Govt patronizes projects beneficial for economy; Shibli Faraz

ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Syed Shibli Faraz on Thursday said the present government is patronizing such projects which are beneficial for the country in terms of import substitution, attaining self-reliance and boosting exports.

Talking to the media after attending Hemp Harvesting Ceremony as a chief guest at the Institute of Hydroponic, Arid Agriculture University, the minister said, “I am delighted to see that the experiment of Hemp cultivation at this site has remained successful”. He said that the cultivation of hemp was started in the month of August under a project of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and now this is the time to harvest this crop. 

He said that four varieties of hemp were cultivated out of which one variety was local while others were from Skardu, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Now Cannabidiol (CBD) oil will be extracted after harvesting this crop in the laboratory of PCSIR, Lahore.

Hemp is one of those crops which are suitable for cultivation in Pakistan according to its weather conditions and natural habitat.  Hemp has both industrial and medicinal usage as it can be used as fibre in the textile industry as well as in medicines for the treatment of cancer, epilepsy and pain management.

He said that usage of hemp crop as a substitute of fiber in the textile and paper industry as well as in medicines will help the country earn foreign exchange. The federal minister said that Prime Minister, Imran Khan had run an olive campaign and now olive production has started in the country.  “Our government wants to sponsor such projects which are beneficial for the country”, he said.

Earlier, we used to see olive oil being imported however after its local production, the country will be able to export it, he said.

About the misuse of hemp, the minister elaborated that hemp cultivation for industrial and medicinal usage will help wipe out the illicit drugs business. “The products that come from cannabis are more profitable than drugs,” he said.

He said that the Ministry of Agriculture, FBR, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders have formulated a policy together in this regard. “If the law is not made then the industry cannot go ahead. We have to see the development of our country and become economically strong”, he said. Shibli Faraz said that his ministry is also working to bring National Science Innovation Policy through engaging all the stakeholders.

The federal minister announced that his ministry is also arranging a mega-science and technology fair in the month of January to encourage technology and innovation. The minister formally inaugurated the hemp harvesting along with other officials and staff of the university.


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