Scientists successfully bring new cash crop: Dr Habib

* Edible oil not only saves public resources but is also alternative to growers

Scientists successfully bring new cash crop: Dr Habib

PESHAWAR: “Through the efforts of our scientists we have successfully brought in a new cash crop in shape of edible oil, which not only save the resources of the government but also an alternative to the growers of the country for healthy sources of income", said Vice Chancellor Islamiya Collage University, Dr Habib Ahmad here on Thursday.

The Vice Chancellor was giving details to the guests on the project Commercialization of the Rapeseeds Variety Hasanain-2013"project.

"As field information that Tobacco and sugarcane crops of the agricultural sector yielding less and workload and expenses on the crops are higher than edible oil. We advise the farmers take the crop as test and they will switched to the alternatives as the best model as cash crop", Dr Habib Ahmad said. He said that due to government patronage in the province we have convince and yielding best quality oil on test basis and hope that industrialized production to be started soon in the KP and FATA region. The VC give details of the project named "Commercialization of the Rapeseeds Variety Hasanain-2013"project.

The guests who were available during the briefing were including the, Syed Nasir Ali MD PODB(chief Guest), Shaukat ali, additional secretary agriculture, KP, Doast Muhammad Khan, patron-in -chief Seikh zaid center UOP, and Said Alam assistant Prof UOH on Wednesday.

On the occasion the Chief Guest appreciated the efforts of the Dr Habib and his team for bring revolution in the field of agriculture and asked the progressive farmers to assist the initiates of scientists for better results.

The purpose of the trip is to enhance oilseed productivity in the country and bring awareness among the locality and progressive farmer on the productivities of the crop.

The project was basically designed to provide high quality certified Rapeseed seed to the farmers, which is the limiting factor in the present agriculture system of the country and added that the main objectives of the project are to procure process and market 150 tons certified Rapeseed seed during project three years (2015-18).

The project is further aimed to focus on multiplication of certified seed of improved commercial variety of Hasnain 2013 which will further motivate the private sector in seed business particularly in local seed production and will involve and encourage local extraction industry in the procurement process, Under this project activities underway in full swing in the province and 80 acres of crop of early generation (Pre-Basic) is sown in different area of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa during last September- October to achieve the target of year first e.g. 50 tons of seed procurement

the cultivar is highest yielding across Pakistan in the seven test sites in National Uniformity Rapeseed Yield Trial and still have the potential to outperform and further stated that the cultivar is significantly early maturity and have the distinctiveness of wavey leaf margin, light green color, early maturity, pod shape is curved silliqua, black seed color, high yielding and resistant to prevailing diseases and insect pest attack. The domestic edible oil production does not meet the need of the country and the total availability of edible oils in 2014-15 was 2.335 million tons and added that the local production stood at 0.546 million tons, which accounted for 23.38 per cent of the total availability while the remaining 76.6 percent was made available through imports at the cost of Rs 139.344 billion.

It's pertinent to mentioned here that edible oil stood at the top in the import of food group while stood second after petroleum group in the total import.

In order to save the foreign exchange, the government has encouraged the cultivation of edible oilseed crops in the country and under this project of the KP government traditional or conventional oilseed crops are rapeseed/mustard, sesame and groundnut, while non-traditional oilseed crops are sunflower, soybean and safflower.

Among these crops, rapeseed/mustard and sunflower have assumed special position in the agriculture economy of Pakistan and much of the research efforts have been directed towards the improvement of these oilseed crops.