3000 acres of coastal lands will be utilized for palm cultivation: Wahab

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

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

The 16th Governing Body Meeting of CDA chaired by Spokesperson of Sindh Government and Advisor to CM Sindh for Law, Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development (ECC&CD) Barrister Murtaza Wahab and was attended by its all key members including MPAs Muhammad Ali Malkani, MPA Ms. Shaheena Sher Ali, MPA Ali Hasan Zardari apart from Secretary ECC&CD Department Muhammad Aslam Ghouri and DG, CDA among various others.

In his opening remarks, Advisor to CM Sindh on Coastal Development Barrister Murtaza Wahab has said that there is huge potential of saving and earning of foreign exchange reserves with the coastal areas of Sindh; the only need is to exploit them with a visionary mindset. Therefore, he said, in view of their monetary significance we already have successfully developed the pilot project of palm oil cultivation and extraction on 150 acres of land in the Kathore area of Thatta. “Subsequently with the unflinching efforts of the CDA officials and officers our mini palm oil mill has already started its production” he added.

He further said that a chunk of 1500 acre land in the same area is being acquired from Forest Department, Government of Sindh while another 1500 at another spot in the same area will also be acquired in near future. Investors will 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.

Secretary ECC&CD Department briefed the meeting about details of the recently executed pilot project of palm oil cultivation and oil extraction and said that another project for the establishment of palm plants nursery and tissue culture laboratory is also being developed to reap the production potential of palm oil from the coastal lands of the province.

Sharing the palm fruit productive capacity of coastal areas of Thatta he said that on 1-acre land 60 palm trees are grown and each tree produces 12 bunches of palm having 10 kg weight which means a total 720 kg palm can be produced on an acre. This predicts that on the effective exploitation of the new experiment of Sindh Government a huge amount of palm 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 will not only offer earning opportunities both locally and in foreign exchange but will also create job opportunities for the local populace. DG CDA was asked to start preparing the proposal of developing these islands in such a way that after obtaining its final approval from the Sindh Cabinet to eventually execute it smoothly without any unnecessary delay.

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

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

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