ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Friday said the government was making all efforts for transferring solar date drying technology in crop production areas across the country.
Addressing a ceremony, organized by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) to demonstrate solar dates dryers at Khairpur, he said the advance technology would boost the dates production in the country.
The minister said technology obtained through solar energy could be utilized to increase crop production and better results and other horticulture and food crops for making the country self-sufficient in food production.
The use of solar technology and advanced methods to dry dates could also play a significant role in increasing date production in the country particularly in Sindh Province.
The promotion and development of horticulture sector in Sindh would result in economic growth in the province as the sector has great potential to raise employment opportunities in rural areas, he added.
He said horticulture sector is contributing 11.8 percent share in the country’s economy adding dates are the third important fruit of Pakistan with production of 600,000 tons annually.
In Pakistan, he said over 50 percent dates are cultivated in Sindh Province and date production growers are facing many problems due to lack of facilities to dry and preserve dates.
Sikandar Bosan said PARC scientists have introduced a new technology through which dates could be dried by using solar energy to obtain clean and export quality dates.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman PARC, Dr. Nadeem Amjad said the event would aware date growers about use of solar date dryer technologies introduced by PARC.
He said average fruit production in country was recorded at 6 million tons ton but 30 to 40 percent fruits were wasted due to lack of proper facilities for its management which result in loss of about Rs. 100 billion.