Fixing wheat support price

PAKISTAN is an agricultural state, thus agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy. It’s significance is manifold as it provides food to the people, raw materials to industry and is a base for earning foreign exchange through foreign trade. Wheat is the most important staple crop of the country. Also, the burgeoning cost of inputs had compelled the farmers to cultivate and produce for self-consumption rather than the nation. Such food scarcity had resulted in food inflation in the

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Misguided social media!

PAKISTAN SINCE the last couple of years has started letting in the developments taking place in the field of world of information technology and telecom sector. The world, earlier made accessible at the PCs some years back, was then in the reach at laptops while on the go and now man’s dream’ of having the whole world in his hands has come true in the shape of fully equipped mobile phone especially having Internet service and one staying connected with those living even on the other side of

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Ban on YouTube vs students

THIS REFERS to the ban on YouTube by the PTA on the advice of the government.Even though violence after the release of the blasphemous video on YouTube is condemnable, it must be realised that the ban on YouTube has adverse effects on students.I use YouTube for my MBA studies. As a result of this ban in Pakistan, informative and academic videos are not available to aspirants of higher education as well.By banning YouTube, we are effectively prohibiting spread of knowledge and information. By

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Bt Corn in Pakistan: Unanswered questions

WE KEEP hearing that introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) or Bt Corn in Pakistan will provide the following benefits:•  Increase Corn yields•  Reduce Pesticide usage•  Financial benefit for farmersHowever, the following questions remain un-answered;•  To-date, no seed company or government institution has bothered to address the issue of cross-pollination contamination or its prevention due to Bt Corn in Pakistan.•  Corn/Maize production data since the year 2000 to date. This

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Swelling edible oil import bill!

THE REGULARLY slash in agriculture yields has sprung a wave of concern for the authorities concerned on one hand, while the other hand regular swelling of annual import bill of edible oils is equally responsible for multiplying the government’s economic concerns especially for the consumers who are ultimately the sufferers. Presently, Pakistan imports two million tons edible oils in addition to more oilseeds for crushing purpose involving a huge amount of Rs 45 billion to meet the domestic

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Pakistan continues with controversial plan to turn coal into diesel

PAKISTAN IS pushing ahead with a controversial plan to produce synthetic diesel through underground gasification of its vast coal deposits in the Thar desert in Sindh province. According to the precise estimates, the Thar carries the world’s second biggest coal deposits amounting to around 185 billion tons which have the cost of three trillion dollars in the international market.However, the Thar Underground Coal Gasification project had hung in the balance for the last 14 months following the

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Lifting ban on YouTube

THE FEDERAL government should lift the ban on YouTube. Many people, especially students, are suffering because of this ban. Some of these students seek YouTube help to complete their academic assignments. Would it not be better to educate people to inculcate self-discipline and self-control so that they restrain themselves from watching the movie in question? The government should adopt a proper regulatory mechanism to handle such a situation in future. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

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Axe falls on Pakistani expats this time!

THE RECENT proposal to establish the International Clearing House (ICH) and fixation of termination rates on incoming overseas calls to Pakistan, now applicable from October 1 despite a strict warning by the super regulator Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), has now forced the overseas Pakistanis to pay about $150 million a month on international calls back home but also speaks about the shallow approach of the relevant authorities towards handling the stakeholders (overseas Pakistanis)

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Unnecessary use of pesticides

PAKISTAN IS an agricultural country where different crops are cultivated according to the season and the region. Some of the major crops grown here include cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, banana and sunflower, but how do we protect and safeguard them from harmful pests and diseases? Being a plant protectionist, I would suggest that we should apply and use all safeguarding measures which have been recommended by experts. Chemicals control shows quick results and that is why farmers and

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Climate Change police at last!

THE FEDERAL cabinet has recently approved the Climate Change Policy in Pakistan, which, by all means, is being considered a positive, but long awaited, document in the wake of the horrendous effects of world climate change especially in Pakistan. Though the government claims this new policy would pave way towards evolving regional and provincial strategies and action plans to meet the challenge the country is confronting with, the successive governments’ bad performance and pathetic attitude

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Protracted strangulation of PCSIR

ADVANCEMENT OF science and technology is the key to the development. Pakistan has tried to keep up with the times but seems to be going under on several other issues. They have grievously neglected a large institute which only serves science; Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). Scientists working in this Council, with the limited available infrastructure, have been striving to put in their best. However, the treatment being meted out to them in return speaks for

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Testing Aquamax, Artesian technologies for corn

PIONEER SEED Company (Dupont) and Syngenta have developed the Aquamax and Artesian technologies to develop drought tolerant Corn.These technologies have been developed using the Old school’ germ plasm breeding techniques. Monsanto on the other hand is working to develop Droughtgard’ which depends on genetic modification and maybe available in 2013-14 and is likely to be more expensive than Pioneer or Syngenta. It is noted that Drought tolerant’ technology still requires water and thus

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Climate change and agriculture

AGRICULTURE IS the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy. According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2011-12, it is important for growth, exports, incomes, food security and industrialisation.It is the second largest sector of the economy and contributes about 21 per cent to the GDP, generates productive employment opportunities for 45 per cent of our labour force and 60 per cent of the rural population depend directly or indirectly on this sector for their livelihood.At present the agriculture system is

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US movie an eye-opener!

THE ONGOING harsh wave of violent protest across the Muslim world especially in Pakistan against the blasphemous movie recently produced by a US filmmaker has necessitated the need to validate the relevant law for proper and effective application of approach that could ensure better use of the rapidly developing information technology. The modern times witnessing the fast changing dimensions of social interactions across the world which has now turned into a global village, courtesy the

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Protecting global environment!

THOUGH ENVIRONMENTALISTS have rung alarm bells regarding the ever increasing negative impacts of climate change not only on the Earth but also on patterns of human life and equally on agriculture and the Pakistani government’s claimed initiatives for the protection of environment, the progress in this regard still seems a distant dream. According to statistics, Pakistan has only 5.2 per cent of its total area under forests against the international criteria of 25 per cent. This major drawback

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Decommissioning of large dams

ACCORDING TO international rivers, on Aug 16, after nearly 10 years of campaigning, La Parota Dam, in Mexico, was officially cancelled. La Parota would have consisted of a 900 MW dam on the Papagayo River 28km from the city of Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. It would have flooded close to 17,000 hectares of land, displaced more than 25,000 people, and affected another 75,000 people downstream of the dam.Earlier in July the Belo Monte Dam construction was halted by the Brazilian court, until

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Cashing in on halal food or meat market

SINCE A new and dynamic global halal industry is thriving especially in the world where over 1.6 billion Muslims live, the demand for halal foods and products is getting strong with the passage of time. In countries like Malaysia, the government is pushing hard to make the country a global hub for halal products. However, Pakistan, having over 180 million Muslim population, has a more pure regime where consumption of alcohol along with all other Haram food products like pork are virtually non-

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