Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 12 Dec 2013 | 00:30 | ©
Cold and gusty winds at sea with short days have significantly reduced winter's fish catch, as vessels have shifted to their nocturnal operations in a bid to maximise the fishing span. Talking to Business Recorder on Tuesday, the scantly covered with warm gears seafarers said that the short days make them to rely more on night time operations with a view to increase the fishing span.
"Catch always comes down in winter because of strong gusty winds and cold weather conditions," said President Sindh Trawlers Owners and Fishermen Association (Stofa), Habibullah Khan Niazi.
The fishermen said the northerly winds, which have yet to take impetus to tear across the coastal belt of Sindh, are still cold enough to cause vessels to cut their catch short to quickly return to moorages.
"Span of fishing operations has increased at seas from 20 to 28 days since the cold weather season has started in the country's coastal parts," Habibullah Niazi said
The seafarers said the Arabian Sea turns into inertia and remains dull for four months, but scales down the catch as marine life plunges into seabed in habitats during the cold.
"Cold waves push fish to seabed dwelling where many of the species remain there all the winter days, making the fishermen sail longer to hunt," said President Native. Islanders Fishermen Association (Nifa), Asif Bhatti.
Courtesy Business Recorder I News Collated by agrinfobank.com
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 11 Dec 2013 | 06:16 | ©
Morphology differences within stem tissue of grass plants can provide differences in selectivity. The growing point of many grass weeds (crabgrass and wild oat) are more exposed to herbicide-treated soil than wheat and barley where the growing point is protected inside the coleoptile.
The Chief Engineer Sukkur Barrage Left Bank Sukkur Region has said that all the canals of Sukkur Barrage would be remained closed for the annual closure. He said that the closure will start from January 6 to 20, 2014 for the purpose of normal inspection, maintenance and necessary repair of the infrastructure.
For that period there will be no water supply in any of the off-taking canal of Sukkur Barrage ie N.W. Canal, Dadu canal, Khairpur Feeder East canal, Khairpur Feeder West canal, Rohri Main canal, Nara canal and their allied channels, the Chief Engineer added.
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 10 Dec 2013 | 09:04 | ©
In the reporting year, the domestic illicit use was 18.8 billion cigarettes, whereas the non-domestic consumption of illicit cigarettes stands at 3 billion, which is much lower than the domestic use. The non-duty paid cigarettes contribute to rise in tobacco consumption by making cigarettes cheaper and more accessible. This makes it more attractive, especially to people who are price sensitive, such as youth and the poor. It also allows cigarettes to be sold as singles instead of packs, or from non-regulated outlets that make it more accessible to youth.
On the other hand the study indicates that the countries with a sharp rise in taxes on legal tobacco brands than the countries with low taxes have the high ratio of illicit consumption.
Heavy taxation on the legal tobacco brands (high tax paying industry) is ultimately promoting the illicit tobacco industry thus allowing criminals and opportunists to get a chance to sell their counterfeit products on cheap rates, which attracts the customers with low purchasing power.
The main factors contributing to the problem include an unbalanced fiscal policy, heavy taxation, protectionist policy measures, corruption, weak enforcement, lack of official controls in free zones, inadequate legislation and sanctions, growth in illegal distribution networks and public tolerance of the illicit trade in tobacco products.
According to the Oxford Economics study, due to illicit tobacco trade, Pakistan loses tax revenues of over Rs 27 billion per year.
Recently, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has initiated an advertisement campaign in the media to create awareness about the illegal and smuggled tobacco brands. It is an encouraging effort but the FBR should focus more on developing a comprehensive enforcement strategy to curb illegal tobacco trade, they said.
The sale and purchase of smuggled Pine and other smuggled packs including Esse, Mild 88, More, Camel and Sense are illegal and attract penalties of confiscation of cigarettes, fine of up to Rs 50, 000, recovery equal to 500 per cent of unpaid taxes and imprisonment up to five years. The FBR's agency has launched many similar campaigns against illicit cigarette brands, especially against Pine, which is in high demand amongst Pakistani smokers because it is an imported brand easily available at below the minimum price set by the FBR at Rs 34 for a pack of 20.'Cricket' is a recent example of a duty-evading cigarette brand that is being sold at Rs 12. This also raises the question how the brand was being sold even below the minimum excise duty, which stands at Rs 17.6 per pack and should be payable to the national exchequer.
If the government is serious in curbing this illegitimate business, it needs to develop comprehensive anti-illicit trade policies and pay particular attention to the involvement of all relevant government agencies like Customs, Ministries of Finance, Health, Justice and Trade, to ensure alignment and commitment to achieving the same goals, they added.
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 9 Dec 2013 | 10:07 | ©
The Ministry directed the PSM management to constitute a committee to examine the possibility of commercial utilisation of surplus unloading capacity of IOCB as well as to develop tender documents for competitive bidding in this regard. The committee''s report was submitted to the Ministry on 2 October 2013. Subsequently, the issue was placed before the PSM board in its last meeting which also gave clearance to the proposal.
Giving details, sources said that Pakistan Steel''s jetty had been obtained from Port Qasim Authority (PQA) for exclusive use to unload imported basic raw materials from ships ie iron ore and coals etc required for its operational needs.
The unloaded raw materials from ships are transported through a dedicated 4.5-km-long conveyor system and stacked at discharging end in operational yards situated within the main plant area of Pakistan Steel. Therefore, having no other alternate arrangement, the availability of the jetty (IOCB) is vital for exclusive use of Pakistan Steel as its operations totally depend on the smooth and uninterrupted unloading of required basic raw materials.
As the ownership of the jetty rests with the PQA, fixed charges of Rs. 277 million per annum are paid by the Pakistan Steel to the PQA, irrespective of tonnage of raw material unloaded. Besides, around Rs 150 million per annum is incurred on the salary/wages of the employees working at the jetty. About Rs 50 million is spent annually on maintenance of equipment and protection of steel structure from corrosion etc.
Keeping in view the above mentioned existing status of the jetty (IOCB) and considering the case under the Risks Mitigation Strategy, the window of opportunity for the commercial outsourcing of surplus capacity of the jetty exists till such time Pakistan Steel operates on less than 90 % capacity utilisation. At present, this period can be taken as one year. The prospect of further commercial outsourcing of surplus capacity of the jetty (IOCB) may be considered from the perspective of Pakistan Steel''s enhanced capacity operation and its expected further expansion from 1.1 mtpy to 1.5 mtpy in Phase-I and up to 3.0 mtpy in Phase-II.
Based on possible surplus capacity against 1.1 mtpy capacity of PSM, a financial feasibility has been prepared for one year. The Request For Proposal (RFP) document mentioning necessary terms and conditions for tendering purpose to invite proposals from potential bidders/firms has also been prepared.
The following prerequisites are also mentioned for consideration prior to finalisation of the contract with any successful bidder. The present bulk material handling capacity at the jetty may only cater for Pakistan Steel''s raw material needs for its operation at around 80-90% capacity. Reasons are as under:
Both ship unloaders are in operation for the last 32 years and each of them has completed more than 140,000 hours operational life against designed operational life of 60,000 hours. As per past record of 32 years, the average achieved unloading rate remained 510 tons per hour.
The intercepting conveyor network after Junction No.1 and unloading/stacking machines in primary stock yard (PSY) of Raw Material Handling Department (RMHD) and coal handling yard of Coke Oven & By Product Plant (COBP) have also completed more than 32 years of service life.
In case of increased work load, the wear/tear of the jetty and its installations, conveyor networks and stacking machines will increase, leading to increased frequency of breakdowns, and interruptions in supply of raw material to Pakistan Steel.
It is assessed that with effective maintenance on regular basis the existing unloaders and allied conveyor network and machines will be capable of unloading about 50 ships annually, each having capacity of 50,000 tons+ 10%. Some ships of smaller size carrying 10,000 to 20,000 tons of cargo are also unloaded which increase the operational time and lower the unloading rate. The existing maximum draught of the jetty (IOCB) is 11.5 meters at which ships carrying more than 55,000 tons of cargo cannot be handled.
The sources said, since ownership of the jetty and the responsibility for provision of night navigation facility, increase of draught for berthing of larger size vessels, besides civil maintenance and strengthening of the jetty (IOCB) rests with the PQA, the commercial utilisation of the jetty has to be fully agreed to and supported by the PQA. Moreover, being a government organisation, Pakistan Steel is paying subsidised charges to the PQA. Rates for commercial utilisation of jetty (IOCB) may have to be negotiated with the PQA.
The PSM is yet to resolve the following issues; (i) fate of Service Agreement signed by Pakistan Steel with M/s. Tuwairqi Steel Mill;(ii) NOC from PQA; and (iii) liaison with custom authorities to declare the private ware house for storage of commercial cargo as custom bonded warehouse.
Source: Business Recorder
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 8 Dec 2013 | 04:32 | ©
He said this while presiding over a high level meeting in connection with holding dialogues with a representative delegation of Kissan Ittehad about prices of wheat, sugar cane and fertilisers at Irrigation Secretariat here on Saturday. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed, MPA Malik Abbas Raan, Secretary Food Punjab Aslam Kamboh, Cane Commissioner Punjab Ahmad Malik, MD National Fertiliser Company, Kissan Ittehad leaders Malik Khalid Khokhar, Mian Farooq and other representatives attended the meeting. Kissan Ittehad leaders presented their demands regarding prices of sugar cane and fertilisers. They demanded that prices of wheat and sugar cane be increased whereas prices of fertiliser should be reduced. They further demanded that the role of middleman in the sale and purchase of fertilisers be eliminated so that farmers and common man could directly benefit from the subsidy of Rs 30 billion given by the government for the provision of fertilisers.
Addressing the meeting, Provincial Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed said in consultation with the Kissan Ittehad leaders, the prices of sugar cane, deduction in weight and timely payment to the farmers would be ensured. Secretary Food Aslam Kamboh told the meeting that strict instructions have been issued to sugar mills with regard to the prices of sugar cane, deduction in weight and timely payment to the farmers. He said sugar mills have made record payments to the farmers this year. He told the meeting that instructions have been issued to DCOs of all districts in this regard. The meeting decided that a report would be submitted to Federal Government in consultation with farmers and other stakeholders with regard to cost of wheat, its production and price of wheat as fixing of wheat prices is the responsibility of Federal Government. The meeting also decided that the decision with regard to re-fixation of sugar cane price will be taken after consultation with stakeholders and other provinces.
He said that it was a happy sign that the PM had constituted Business and Agriculture Advisory Committees to overcome the challenges being faced by the two sectors and optimism is being expressed that things would take a positive turn sooner than later. "But I would request the government that instead of reinventing the wheel through such an exercise, the government should constitute ADB on the pattern of Engineering Development Board (EDB) that is an apex body under Ministry of Industries and Production entrusted to strengthen engineering base in Pakistan," he said.
He mentioned that the EDB has seven government members and 14 private members including two top academicians having related experience and in my view, the ADB should primarily consist of 25 members including top agriculturists from all the provinces, renowned businessmen, vice chancellors of agriculture universities and secretaries of all related government departments.
The proposed ADB should be tasked to review all existing agriculture policies in the country, hold discussions with recognised related private sector bodies before giving final recommendations for implementation. Why all this should be done? He questioned. It is needed to save our agriculture sector that is facing multiple internal and external challenges, he added.
Very recently all of us saw a sudden and unprecedented hike in the prices of almost all vegetables but nobody noticed that what went wrong and what is the remedy? In my opinion, the decision to allow imports of vegetables from India was a deep rooted and well calculated conspiracy against the local farmers, he said. All this is result of our wrong planning because while allowing import of vegetables from India we ignored our farming sector.
He said that recently I was in India and surprised to know that their agriculture sector was exempt from load shedding while industrial sector and domestic users are subjected to load shedding. Indians understand well that the industry can be run on generators while a farmer cannot afford generator. So they are ensuring their food security and we have failed to do so, he maintained. The LCCI former senior vice president also spoke on education and severely criticised mushroom growth of private education institutions in the country. He said that the government educational institutions should be strengthened to deliver quality education.
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 7 Dec 2013 | 09:28 | ©
These latter, such as the very destructive dermestid khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium, and the bostrychid larger grain borer, Prostephanus truncatus, have achieved major status as quarantine pests in recent times because of their still limited distribution. Nevertheless most pests of durable commodities had achieved cosmopolitan status before the advent of modern phytosanitary practice and these pests have become even more widely dispersed through recent sea and air trade.
Willis, J.C. (1966) A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Official sources said that 20 megawatt plants would be set up each in Multan and Faisalabad, 10 megewatt capacity plants in Kala Shah Kaku (Lahore) and Rahimyar Khan, and a 2 megawatt plant in Daska (Sialkot).
The projects would be undertaken on public-private partnership mechanism and would add 62MW electricity to the national grid after completion. Electricity generation by exploiting green energy is comparatively cheaper and environment friendly. Kahlon said, a strategy was also being prepared to ensure availability of crop biomass, its supply system, required quantity and machinery required to generate power. Experts were engaged in devising a biomass management system with a view to reduce cost of transportation of biomass to desired places. It said that crop waste processing plants would also be set up to make crop waste usable for electricity generation.
Official said that a Crop Bio Mass Cell has also been set up in Punjab agriculture department to co-ordinate with the organisations and departments having expertise in generating electricity from green energy. The cell would also assess the quantity of biomass that can be collected, and strategy for its proper storage. Information/data regarding all kind of big and small crops grown in Punjab would be conveyed to the organisations having experience of biomass power generation or engaged in research on the subject so as to find opportunities of co-operation or partnership at national and international level to achieve the objective.
According to a recent survey of Punjab Agriculture Department, around 28 million ton crop waste including husk from wheat, cotton sticks, besides waste from rice and maize can be utilised to generate electricity. Moreover, research bodies including Agriculture Mechanisation Research Institute Multan, Agriculture University Faisalabad and others were engaged in exploring alternate means of energy and to finalise a set of doable recommendations to produce electricity from crop waste. It will help the government and its partners to finalise a flawless strategy to produce green electricity. The initiative taken by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was commendable and growers should extend their full co-operation by preparing a system to collect and keep crop waste for its utilisation to generate electricity, sources said.
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 6 Dec 2013 | 07:46 | ©
"We have visited many Rice industries in Karachi and we are satisfied with the quality of rice and the modern technology established in the industries. We are going to import Pakistani rice in near future," said Mariano Senesi, a member of delegation. The delegation was comprised Mariano Senesi M/s Agrosud Argentina, Enrique Bruzzone Copello M/s. CV Trading Chile, Enrique Bruzzone Caste M/S CV Trading Chile. Representatives of SGS Pakistan, Beauro Veritas, and Intertek Pakistan were also present.
On this occasion, Rabia Javeri Agha said, "It is the primary objective of TDAP to facilitate the exporters and resolve the issue. I would address all issues being faced by the rice exporters association and would step up efforts to enhance the export with other nations."
Senior Vice-Chairman Reap, Chela Ram, said they were delighted to have Secretary TDAP first time at their office and hope she would further cooperate with them and would pave the ways for a smooth export.
He further said he was also happy over the providence of quality rice for the buyers across the world, adding that China has become the largest importer of Pakistani rice in last two years.
"We have beaten our competitors including India, Thailand and Vietnam and captured Chinese market in last couple of years," he added.
Regarding the decline in export of Pakistani basmati rice in last few years, he said the price of Pakistani basmati was higher as compared to the competitors due to which the volume of exports came down. It all happened due the poor law and order situation of the country, he added. He urged the government to ensure proper electricity and gas supply to the farmers so that the exports volume could be increased. He said if the present government restore peace and provide energy to this sector that they would cross $4 billion mark in 2016.
Abdul Rahim, ex-chairman Reap, urged the government to take appropriate measures and encourage formers to adopt latest technology to increase rice production so that the sector could earn maximum foreign exchanges for the country.
Although, Sindh food department has fixed wheat flour price of Rs 395 for per 10-kg bag. However, the commodity is not available at this rate in the market and millers are selling commodity at higher rates. Flour mills and Chakki owners have increased wheat prices by Rs 2 per kilogram during last two days due to short supply of wheat grains. Presently, Chakki flour is being sold at Rs 50-52 per-kg. While, regular wheat flour price has surged to Rs 43 per kg as against fixed price of Rs 39.5 per kg.
Food department on Thursday conducted raid on a flour mill located at site area and suspended its wheat quota for non compliance of price condition. During the raid it found that the mill is being sold flour at Rs 42.5 per kg, some Rs 3 per kg higher than fixed price. Naseer Ahmed Jamali secretary food has also suspended Qamar Bhutto food inspector on the negligence of his duties.
Millers said that wheat grain prices at the open market are gradually increasing, therefore, they are compelled to increase the commodity prices.
Using the same sprayer equipment for weed control and then for insect control is neither safe. No matter how well a tank is rinsed after use of a herbicide, a residue will be left in the tank and in the gaskets, hoses and parts. If the same tank is then used with an insecticide to spray a plant, it is possible to kill the plant with the herbicide left in the tank. The wisest policy is to maintain two sprayers, one for herbicides and another for insecticides and fungicides.
Published By: agrinfobank.com Team on 5 Dec 2013 | 07:41 | ©
By Harry Wallop
A scientist claims caged hens live better than free-range birds. Has common sense flown the coop?
- At the time of sowing there should be proper moisture in the field.
- Rice should be harvested near the ground and the left over stubble should not be more than 15 cm in height and field should be free from weeds.
- At the time of sowing the seed-drill should be lifted up or lower down very slowly to avoid clocking of furrow opener by soil, otherwise seeds and fertilizer will not drill in the furrow.
- Seed should be treated with vitavax or Bavistin at the rate of 2.5 g/kg of wheat seed. Seed rate should be 140-150 kg/ha (20-25% higher).
- Sowing depth should be maintained about 5-6 cm.
- Light planker may be used behind the zero-tillage machine.
- After sowing by Zero-till-seed-drill, other package of practices remain the same as in other methods.
He said the wheat sowing has been going on according to schedule in the province that produces 80 percent of the total staple food of the nation. Director General Pakistan Meteorological Department Dr Arif Mahmood told this scribe that mainly dry and cold weather is expected in plains of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KPK till 16th December 2013. He advised farmers of irrigated plains of Punjab, Sindh & Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to complete sowing of wheat crop before 15th December to get maximum yield. In case of late sowing in December, the recommended varieties should be cultivated to minimise the expected loss in yield.
Dr Mahmood said wheat sowing is in progress in most of the irrigated areas. Farmers of irrigated areas should irrigate the crop as per requirement due to dry weather prevailing in most of the irrigated agricultural plains of the country. Normally first irrigation is given after 20-25 days after sowing.
Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority is releasing 1,06,400 cusecs water from the reservoirs and run of the river water for power generation and crop irrigation. 50,000 cusecs water is being released from the Tarbela dam, 40,000 cusecs from Mangla Dam, 8,700 cusecs from river Kabul and River Chanab 7,700 cusecs.
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