Coastal belt of Sindh, Balochistan: PODB mulling restoration of ‘palm oil trees’ project
November 25, 2012
Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) is contemplating restoration of its ‘Palm Oil Trees’ cultivation project along the coastal belt of Sindh and Balochistan to meet the increasing demand of edible oil and save the precious foreign exchange being spent on import of palm oil.
Sources told BR here on Saturday that the PODB Managing Director Syed Nasir Ali Shah recently undertook an extensive tour of the country after restoration of the department and held meeting with the stakeholders to evolve a joint strategy for increasing the oilseed production in the country. The tour was aimed at to make the Board fully operational and efficient in line with the policy of increasing oil seed production in the country given by the Prime Minister during his address to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
Sources said that the PODB MD has already held meetings with the research organisation and agricultural (extension) departments to take steps on war-footing in this regard. In a similar meeting PODB MD and Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad and the meeting was of the consensus that there is a dire need to initiate such rapid steps which would enable country meeting its edible oil needs.
One of the measures proposed in the meeting was plantation of palm oil trees on the 1200-1300 kilometers’ long coastal belt of Sindh and Balochistan, which is most suitable for the task. Both PARC and PODB agreed to collaborate in this regard with PARC helping by doing basic research for the suitable germ plasma, where as PODB being a Federal Government organisation to work for reviving the missing links domestically and internationally.
The meeting also mentioned PODB project in past of palm oil cultivation on the coastal belt, which it said both quality and quantity wise is extremely good. All over the world 42 percent of edible oil need is met by palm oil and there is an immediate need to begin the project in Sindh and Balochistan, the proposal sent to the Ministry stressed.
Sources said that the PODB new leadership also held meeting with Barani Research Agriculture Institute (BARI) Chakwal and a private Olives Farm in Talagang area and reached the decision for collaboration to ensure that farmers of Potohar area get proper return of their oilseed produce and PODB ensured to extend all out help to the growers. PODB also reiterated to help the farmers cope with the difficulties faced by them in olive tree cultivation and its oil extraction.
On having contact, PODB Managing Director Syed Nasir Ali said that proposal of restoration of palm oil project is in its initial stage. He said that after meeting stakeholders he had proposed the ministry for continuation of olive project too in KPK besides providing oil extraction plants and establishment of PODB sub offices all over the country to provide linkages to the oilseed growing areas, maintenance of close liaison/collaboration with all oilseed stakeholders with the objective of increasing country’s oilseed production.