Pak-China peanut cooperation to boost oil supply
Beijing, Oct. 8 (Gwadar pro)- “In Pakistan, there is a huge area cultivating peanuts, but peanut production in Pakistan is not very high, and neither is the oil production. I think 80 to 90 % of edible oil is imported from abroad and there's no commercial oil production unit for peanut oil in Pakistan,” said Dr. Babar Ijaz, a Ph.D. from China Agricultural University, Beijing who is currently an overseas business manager at Shandong Rainbow Agricultural Technology Co., Ltd., making efforts on promoting Pak-China peanut cooperation.
“Our company, Shandong Rainbow Agricultural Technology is based in Weifang, a big agriculture city of Shandong, China. Our major product is peanut. We produce high oleic acid peanuts for oil extraction, which is famous in Shandong and other provinces of China.” Dr. Babar Ijaz said, adding that they have a lot of peanut planting areas in Xinjiang, China as well.
In the financial year 2021-22, Pakistan’s edible oil import bill is likely to witness a massive increase of 30 percent. According to the prediction of market analysts, edible oil imports are likely to reach 3.7 million metric tonnes (MMT). "We spend billions of dollars on oil import. That's a problem in Pakistan. The oil is mainly from Canola, Soybean and Sunflower. But peanut seed has 40-50% oil, it is a very important oil in China and all over the world. Peanut oil is very good for health benefits, but there is no commercial-scale production of peanut oil in Pakistan and people are not aware of peanut oil usage as edible oil. We should explore this crop for the oil production in Pakistan.”
Babar told us that his company plans to introduce their peanut seed into Pakistan and plan to set up a peanut oil research laboratory in Pakistan under the CPEC authority. “ Pakistan needs good peanut seed with rich oil contents. Some diseases and insects problems should be settled to improve the production of peanuts. We should start a campaign to teach farmers to use proper fertilizer at right time to improve their peanut production. In Pakistan, peanuts are planted and picked with hands. There should be good machinery and latest technologies in planting and harvesting peanuts.”
“In Pakistan, we already had initiated a collaboration with a Pakistani company who want to invest in agriculture. We also had some meetings with the scientists who work on peanuts. They welcomed us to work with them for the peanut production in Pakistan with help of China. Our company also has collaborations with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Qingdao Agriculture University in China. The professors and scientists there can collaborate with Pakistani scientists to develop a laboratory for peanut research in Pakistan. This can be a good start to research peanut in Pakistan.” Babar said.
“Maybe in the future, we can set up oil extraction units for the peanut oil in Pakistan to improve Pakistan's peanut production and produce peanut oil and other byproducts," Babar said, his ambition is not only to meet the domestic oil demand in Pakistan, but also enable Pakistan to export peanut oil to China or maybe other countries.