Close and productive working relationship between Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), National Textile University (NTU) and National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetics Engineering (NIBGE) is imperative to re-organize the industrial sector on modern scientific lines.
Addressing the FCCI Standing Committee on Technical Training and Industry-Academia Linkages, Dr Shahid Mansoor, Director NIBGE, explained in detail the new inventions including Nanotechnology. He told that Faisalabad is predominantly an agro-industrial city. “Textile is the mainstay of its economy and in order to face future challenges we must add value in the entire chain of textile sector right from ginning up to fashion garments”, he added. He told that NIBGE has world class laboratories where testing facilities are also available and local exporters must avail from these facilities. He told that NIBGE scientists could also resolve their individual as well as collective problems.
Regarding agriculture, he told that NIBGE has been working on different crops including rice. “It has evolved many new verities and strains of different crops which are high yielding and have resistance against different diseases”, he said and told that Pakistan is currently importing edible oil whereas being agriculture country, we could produce oilseeds locally to fulfill our domestic needs.
Dr Waheed S Khan, Principle Scientific Officer NIBGE, said that biotechnology could transfer Pakistan economy by enhancing the shelf life of our perishable items including vegetables and fruits. “We have knowledge, skills and technology but FCCI has to play its role to convince concerned sectors to adopt these technologies to improve the quality of their exportable surplus. He also explained the achievements of NIBGE and told that it has invented many new products and technologies which should be commercialized to harvest its economical benefits.
Regarding nanotechnology, he told that we could earn billions of dollars by introducing this emerging technology in textile sector.
Earlier, Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain, President FCCI, told that Faisalabad is the main industrial hub of Pakistan. “It is also producing more than 50% raw material for entire domestic industry of Pakistan”, he told and specifically mentioned four major crops including wheat, sugarcane, corn and cotton. He told that our real issue is to enhance per acer yield of these crops as we are lagging far behind in per acre yield of these crops. He told that despite of agriculture country we are importing pulses, cereals and edible oil whereas our focus is on only wheat. He said that local seeds of rice can produce 30 to 35 mond while through imported seeds we could get yield up to 55 maunds per acre. Similarly the local seed of corn has potential to give yield of only 30 mond whereas we could get 60 mond per acre yield through imported seeds. He said that wrong selection of crops is our major problem. “We could revive our economy by putting our agriculture on the right track”, he said and told that we have surplus wheat whereas we are spending 3 billion dollar on the import of edible oil. He said that in order to exploit our domestic potential, we must bring more area under cultivation of corn instead of sowing sugarcane and wheat. He told that sugarcane has been cultivated in cotton belt and due to this reason our cotton production has dwindled from 14 million to 10 million bales. On the other side the Indian cotton has jumped from 8 million to 30 million bales due to the use of imported seed of Bt cotton. He said that NIBGE should also evolve high yielding and diseases resistant verities of different crops to give a quantum jump to our agriculture production. Similarly NIBGE should also introduce new and cost effective technologies for the treatment of industrial waste water. Dr Ahsan Nazeer of NTU also gave a detailed presentation on use of nanotechnology in textile sector. A question answer session was also held in which Dr Habib Aslam Ghaba and Muzzamil Sultan participated. Later Senior Vice President Mian Tanveer offered vote of thanks.