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FAISALABAD: Speakers at a conference called for promoting soyabean cultivation to curtail national soyabean import worth $1200 million whereas the University of Agriculture Faisalabad has announced establishment of 1000 demonstration/ trial spots of high-yielding soyabean at farmer fields this year compared to 170 demonstration farms last year in a bid to encourage the crop cultivation.

They addressed the Soyabean Conference arranged at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security, University of Agriculture Faisalabad .

UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that China is the world’s largest importer of the soyabean whereas the US is the largest exporter.

He added that Pakistan is importing essential commodities worth $10 billion a year and half of it is edible oil import. He added that cultivation of the soyabean would also address the nutrition crisis. He said that India, in order to promote the local soybean cultivation, imposed the import duty.

He said that soyabeans are a major global commodity and contribute significantly to international trade; soyabeans are an excellent source of protein and source of vegetable oil worldwide. He added that UAF established soyabean farms across the country and soyabean can be cultivated in Pakistan with different varieties. He said that industry should take the lead for its promotion and address the market issue.

He said that we have to curtail the misconception about GM crops prevailing in some segments of society. He added that the GM/ non GM both varieties will help address the challenges of food insecurity. The law of the land permits introduction of GM-crops including soyabean. There are unfair hurdles that need to be removed.

Director CAS Dr Sultan Habib Ullah said that the university was taking the technologies to the farmers’ field so to strengthen the sector with scientific work. He said that the tangible research work on agriculture was being carried out that will help food security.

Dr Zaheer Ahmed said that the university was working on 5000 lines of the soyabean. He said that soyabeans can be cultivated in different environments and soils of the world; however, genetic screening is required on demand. He said that soyabean can be cultivated in the different seasons in Pakistan. He said that in summer, the sowing should be carried in standing water. He added that a maximum yield of more than 50 mounds can be achieved. It can be grown all over Pakistan. He said that every year 10 farmers will be added at each demonstration site under the ongoing soyabean campaign by UAF

President Anjuman-e-Kashtkaran Punjab Rana Iftikhar Muhammad said that if the demands of soyabeans are met at the local level, it will improve the performance of the poultry industry.

Pakistan Agriculture Research Council In-Charge Oil Seed Dr Mohammad Arshad emphasized joint efforts to tackle agricultural challenges by strengthening linkages between industry and research institutions.

Chairman Kissan Ittehad Council Shaukat said that food security should be ensured by developing agriculture on a scientific basis while solving farmers’ problems. Mumtaz Feed CEO Amir Mumtaz and Jahangir from APSEA, CEO Soyabean Oak China Center, Dr Khalid Shouq also spoke. The different organizations, businessmen, industrialists and progressive farmers participated.

Whereas the soyabean value added food product exhibition under the supervision of Dr Ahmad Din was put on the display that remained a centre for attraction for food lovers. He said that the demonstration at the farmer fields will prove a millstone to flourish the crop at the national level.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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