ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 (APP): Pakistan Agriculture Research Council has established four new research stations in different ecologies that would start functioning by the end of this year to help promoting the agriculture and livestock sectors in the country.
These research stations were established in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, erstwhile Federally Administrated Tribal Areas and Gilgit Baltistan to provide innovative agriculture solution and livestock farming to alleviate poverty from these areas of the country, said Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan.
While briefing to a group of journalists at PARC on Thursday, he said these research stations were established at Zhob, Wana, Waziristan and Khuzdar that would help untapping the existing potential of agriculture of these areas and bringing more area under different crop production.
He said that PARC was embarking upon an holistic plan for transforming value added agriculture to reduce import of food items that consume about $1.5 to $2 billion worth of the country’s foreign exchange reserves and was a major cause of trade deficit.
He said that government was focusing on increased productivity of major crops and would spend Rs 395 billion on 13 different agriculture sector development projects that would be completed in collaboration with provincial governments.
He said in order to promote agriculture value added products and promote value chain in the country, PARC with the help of private sector introduce 30 national brands of different items that included yogurt, honey, flour, rice and products like fish vegetables and herbal tea in order to provide quality food products to common man in the country.
The PARC head informed that about 100,000 hectares of land would be brought under olive cultivation by 2023, adding that 4 million hectares of land was already identified for olive cultivation.
He said that about one million olive plant would be provided for million tree tsunami project, adding that canola had also been cultivated over thousands of hectares to reduce import bill of edible oil.