Canola seed from China to improve food safety of Pakistan

By Saira Iqbal | Gwadar Pro Aug 11, 2023

“From this year to the next, we plan to promote 1.2 million acres of hybrid canola. 500,000 tons of high-quality cooking oil and 1 million tons of high-quality rapeseed meal are expected to be produced, which can generate a revenue of around USD300 million,” said Zhou Xusheng, director of the international business department of Wuhan Qingfa-Hesheng Seed company of China. 

At the seminar of National Food Security theming "Green Pakistan Initiative" recently held by Fauji Foundation, Zhou gave a keynote speech entitled Pak-China Cooperation on canola technology to create a healthy oil industry, providing a solution to the shortage of healthy edible oil in Pakistan.

“We wish to cooperate with Pakistan on large modern farming of canola and its downstream industries, it will provide high-quality edible oil and animal feed for national food security. This technology development can reduce 25-30% of import bill and provide millions of jobs in related industries.” Zhou said in the speech.

The company is working on transferring technology to Pakistan to make it efficient in smart agriculture. "We want to transfer the harvesting technology through which the farmers can use some attachments on their harvesters to reduce the wastage." Zhou said, adding that the company will also introduce processing units across Pakistan, through which even in villages people can install them and produce oil.

Wuhan Qingfa-Hesheng has carried out the breeding of hybrid double-low rapeseed varieties in Pakistan since 2009. “There was little progress at the beginning due to the large differences in climate and cultivation between the two countries, so we developed a new breeding mindset to re-create genetic resources according to local climate characteristics and experimental data. In the end, with the assistance of molecular technology, we successfully bred HC-021C, a new hybrid canola variety with better oil content and quality.” Zhou told us that HC-021C was approved and registered by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in 2019, and thus became the first double-low rapeseed variety in the history of Pakistan.

“Due to HC-021C’s excellent performance, Punjab Province provided a planting subsidy of Rs 5,000 per acre to farmers who plant it. Compared with local varieties, the oil content of HC-021C is at least 10% higher, and its yield is 5% higher. It is very popular among the oil processing plants.” Zhou Xusheng said. “The remaining rapeseed meal can be used as high-quality feed additives. The promotion of HC-021C cultivation can be conducive to edible oil production and poultry sector in Pakistan, and thus improve the food safety of Pakistan.”

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