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Lab to be set up to boost cultivation of oil palm trees in Sindh


November 27, 2020

The Governing Body of the Coastal Development Authority (CDA) of the Sindh government -- the apex decision-making body on coastal areas of the province - has approved the establishment of a palm trees nursery and tissue culture laboratory to further expand the palm cultivation and oil extraction project in coastal areas.

The 16th Governing Body meeting of the CDA was chaired by provincial government spokesperson and adviser on law, environment, climate change and coastal development Barrister Murtaza Wahab, and was attended by its key members, including MPAs Muhammad Ali Malkani, Shaheena Sher Ali, and Ali Hasan Zardari, and Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development (ECC&CD) Secretary Muhammad Aslam Ghouri, on Thursday.

Wahab said there was huge potential of saving and earning foreign exchange reserves by utilising the coastal areas of Sindh; the only need was to exploit them with a visionary mindset. Therefore, he said, in view of their monetary significance, they had already successfully developed a pilot project of oil palm cultivation and extraction on 150 acres in the Kathore area of Thatta. ‚ÄúSubsequently with the unflinching efforts of the CDA officials and officers, our mini palm oil mill has already started its production,‚ÄĚ he added.

He further said that a chunk of 1,500 acres in the same area was being acquired from the Forest Department, while another 1,500 acres would also be acquired in the near future.

Investors would be attracted by offering them maximum incentives to initiate their own projects of palm cultivation and its oil extraction to serve the local needs of one of the most multipurpose product for both consumption and industrial use, he said.

The ECC&CD secretary briefed the meeting about details of the recently executed pilot project of oil palm cultivation and oil extraction, and said that another project for the establishment of a palm plants nursery and tissue culture laboratory was also being developed to reap the production potential of oil palm in the coastal lands of the province.

Sharing the palm fruit productive capacity of the coastal areas of Thatta, he said that on one acre, 60 palm trees are grown and each tree produces 12 bunches of palm having 10 kilos, which means a total 720 of kilogrmmes of palm oil can be produced.

This predicts that on the effective exploitation of the new experiment of the Sindh government, a huge amount of palm oil can be produced indigenously to reduce our reliance on its import.

It was also decided in the meeting to develop the 220 micro islands of Thatta as tourist resorts, which would not only offer earning opportunities both locally and in foreign exchange, but would also create job opportunities for the local populace.

The CDA director generlae was asked to start preparing the proposal of developing these islands in such a way that the final approval could be obtained from the Sindh cabinet to execute it smoothly without any unnecessary delay.

On a proposal of MPA Shaheen Sher Ali, it was decided in the meeting that a delegation of the members of the Governing Body would also visit the project site to have the firsthand observation of the entire activity to give their ideas for its further improvement.

Other development and non-development matters of the CDA were also put up for the considering of the Governing Body, which were approved subject to the fulfillment of their codal formalities.