SAU, Dalda Foundation to establish palm oil lab

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HYDERABAD: SAU and Dalda Foundation would establish Oil Palm Tissue Culture Lab, Production Technology and Technology Development Linkages with Farmers under Public-Private Partnership.

Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam would revise the MoU to conduct research, development and engage the students to boost up oil palm technology in Sindh Pakistan.  The meeting presided by Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Mari, Vice Chancellor, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam and attended by Mr. Virender Kumar, Project Manager Agriculture Dalda Foods Ltd., Dr. A.W Gandahi, Focal Person and Professor Department of Soil Sciences, Dr. Mujahid Hussain Laghari, Chairman, High Power Farm Management Committee, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director UA & FA, and Mr. Nasir Memon, Ph.D Scholar conducting his Ph.D research work on Oil Palm Plantation in Sindh  attended the meeting at Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.

Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Mari, emphasize and urged the scholars, academia and researcher to conduct research for technology development, commercialization, digital financing for farmers, and develop linkages with stakeholders for the development of Oil Seed Crops in Sindh Pakistan. 

He further added that, there is a worldwide demand for farmers which increased over the last few years and it has the highest per acre yield potential in Coastal area of Sindh Pakistan and cheapest vegetable oil. He further added that Pakistan is facing chronic shortage of edible oil and annually $4 Billion dollars is spent as a import bill. 

Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Mari, further added that to provide quality planting material of oil palm to the farmers a tissue culture lab will be established at Sindh agriculture University, Tandojam and simultaneously the Research and Development site already established will strengthen further production technology and also develop ground for academia, research and farmers for modern agriculture. It is imperative to concentrate on the Research and Development (R&D) of local oil and oil seeds in Pakistan together with public and private partnership and SAU will also extend and revise the MoU for further commercialization of the project. 

He further added that Dalda Foundation may extend its hands of cooperation on providing scholarships to deserving and needy students of the SAU and oil seed farmers desk will be established at SAU Tandojam with public private partnership and farmers will be registered for transfer of technology. 

He added that the virgin land of coastal area of Sindh and Balochistan could be brought under oil palm plantation through launching a strategic positive, encouraging campaign. So that the country would be able to become self sufficient in palm oil production domestically.

Mr. Virender Kumar, Project Manager Agriculture, Dalda Foods Ltd. highlighted the achievements of oil palm plantation research site established at Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam under the MoU signed in 2015.  He added that, the site has successfully conducted research trials on sunflower intercrop with oil palm which resulting in higher yield and better palm plantation growth. Simultaneously the Thai Variety of Oil Palm Cirad started bearing fruits within 3 years and scholars, students of SAU Tandojam have already  been engaged in research trials. 

Mr. Allah Wadhayo Gandahi, Focal Person, Professor Department of Soil Sciences, briefed the outcomes of the project and added that one Ph.D scholar is conducting his Ph.D research on oil palm plantation and one M.Sc students completed his research work on sunflower intercropped with Oil Palm. Furthermore, another is also engaged in conducting research work on Crop water Requirement of Oil Palm. 

Prof. Dr. Mujahid Hussain Laghari, Chairman, High Power Farm Management Committee, advised that the annual farm lease to be revised keeping in view the market rates under public private partnership. 

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director UA & FA, said that the SAU and Dalda Foundation Collaboration attracted the national and international organization working on Oil Palm Plantation. He added that Chinese academy of Tropical Agricultural Science CATAS showed great interest to work together on research and development in Oil Palm. He further added that the students and farmers may be engaged for technology transfer by conducting field days and seminars together by SAU and Dalda. 

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