FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN – Director General (DG) of Agriculture Research Punjab, Dr. Sajid-ur-Rehman, announced a landmark achievement for Pakistan’s agricultural sector: sesame exports have generated $1.5 billion this year. Speaking at a seminar at the Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI) on Thursday, Dr. Sajid emphasized the critical role of sesame cultivation in boosting exports and strengthening the nation’s foreign exchange reserves.

Promoting Sesame Cultivation

Highlighting sesame as a high-value cash crop, Dr. Sajid called for increased efforts to promote its cultivation. He noted that despite being grown on 1 million acres of land across Pakistan, farmers are often unable to fully realize the crop’s potential due to inadequate management practices and limited value addition. To address these challenges, he urged agricultural scientists to develop new sesame varieties and enhance per-acre production.

Significant Agricultural Export Growth

Dr. Amir Rasool, DG Agriculture Pest Warning Punjab, reported that Pakistan’s overall agricultural exports, including sesame, fruits, vegetables, rice, and other commodities, have surpassed $7 billion this year. He detailed a remarkable 277% increase in sesame cultivation acreage and a 300% surge in production compared to the previous year.

Dr. Rasool encouraged farmers to adopt appropriate pesticide and herbicide practices under expert guidance. He stressed that embracing modern technology and better management could potentially triple sesame exports to $3 billion in the coming years.

Nutritional and Industrial Value of Sesame

Chief Scientist of Oil-seed Crops at AARI, Dr. Ehsan Mohiy-ud-Din, highlighted the nutritional benefits of sesame seeds, which are rich in essential minerals like calcium, iron, and copper, contributing significantly to bone health. He pointed out sesame’s extensive use across various industries, including fast food, bakery, pharmaceuticals, and the manufacturing of products like medicines, soaps, perfumes, and carbon papers.

Financial Support for Farmers

Muhammad Rafiq, Senior Executive at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), announced a substantial allocation of Rs. 280 billion in loans for small farmers, available at a low markup rate of 5 to 7 percent over 3 to 5 years. Rafiq encouraged the farming community to take advantage of this financial support to further develop sesame cultivation and enhance productivity.

Collaborative Efforts and Future Prospects

The seminar, attended by notable figures including City Police Officer Kamran Adil, renowned agricultural scientist Dr. Salsabeel Rauf, and oil-seed expert Hafiz Saad bin Mustafa, aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among stakeholders. This collective effort seeks to maximize the potential of sesame cultivation, thereby significantly enhancing Pakistan’s agricultural exports.



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