5 million bales in this season.

He was briefed that the climate in this season had been much better than the last season and due to less rainfall overall production was expected to increase.

The production of cotton in Punjab is expected to touch 4.5 million bales at an increase of approximately 8.5% from last year.

Overall cotton production is expected to reach 8.46 million bales.

The minister was briefed that the year 2020 saw 398.6 mm rainfall which had a devastating impact on the production whereas this year the rainfall was 78.6 mm which has improved the prospect of overall production.

Furthermore, he was told that the attack of Mealybug and Whitefly and CLCuV remained significant which had adversely affected the production of cotton.

Fakhar Imam said that it was imperative that awareness amongst farmers was raised regarding contamination control.

He said that through proper chemical sprays, the quality and quantity of cotton production could be enhanced.

The minister said that the government would be proactive with the provision of quality seed to facilitate the farmers.

He said that the present government after 8 years set intervention price of Rs 5000 per 40kg, which encouraged the grower to invest in crop management and harvest high yields.

The growers from Sindh and Punjab also praised this act of the government and requested to replicate the same in sugarcane and wheat.

Fakhar Imam said that the government had performed exceptionally well in the last season as Pakistan had the highest production in the top 5 crops including wheat with record production of 27.5 million tonnes.

He said that the government aimed to transform the cotton production as well.

The minister said that the PTI government was supporting the cotton grower in every capacity.
He shared that there was a need of paradigm shift in the yield of this crop as it was one of the major factor of production in our industry.

The minister said that small holders would only be able to grow wheat if the quality inputs were timely available and in the range of the farmer’s access.

He stressed on establishing linkages between the scientists and farmers mainly to minimize the gap between the results of research farm with that of the actual field.

Fakhar Imam said that the government wished to ensure that the concern of all stakeholders are heard and addressed.
 

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that the filling of Tarbela Dam to its maximum level despite unvafourable weather conditions this year was a good omen for agriculture and hydel power generation.

“Alhamdulillah, Tarbela Dam filled to its max level yesterday despite unfavourable weather conditions this year. This is a good omen for agriculture & hydel generation,” the prime minister said on Twitter.

He also appreciated the teams at Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Indus River System Authority (IRSA) for improved water regulation.
 

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged the international community to utilise China’s 'Juncao' technology in combating challenges of poverty, food insecurity, and climate change.

In his remarks at the virtual forum on the 20th anniversary of Juncao Assistance and Sustainable Development Cooperation, Khan congratulated China for hosting the event and Professor Lin for the invention of the 'Juncao' technology.

Juncao, which is famed as 'magic grass', is two Chinese characters meaning 'mushroom' and 'grass'. The particular breed of grass was discovered by Chinese scientists to be an economical and environment-friendly substitute for timber traditionally used as a substrate for growing mushrooms, according to the China Global Television Network, or CGTN.

“I also commend China for sharing this beneficial technology with over a hundred countries, which has already benefited thousands of people across the continent over the past 20 years,” he said.

The prime minister highlighted that the world at large and the people of the global south, in particular, are grappling with multiple challenges including climate change, poverty, and food insecurity. “With relentless efforts towards ending poverty in all its manifestations extreme poverty has been steadily declining in the past two decades.
 

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Pakistan, China develop high-yielding rice varieties

September 8, 2021



BEIJING:
The people of Pakistan have started to benefit from the fruits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the universities of Punjab and Wuhan are jointly developing high-yield hybrid rice varieties with the latest technologies like AI, big data, 5G and remote sensing to boost Pakistani rice exports.

This was stated by the forum of International Cooperation and Development of Honglian Type Hybrid Rice in Luotian, Hubei province of China.

These rice varieties are cultivated in Hubei province under the Wuhan University-University of the Punjab joint research centre.

Honglian hybrid rice, developed by Professor Zhu Yinguo of Wuhan University – member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is one of the world’s three major types of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) of rice (Oryza sativa L.) that has been commercially used in hybrid rice seed production.

By 2021, the accumulated acreage of Honglian hybrid rice globally has exceeded about 30 million hectares.
In 2019, the Wuhan University and the University of Punjab established cooperation ties to develop Honglian hybrid rice in Pakistan together.

In the past two years, Honglian hybrid rice achieved promising harvests in six demonstrative plots in Lahore, Gujranwala, Vehari, Pakpattan in Punjab and Shikarpur and Larkana in Sindh, basically covering main rice planting regions in Pakistan.

In 2020, three excellent varieties of Honglian hybrid were submitted to Pakistan’s regional trials for seed certification and registration, and the results indicated that the yield of Honglian hybrid rice performed distinctly higher than the check varieties among the total 104 hybrid rice varieties.

It is worth mentioning that Honglian WR1901 had a high seed setting rate of 95% and a yield of 12.9 tonnes/ha, higher than that of the control group by 12.17%, which aroused great interest from local farmers and dealers.

The varieties were submitted in May for trials and the results will be made available in December, Zhu Renshan, Leader of Wuhan University-University of the Punjab Joint Research Centre for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice, told China Economic Net.

Now, more high-yield hybrid rice varieties are being cultivated which were inaugurated on April 23, 2021.
The base is being developed into a high-tech hybrid rice seed production base of complete mechanisation and intelligentisation.

So far, 80 hectares of land has been put into trial.

Rice production in Pakistan will improve due to the joint effort which will lift the country’s exports to others but also help safeguard the food securities of China and Pakistan.
 

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 13 (APP):.... Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam Monday said that the government pays special attention to the agriculture sector because 70% of the population is dependent on it while 45% of the employment is generated in the same sector.

Addressing the oath-taking ceremony, the minister said that the government has increased the development budget of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research from Rs. 1 billion to Rs. 30 billion and important steps have been taken to make the country self-sufficient in agricultural commodities, said a press release.

Other important measures to improve agriculture include the use of hybrid seed technology, genetic engineering, modern technology, protection of water reservoir , pastures and other agricultural resources, modern breeding of high milk and high meat producing animals, providing maximum national and international training opportunities to enhance the professionalism of agri. Scientists.

In addition, ensuring provision of funds for the improvement to the agricultural research institutes of the country is the top priority of the government.
 

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Govt Lifts 32% Subsidy on Wheat amid Rising Inflation and Public Debt


Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has announced that the wheat issue price for release to mills has been fixed at Rs. 1,950 per 40-kg to help reduce the price of wheat flour in the consumer market.


Addressing a news conference on the rising inflation and public debt on Wednesday, the Minister explained that keeping the release price at Rs. 1,475 per 40-kg was not affordable for the government since it came at the cost of a massive subsidy. With the new release price, the provincial governments will still be able to provide over Rs. 100 per 40kg in the shape of targetted tax relief to the masses, he added
 

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Beautiful green field of Tando Allahyar, Sindh---- Full with Onion, Sugarcane and Cabbage crop.


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Karela/Bitter gourd crop at Hyderabad to Mirpurkhas bypass in Tando Allahyar of Sindh.

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Pakistan becomes self-sufficient in mung bean output

Amin Ahmed
September 17, 2021

Residents buy food items at Jodia Bazar, Karachi, in this June 1, 2016 file photo. — AFP/File


Residents buy food items at Jodia Bazar, Karachi,

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has become self-sufficient in mung bean production as the first estimate of the crop for 2021-22 records the legume output at 253,000 tonnes against the national requirement of about 180,000 tonnes.

The self-sufficiency in mung bean — a major edible legume in Asia — was announced during the annual review and planning meeting for Rabi 2021-22 on Thursday. The meeting was organised by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) for its Public Sector Development Programme-funded project ‘Promoting Research for Productivity Enhancement in Pulses’.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam, who attended the annual review meeting, said the government was willing to take steps for promoting production of pulses in the country if strategies like the one adopted by PARC are brainstormed and implemented in letter and spirit. The proposed buyback mechanism will be profitable for the farmers and will certainly entice the farmers to cultivate pulse commodities, he added.

In his presentation on the impact of the project, PARC National Coordinator of Plant Sciences Division Dr Muhammad Mansoor Joyia said the area under mung bean during 2020-21 increased by 35 per cent while production increased by 65pc in Punjab, 6pc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 17pc in Balochistan.

At the same time, cultivation area under mash bean increased by 19pc, while production increased by 27pc in Balochistan. He further explained that the area under chickpea increased by 22pc and production by 23pc. The area under lentil increased by 17.5pc and the production increased in Balochistan by 18pc.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021
 

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Production Strategy For Next Wheat Crop Reviewed

September 22, 2021
Kaleem Naqvi

Minister for Agriculture, Punjab Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi chaired the first meeting to review the production strategy of the next wheat crop
Production strategy for next wheat crop reviewed


Minister for Agriculture, Punjab Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi chaired the first meeting to review the production strategy of the next wheat crop.

He directed the field staff to provide awareness on modern production technology to ensure crop production targets and also ensure provision of quality of agricultural inputs to the farmers at the time of Wheat sowing.

He directed the Director General of Agriculture (Extension) to hold a meeting with the officials of the Irrigation Department to ensure availability of canal water to the farmers on sowing.

Minister for Agriculture, Punjab also said that he would personally monitor the sowing of wheat and in this regard he directed to organize mega farmer gatherings at Divisional and District level.

In this meeting Secretary Agriculture, Punjab Asad Rehman Gillani directed to provide awareness to the farmers regarding non-cultivation varieties of wheat crop so that, the farmers use only approved varieties of Wheat seed which can increase the yield per acre.
 

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Govt To Launch 2.5 Year Project To Improve Salinity Affected Areas Of Pakistan

September 21, 2021
Zainab Asif
The launch of the ‘Adapting to Salinity in the Southern Indus Basin (ASSIB’) project, funded by the Australian government through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), took place at a local hotel in Karachi today by way of a stakeholder inception workshop attended by representatives from government, academia, NGOs, and communities living in salinity-affected areas of Pakistan.
Govt to Launch 2.5 year project to improve Salinity affected areas of Pakistan



The ASSIB project aims to develop and investigate adaptation options and strategies with people managing and living in salinity affected agricultural landscapes in the Indus Basin areas of south Punjab and Sindh.

“This 2.5-year project is a launching pad for a 10-year program to explore how Pakistan can live better with the salt that is entrenched in its landscape,” explained Dr. Michael Mitchell, Project Leader and Research Fellow at the Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Dr Mitchell gave an overview of the ASSIB project, explaining the background and the rationale behind the 2.5 year project as a launching pad for a 10 year program of activities. He highlighted how this is intended to evolve through different stages – formative, participatory and action research. “This workshop is an important step to help us greatly extend our already established linkages with stakeholders and network of experts,” he added.

Dr Bakhshal Lashari, National Project Coordinator, ASSIB, at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), thanked all the distinguished guests, and expressed hope that the project would prove to be a landmark in improving the livelihoods of salt affected farming community of Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest Mr. Jahanzeb Awan, Australia’s Honorary Consul in Karachi, said that ACIAR sought to address three major challenges in Pakistan, mainly sustainable water supply, energy and food security. “The project in particular builds upon not only the common values between the two countries (Australia and Pakistan) but also focuses on the common challenges that both the countries face. I appreciate the efforts of preeminent and foremost professors Dr Michael and Dr Bakhshal for leading this project and hope this project will bring about the change that will meaningfully impact future generations”.

Prof Dr Muhammad Aslam Uqaili, Vice Chancellor MUET, thanked the Australian government and ACIAR for this opportunity. He highlighted the role of MUET in taking initiatives in terms of internationally funded projects and the capacity of the US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water in leading high quality indigenous research. He also appreciated the key approach taken in trying to minimize and live well with salinity “given that not only is salinity increasing, but so is the population, creating pressure on the limitednatural resources.” He underscored the need for a focus on gender inclusion in all initiatives being planned under the project.

Dr Munawar Raza Kazmi, ACIAR’s Country Manager, presented the significant work of ACIAR and how its work focuses on the rural poor community, and especially women living in Punjab and Sindh through improvements in Strategic Value Chain. “The target areas include Livestock, Horticulture, Crops, Water and Land Management, especially policy making. We have been researching best practice irrigation policy with the help and support of Sindh Irrigation Development Authority (SIDA) and Sindh Irrigation Department (SID). Groundwater mapping in Sindh has been done with the help of MUET. In this, MUET not only helped Sindh but also extended its expertise to Punjab and Balochistan as well.

IUCN Country Representative, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said in his welcome remarks that given the lack of freshwater and sea intrusion in the Indus River, millions of hectares of agricultural land has been rendered infertile, and communities have been forced to move to other places in search of livelihood opportunities. “This project “Living well with Salinity” is the need of the time and that is the reason this project is close to our hearts,” he added. He explained the role of IUCN and the partnerships IUCN has had with a number of institutions to help address such environmental issues.

Closing remarks were given by a farmer community expert Mr Mahmood Nawaz Shah, Senior Vice President, Sindh Abadgar Board, who acknowledged the many benefits that have flowed from ACIAR’s research interventions for Pakistan’s farmers.

In her vote of thanks, Dr Robyn Johnston, ACIAR Research Program Manager for Water, appreciated the contributions made by speakers and participants at the workshop. “As we have heard, water logging and salinity are common challenges for both Pakistan and Australia and the areas where much is to be gained through the joint research. We are seeking innovative partnerships to find solutions to these very intractable problems. This project aims to act as a catalyst to bring together, work together to come with unified action plans as suggested,” she concluded
 

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September 24, 2021

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan visits a research stall.—Dawn


DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan visits a research stall.—Dawn


PM Khan said his government wanted development in the field of agriculture, population control, discouragement of mafia, timely provision of justice, end of the system of oppression, best educational environment, provision of better health facilities and increase in productivity. “Through these things we can make Pakistan a truly prosperous country and a state of Madina.”


Mr Khan said that one of the major problems in Pakistan was the growing population, which was 40 million in 1947 but now reached 220 million. “We have to import four million tonnes of wheat to meet our needs. Similarly, we have to import other goods, including pulses and cooking oil, due to which inflation has risen. We are trying to increase our productivity by using modern research and better methods in the field of agriculture,” he added.

The prime minister said Gomal Zam Dam would irrigate another 200,000 acres of land. “We will build more dams, we have a programme to build 10 more dams; our water is wasted, which we can store and use properly through the construction of dams; our current storage capacity is 14 MAF (million acre feet) which we want to double.”

Referring to olive crop cultivation, Mr Khan said: “We can earn huge foreign exchange by cultivating it in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Similarly, we are trying to increase production of palm oil in the country. We are importing 70 per cent palm oil, soybean and pulses that can be produced here.”

In the second phase, interest-free/low mark-up loans will be provided to farmers and crops will be insured. In addition, they will be provided financial assistance in the event of a natural disaster.

A subsidy of Rs1,048.38 million will be given to farmers during the fiscal year 2021-22 for promotion of agriculture in the province.

Earlier, Prime Minister Khan inaugurated the Gomal Agricultural University building. He also inaugurated PARC Arid Zone Research Stations.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021
 

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Pak-China cooperation to revive cotton fields in Pakistan

by The Frontier Post






ISLAMABAD (INP): Pak-China cooperation to revive cotton fields in Pakistan, Gwadar Pro reported on Sunday. Last season, Pakistan harvested 5.6 million bales of cotton, which is the lowest point in the past 30 years.

Meanwhile, Pak-China cotton-related cooperation is in full swing. “We are mixing the advantages of China cotton and Pakistan cotton to create new cotton varieties,” said Shahid Iqbal, Ph.D. scholar of Cotton Research Institute in Henan, China, who has been working for a Pak-China cottonseed program in Henan for 4 years.

This is one of the microcosms of the ongoing China-Pakistan cotton collaboration.

“Last year, we had to import more than 50% of cotton,” said Muhammad Abdullah, executive director of Sapphire Fiber, one of the largest textile companies in Pakistan.

He complained that low production and quality force the local industry to choose imports. “Presently, the domestic consumption of cotton is 14 million bales. However, Pakistan harvested 5.6 million bales of cotton in the last season only.” He added.

Cotton production in Pakistan is in a vicious circle. According to the research of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI), low production of cotton lead to the low profitability of cotton planting. Cotton farmers turn to grow sugarcane in cotton-growing areas for better income. Sugarcane plants robbed water from cotton plants and humidified the whole area.

The high humidity leads to more insects which are deadly to the cotton plants and farmers have no technology to deal with them.

What makes it worse is the climate change in the past few years, which is also weakening cotton’s strength and staple elongation. Another quality problem is the impurity which is caused by 100% manual picking.

As pickers picked the cotton, stored and transported it, contamination is entering in the cotton, which may causes spots on the final product.. Kamran Razaq, cotton field supervisor of Sapphire Fiber pointed out that the impurity content of imported cotton is 4.5%, while the counterpart in Pakistan cotton is 8-9%, which is below the criteria of the textile mills.

To break the vicious circle of low cotton production, higher quality seed is the top demand, which can also help in quality improvement.

“The heat resistance of Pakistani cotton is excellent. The high-yield and high-quality traits of Chinese cotton are also what Pakistan seeds need. The germplasm resources of China and Pakistan are complementary,” said Shahid Iqbal, the guy who appeared at the beginning of the article, who used to be a scientific officer of Cotton Research Institute in Multan. “We have a plan to send new cotton seeds to Pakistan next year for adaptability test and select the best ones and use them for production.”

Xinjiang Agricultural University and University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) have also been cooperating in cotton cultivation for a few years. They have experimental fields in Faisalabad and plans to test mechanical picking in Pakistan.

“In North Xinjiang, one of the biggest cotton areas in China, the mechanization is 90%. We use machine picking everywhere,” said Chen Quanjia, deputy dean of Xinjiang Agricultural University, adding that drought-resistant and water-saving technologies in Xinjiang including drip irrigation and mulching are also leading the world.

“Such technologies and equipment can be transferred to Pakistan to assist them coping with the current dilemma. China and Pakistan need to assist each other to improve our cotton production together.”
Dr. Muhammad Ali Talpur, vice president of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), revealed that a modern biotechnology center of excellence laboratory is about to be set up at CCRI to promote cotton research activities. “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is opening new avenues for cotton research and development to solidify PCCC on modern scientific lines,” he said.

“Under CPEC, CCRI in Multan had declared a cottonseed cooperation collaborating with Fauji Fertilizer Company,” added Dr. Zahid Mehmood, director of CCRI. “We plan to cultivate related talent, introduce related technology and arrange areas for mechanical cotton picking. Our collaboration with China is going on. Hope we have stories of success in the future.”
 

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Chinese investors for investing in Pakistan’s agricultural sector

October 2, 2021


The Chinese investors have planned to invest in various agriculture and dairy sectors of Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This was stated by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong, adding the Chinese enterprises plan to invest and cooperate with Pakistan in pepper planting, buffalo milk industry development, food processing and agricultural machinery, according to a media report.

He said at present the agriculture and industry are the areas that are under the main focus of the Pakistan government. The Pakistan government, he said, is very much concerned in these two areas.

He said these sectors are also the most promising areas for China-Pakistan cooperation. He said rapid progress in agricultural cooperation has been made, mainly in three aspects including strengthening mechanisms.

Last year, an agricultural working group under the framework of the CPEC joint Commission was set up. The first task of the working group was to help Pakistan fight against locust plague, which achieved remarkable results, he added.

Further he said the process of exporting agricultural products to China has also been accelerated.

The inspection and quarantine procedures of Pakistani agricultural products exported to China, including onions, potatoes, cherries and dairy products, have been stepped up. This year, a protocol on onion export to China will be signed, he informed.

Pakistan has also established a foot-and-mouth disease free zone. The third aspect, he said, is to promote investment.

This year, with efforts made by the Chinese embassy, China and Pakistan established an information platform on agricultural and industrial cooperation to promote all-round exchanges and cooperation among government, industry, academia and research institutes, he added.

With respect to Gwadar port, the ambassador said it is the pilot project of the CPEC and a jewel in the crown of the CPEC. Since 2013, both China and Pakistan have worked hand in hand on port operations, free zone development, and transportation infrastructure, and completed a series of social and livelihood projects.
The achievements made today can be recognised as the “Speed of Gwadar”.

The 10th meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) expressed satisfaction on the progress of Gwadar Port and Free Zone, and made plans for the next step in the construction of Gwadar Port, he said adding that the current development situation of Gwadar Port was very gratifying.

The port is getting busier and transit trade to Afghanistan is running smoothly. The government is actively considering arranging more cargo to arrive in and be processed through the Gwadar Port.

The port operator COPHC is cooperating with China’s Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group to improve the port operations, he added.

He said all investment promotion work in the starting zone of the Free Zone has been completed.

More than 40 companies have invested and registered, and some of them have completed plant construction and started trial production. —TLTP
 

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Dry Red Chilli / Lal Mirch at Kurkali town of Dist Sanghar in Sindh Pakistan with bed of its security guard Chilli is grown on 47,349 hectares in Pakistan with a crop yield of about 2.68 tons per hectare (1.072 tons per acre) and an annual production of around 126,943 tons.


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