Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) and the Punjab Agriculture Department (Extension wing) have agreed to collaborate for the promotion of oilseed crops in the Punjab by improving the marketing system so that farmers can get a better return for their hard labour and contribute to reducing the edible oil import bill of the country through bringing more area under sowing of oilseed crops.
Both the departments held a meeting in Lahore recently to discuss the sunflower cultivation plan for the forthcoming season. PODB was represented by its Managing Director Syed Nasir Ali while Punjab Agriculture Department was represented by the DG (Extension) Dr Anjum Ali.
Punjab Agriculture Department (Extension) Director General expressed his keen interest in collaboration with the PODB for the promotion of oilseed crops. He emphasised the need for support at the Federal level to improve oilseed crops cultivation in Punjab. It was emphasized that the marketing system of farmers produce should be improved with regard to the selling of their produce by taking the Solvent Industry on board. Provision of quality seed well in time, before the commencing of the sowing season on reasonable price must also be ensured, the meeting observed.
Syed Nasir Ali told Business Recorder here on Monday that after this meeting he had submitted a comprehensive plan with the Secretary Food Security to authorise the Board for chalking out a strategy to ensure the provision of quality seed to the growers, fixation of minimum purchase price and marketing strategy in consultation with the Solvent Extraction Industry. He said that the PODB used to do all this work in the past and after its restoration, he was trying to ensure the continuation of this role which helps the growers a lot. He said that they would be able to help the growers with sunflower sowing, whose season starts soon after the wheat sowing is over in the province.
PODB Managing Director also held a meeting with the Director Oilseeds Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI) Dr Noor ul Islam in Faisalabad, who welcoming the Federal Government’s decision to revive the PODB stressed the need to revive the PODB network in Punjab as early as possible. “Punjab was the optimum growing area of oilseed crops, and the farmers needed the infrastructure for their support and help,” he added. There is also a desire to work on soybean crops in Punjab, but it could not be achieved without the professional help of the PODB, the meeting observed. Similarly, in another meeting officials of the AARI hoped that the revival of the PODB would also ensure the revival of the missing links for progress on oilseed crop cultivation.