Envoy sees boost in Pak-Ukraine agri sector trade

ISLAMABAD (APP): Ambassador of Ukraine in Pakistan Volodymyr Lakomov said Tuesday that agriculture products were one of the most dynamic segments of bilateral trade between Ukraine and Pakistan. In a statement, he said that the agricultural trade between the two countries would further go up in the coming years. The ambassador said that Pakistani edible exports such as various types of oranges and Basmati rice were popular among Ukrainians while Pakistanis had been enjoying Ukrainian sunflower oil, nuts etc. He said that this year both countries plan holding the first session of Ukraine-Pakistan inter-governmental commission on economic and investment cooperation. Volodymyr Lakomov said that revenue produced from Ukraine's farm exports in 2017 grew by 16.3percent that is more than $17.9 billion. He said in the preceding year, the figure was $15.5 billion. Currently the share of exports in the total volume of foreign trade in farm produce and foods is 79.4%,  farmers provide over 41percent of Ukrainian exports.

The ambassador said that recently agriculture ministry of Ukraine has published a report and noted that the country's foreign trade turnover of agrarian and food products stood at $22.6 billion in January-December 2017.

The top three staples of Ukrainian farm produce and food exports were grain crops (36.2percent), vegetable oils (25.1 percent), and oil seeds (11.3 percent).

Farmers to get free imported dates plants, seedless citrus plants on subsidy

MULTAN (APP): Punjab agriculture department has invited applications from farmers till Feb 20 to provide them free imported dates plants to grow top quality brands of dates at home and to distribute plants of seedless kinnow at subsidised price. The plants of top dates brands including Ajwa, Amber, Barhi, Khalas and a California-originated date brand called Medjule would be distributed among farmers of nine districts in Punjab, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, DG Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Layyah, Bakhar, and Jhang. The initiative was meant to improve export-oriented production of dates with a view to enhance financial standing of local farmers. Moreover, plants of seedless kinnow would also be distributed among farmers at subsidised price in six districts of Punjab, Vehari, Layyah, Sahiwal, Toba Tek Singh, Sargodha and Mandi Bahauddin. Agriculture spokesman advised farmers to obtain application profarma from the office of deputy director agriculture extension or download it from web site 'www.agripunjab.gov.pk'.

Farmers seeking dates plants should file applications with Project Director/Horticulturist, Horticulture Research Sub Station, Bahawalpur, while those seeking seedless kinow plants should file applications with the office of director Citrus Research Institute, Sargodha on or before Feb 20, 2018.

 Best quality citrus to help growers earn more money

SARGODHA (APP): Citrus Research Institute Sargodha (CRIS) was making all-out efforts to help citrus growers in improving the quality of their fruit and hence earn best rates of their produce, a top official of the institute said. Director of CRIS M Nawaz Maiken on Tuesday said every year five to ten thousand plants of seedless kinnow variety were being provided to farmers. Till date, seedless kinnow is being produced in some orchards while its production was not sufficient for exports. The biggest citrus institute was established here to improve the citrus quality in the largest kinnow producing area, he said and added that exports could also be enhanced after ensuring best production of seedless quality. He said that total 15000 kinnow growers were registered in the district, adding the growers who have been following CRIS instructions were also getting good results from their orchards. The provincial government is also making efforts to ensure quality of pesticides and fertilizers while a subsidy package was also introduced for elimination of citrus crab, he added.

He said demand of kinnow was increasing in local and international markets and it was a good sign for growers, adding that quality production can also contribute to the national exchequer. More than 100,000 metric tons kinnow had been exported till the end of January while growers and processors were expressing satisfaction over already decided rate of citrus.

 Zubair Ahmed elected as chairman Founder Group of ICCI

ISLAMABAD (INP): Zubair Ahmed Malik, former president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, has been elected as new chairman of Founder Group of ICCI for two years term. Outgoing chairman Founder Group Khalid Javaid administered oath to Zubair Ahmed Malik during a ceremony held at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Zubair Ahmed Malik is a well-known business leader of the country as he has already rendered useful services for the business community as former president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry and former vice president of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry. After taking oath, Zubair Ahmed Malik thanked all the members of Founder Group for electing him as chairman and assured that he would work to further strengthen the Group so that it could play more effective role in providing better leadership to ICCI and serving the interests of business community of this region.

He said he would take all major decisions in consultation with Group members and would make sure that trade and industry gets equal opportunities at the platform of ICCI. He also lauded the services of Khalid Javaid, outgoing chairman Founder Group, and said that he would take benefit from his experience to further improve the performance of the Group.

Khalid Javaid, outgoing chairman Founder Group, thanked all the members of the Group and members of ICCI for extending him full cooperation and support in running the affairs of the Group in a democratic manner. He congratulated Zubair Ahmed Malik for his elevation in Founder Group and hoped that he would take necessary measures to serve the cause of trade and industry more effectively from the platform of ICCI.