To bring change in farmers life and agriculture development there is need to ensure the dissemination of new technology and knowledge among farming community of the country. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) scientists are firm to make the country self-sufficient in agriculture.
Farmers are the asset of our country and by providing new technology and knowledge to them we can improve crop production in the country. This was stated by Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary for M/o NFSR, Islamabad on his visit at National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad on occasion of “Farmer’s Field Day on Soybean”.
The Federal Secretary said that Soybean, although a bit new to Pakistani farming community, is one of the important crops in the world. Its seed contains 18 to 22% oil and 40 to 42% good quality protein. It is the best source of protein in the world and rightly claims the title of the meat that grows on plants. Over 400 products are made from its seed; it is mainly used for flour, oil, margarine, cookies, biscuit, candy, milk, vegetable cheese, lecithin and many other products.
He added that the importance of soybean is not only due to its use as an oil seed crop and feed for poultry, livestock and aquaculture, but also as a good source of protein for the human diet and as a bio-fuel. On this occasion, he highlighted the role of PARC for the development of country’s agriculture sector. He assured the farmers for support from PARC for promotion of cultivation of groundnut, mung, mash, canola, soybean and other crops in all regions of the country. He also stressed to media to highlight sustainable innovations in agriculture sector in Pakistan
Dr. Yusuf Zafar (T.I) Chairman PARC expressed his views thatin Pakistan, soybean has not attained a respectable position among the oilseed crops despite efforts made by PARC from late seventies through to early nineties. But currently due to its huge import in shape of soybean seed and meal by the poultry industry in the country draining 80 to 90 billion rupees worth of precious foreign exchange out of the country, the need is again increasingly felt to revive and promote this miracle crop in the country.
Soybean demand has increased in the country in the last three decades due to rapidly growing poultry industry. Pakistan imports soy-meal from India, North and South American countries to meet the requirements of poultry, livestock and aquaculture.
In 2016-17, Pakistan imported over 1.7 million tons soybean seed and meal (mostly soybean seed) and spent over 800 million US dollars and the requirements for soybean are continuously increasing due to increasing population and expanding Poultry industry in the country.
While briefing to the participants, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Director General NARC said that keeping in view the importance of soybean crop and huge import bill of soya meal and oil, Oilseeds Research Program of PARC, during current season, planted seed multiplication blocks of soybean promising varieties (NARC-1, NARC-2, Ajmeri, Rawal-1 and NARC-16) on 300 acres at NARC farm and also distributed 40 tons soybean seed produced during the last year to farmers in Potohar, KP and GB. Oilseeds.
Dr. M. Azeem Khan also paid thanks to all stakeholders including farmers, NRSP, PODB, ZTBL and others on their participation in the Farmer’s Field Day on Soybean organized by NARC.
He further added that the objective of the activity is to revive the interest of the farming community and other stakeholder and promote this important crop in the country and save large amount of precious foreign exchange spent on the import of soybean oil and meal for its use in poultry and livestock feed and other areas. On the occasion, Director General NARC Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan also offered his support for cultivation of soybean on 1200 acre in Photohar region.