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Pakistan exporting 300 tons of chili to China in August.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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300 tons of chili will be imported to China, freshly picked and dried at a pilot chilli field in Lahore, Punjab province in August, said Wu Guang, General Manager of Pakistan Subsidiary, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), adding that it is the first time Pakistani chili enter the Chinese market since 2020.

An experimental chili farm project with the cooperation between Pakistani farmers and their Chinese partners in July, – CMEC and Sichuan Litong Food Group – began to bear fruit, with a yield around three times Pakistani varieties.

It was noted that the trial chili farm project effectively completed 100 acres of plantation in the first half of 2021 in Lahore, this was noted by Chen Changwei, Chairman of Sichuan Litong Food Group. For the 100-acre-pilot-project, the quantities of seeds are 380 grams per acre, with a yield reaching 3 tons per acre. The total production is expected to reach 300 tons.

In Pakistan chili is grown on 47,349 hectares with a crop yield of about 2.68 tons per hectare (1.072 tons per acre) and an annual production of around 126,943 tons in FY2018-19.

As per Chen, they brought a total of 13 varieties of Chinese chilies to Pakistan since 2019. It took them three years to conduct the pilot program, and of all these 13 varieties, two varieties, namely, PJH-302 and PJH-407, have been certified for cultivation in Pakistan.

“We’re going to arrange a team of three agricultural experts on each chilli field of around 0.165 acres,” Wu Guang told China Economic Net. And these agricultural experts will train Pakistani staff in planting technology.

Advanced Chinese irrigation systems have also been introduced into the field. Umer Diyal, a farmer who worked in the pilot chili farm in Qasbi, Lahore, said China presented an irrigation system, and the expense of fertilizer has been reduced and every plant was getting water. “Watering of plants is not complex and expensive anymore,” he added.

Also, contract farming helps a lot when it comes to addressing farmers’ concerns about marketing.

Agriculture-related economy is vulnerable, so “We’re conducting contract farming with Pakistani farmers,” Wu Guang said.

Pakistani farmers agree to supply the agreed upon number of chilis, based on the quality standards and delivery requirements of CMEC. In return, CMEC agrees to buy the chili, at a price that is nailed down in advance.

“When the chilies are ripe, they are naturally dried and then shipped back to China for further processing,” Chen Changwei noted.

“This model generates employment in the rural economy, reduces risk for firms, and provides income for farmers,” Wu Guang said and further mentioned that in the next phase of the pilot chilli farm project, as many as 3000 acres of land would be brought under chilli cultivation.

Furthermore, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong praised the chili farming project, saying that the project is expected to produce more than 8,000 tons of dried chilies with a net income of more than 100,000 rupees per acre for local farmers.

Finally, Pakistan has another advantage over China in growing chilies. Sequential cropping is feasible here as the climate, soil, and water of Pakistan are different from that of China.

Chili is a tropical and sub-tropical plant which requires warmer weather.

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Maldives records increase in tourist arrivals.

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After a steep decline in tourist arrivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in the number of tourists arriving in Maldives has been observed.

A total of 101,281 tourists have been recorded arriving in the Maldives in July. In March 109,585 tourists have arrived in Maldives. According to the data collected by the Tourism Ministry from 1st of January to 28th of July, a total of 600,252 tourists visited Maldives. This is an 8% increase in the total number of arrivals recorded in 2020. Last year a total of 555,494 tourists visited Maldives.

The highest number of tourists visited have been observed to be from Russia. A total of 140,824 tourist have arrived Maldives, this year. The second most visited nationality is Indians standing at a total of 99,643. The third highest numbers of tourists arrived from Germany, with 33,361 tourists.

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Chinese logistics sector outperforms its pre-pandemic levels.

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Chinese logistics sector has outperformed its pre-pandemic levels according to the latest data.

According to the data, the logistics sector continued to recover and ultimately outperform itself when comparing the first half of 2021 and 2019.  China’s social logistics sector was valued at $23.24 trillion, up by 15.7% year-on-year.

The combined revenue of the logistics sector was reported as 5.7 trillion Yuan for the first half of  2021, 22.8% higher than that of the last year.

It is estimated that the total value of China’s social logistics sector would continue to rise by 9-10% throughout the year as its economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BML faces harsh criticism as net profit hits MVR 299 million while imposing a limit on cards.

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Bank of Maldives has come under criticism after it revealed that it had made MVR 298 million as profit during the second quarter of this year.

According to the Bank of Maldives, its gross income topped out at MVR 785 million for second quarter of 2021 while its operating profit was reported as MVR 496 million. The bank reported a net profit of MVR 299 million for the second quarter of 2021.

Public criticism was targeted at the Bank of Maldives, with netizens accusing the bank of profiting off of the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many complained that the bank was making profits while enforcing a limit on their cards and foreign transactions.

Prominent musician Fezu from the Detune Band also expressed her concerns on twitter.

A netizen also noted that the bank should be subjected to more stringent oversight as she was charged a fee, which she did not receive. She also noted that the bank she uses in the UK does not make as high profits as the Bank of Maldives, and questioned whether the bank should be investigated.

The former Economic Minister and current Maavashu Constituency MP Mohamed Saeed also expressed concern on the subject. In a tweet made earlier today, MP Mohamed Saeed stated that the public was forced to purchase US Dollar at 18.45 when leaving abroad to seek medical treatment, noting on the limit imposed on the credit/debit cards.

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