Published On:March 19 2008
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PODB plans Oilpalm Development Project

Islamabad: To reduce the growing import bill of edible oil on national economy, Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) under its Oilpalm Development Project has decided to import 0.9 million palm seedlings from Malaysia. 'These seedlings will be grown in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan,' according to official sources.

The total cost of the Oilpalm Development Project is Rs 113.080 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. 'The completion of the project will be a great achievement as it will reduce dependence upon foreign oil,' the PODB sources said.

The board has a plan to cultivate palm crop on 12,000 acres in Sindh and Balochistan, while it has already procured 0.5 million seedlings and grown in different nurseries in the country. In order to encourage domestic production of the crop the board has decided to provide palm seedlings to growers on easy instalments.

A palmoil extraction mill will also be established in the coming years to extract fresh fruit palm oil for domestic use. It merits a mention here that more than half (54 per cent) of Pakistan's cooking oil and ghee are made from palm oil. The increase in oilseed production in the country besides reducing the dependence on imports will help enhance the quality of locally produced ghee and edible oil.

The sources observed that prices of edible oil have witnessed an upsurge in the recent days due to increase in the price of palm oil in the international market, triggered by extraordinary Chinese purchases.

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