ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) of Ministry of National Food Security and Research has developed an advanced ispaghol (Psyllium Husk) processing machinery for the first time in the country.
The machinery has the capacity to process isphagol of up to two tons per day, and half ton of good quality husk per day in single shift free of chemicals and impurities.
PARC on Wednesday organised a national seminar on indigenous ispaghol processing machinery at Hasilpur in district Bahawalpur. Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, federal minister for National Food Security and Research was the chief guest at the occasion. Riaz Hussain Pirzada, federal minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination also participated in the event.
The demonstration of ispaghol machinery also conducted at the occasion and was witnessed by farmers, processors, multinational companies, chamber of commerce, line departments and parliamentarians.
The federal ministers hailed PARC for developing the ispaghol processing machine, saying it would help to improve earnings of the poor people of Thar and Cholistan deserts. Both ministers also witnessed the working of the three-stage plant and appreciated its working. PARC scientists informed them that it has the capacity to process 400 kilograms of ispaghol per hour.
Bosan said that ispaghol is a medicinal plant and iis grown on 3000 acres in Cholistan and Thar deserts. However, farmers were not getting proper price of their production. He said that availability of local processing facility would enhance importance of local ispaghol production which would benefit both farmers and traders who would be able to market ispaghol for good profit. He also said that there would be a time soon when Pakistan would export ispaghol.
Mr. Pirzada said that agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and 43 percent of the labour force is associated with agriculture. He admired the efforts of PARC scientists on developing the advanced ispaghol processing machinery for the first time in Pakistan.
While addressing participants, PARC chairman Dr. Yusuf Zafar said the organisation is important and is serving the nation since last forty years. PARC is also benefiting the farmers through its new innovations and research.
He said that the farmers of south Punjab and Sindh will benefit from the ispaghol machinery, while the farmers of Cholistan and Thar will also take benefit from this innovation. He requested the federal minister to announce subsidy and special package to encourage farmers to cultivate ispaghol .