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Pakistani sesame exports reach $1.5bn, officials emphasize growth potential

Pakistani sesame exports reach $1.5bn
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May 23, 2024 (MLN): Pakistan has garnered $1.5 billion from sesame exports this year, said Director General (DG) of Agriculture Research Punjab Sajid-ur-Rehman as reported by APP.

Speaking at a seminar held at the Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI) on Thursday, Sajid stressed the importance of promoting sesame cultivation to bolster exports and bolster the country's foreign exchange reserves.

Highlighting sesame as a lucrative cash crop with significant market value, Sajid urged agricultural scientists to address challenges faced by farmers while introducing new varieties to enhance per-acre production.

Despite sesame being cultivated across 1 million acres of land in Pakistan, farmers often struggle to maximize its potential due to inadequate management practices and value addition.

Amir Rasool, DG Agriculture Pest Warning Punjab, revealed that Pakistan's overall exports of sesame, fruits, vegetables, rice, and other agricultural commodities have surpassed $7bn this year.

He noted a remarkable 277% increase in sesame cultivation acreage and a 300% surge in production compared to the previous year.

Encouraging farmers to adopt appropriate pesticide and herbicide usage under expert guidance, Rasool emphasized that the adoption of modern technology could potentially triple sesame exports to $3bn within the next few years.

Chief Scientist of Oil-seed Crops at AARI Ehsan Mohiy-ud-Din underscored the nutritional benefits of sesame seeds, containing essential minerals like calcium, iron, and copper, which contribute to bone health.

He highlighted sesame's widespread utilization across various industries, including fast food, bakery, and pharmaceuticals, emphasizing its significance in manufacturing medicines, soaps, perfumes, and carbon papers.

Muhammad Rafiq, Senior Executive at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), announced a substantial allocation of Rs280bn in loans for small farmers at a low markup rate of 5 to 7% over 3 to 5 years.

Rafiq urged the farming community to leverage this financial support to further develop sesame cultivation.

The seminar also featured addresses by City Police Officer Kamran Adil, renowned agricultural scientist Dr. Salsabeel Rauf, oil-seed expert Hafiz Saad bin Mustafa, and other prominent figures.

The event aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among stakeholders to maximize the potential of sesame cultivation and enhance Pakistan's agricultural exports.

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Posted on: 2024-05-23T16:52:58+05:00