Saturday, 7 December 2013

Punjab government announces wheat production contest

Punjab government has announced wheat production competition in order to encourage the growers to bring maximum area under wheat sowing and ensure food security for the province and the country.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Comprehensive plan being pursued for farmers' welfare: Zaman

Provincial Minister for Irrigation Mian Yawar Zaman said Federal and provincial governments of PML-N are pursuing a comprehensive strategy for the welfare of farmers. He said flat rate of electricity has been given for tube wells to the farmers of Punjab by Federal and provincial governments which reflects farmers-friendly policies of the government. He said all Commissioners and DCOS would be directed to eliminate hoarding and profiteering of fertilisers and set up complaint cell in every district for redressing complaints of farmers. He said provision of fertilizers at government rate would be ensured at every cost.

He said this while presiding over a high level meeting in connection with holding dialogues with a representative delegation of Kissan Ittehad about prices of wheat, sugar cane and fertilisers at Irrigation Secretariat here on Saturday. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed, MPA Malik Abbas Raan, Secretary Food Punjab Aslam Kamboh, Cane Commissioner Punjab Ahmad Malik, MD National Fertiliser Company, Kissan Ittehad leaders Malik Khalid Khokhar, Mian Farooq and other representatives attended the meeting. Kissan Ittehad leaders presented their demands regarding prices of sugar cane and fertilisers. They demanded that prices of wheat and sugar cane be increased whereas prices of fertiliser should be reduced. They further demanded that the role of middleman in the sale and purchase of fertilisers be eliminated so that farmers and common man could directly benefit from the subsidy of Rs 30 billion given by the government for the provision of fertilisers.

Addressing the meeting, Provincial Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed said in consultation with the Kissan Ittehad leaders, the prices of sugar cane, deduction in weight and timely payment to the farmers would be ensured. Secretary Food Aslam Kamboh told the meeting that strict instructions have been issued to sugar mills with regard to the prices of sugar cane, deduction in weight and timely payment to the farmers. He said sugar mills have made record payments to the farmers this year. He told the meeting that instructions have been issued to DCOs of all districts in this regard. The meeting decided that a report would be submitted to Federal Government in consultation with farmers and other stakeholders with regard to cost of wheat, its production and price of wheat as fixing of wheat prices is the responsibility of Federal Government. The meeting also decided that the decision with regard to re-fixation of sugar cane price will be taken after consultation with stakeholders and other provinces.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Scientists urged to address agriculture, rural development

The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) scientists should enhance their role in addressing the issues facing the society with their outreach and research work especially for agriculture and rural development. This was stated by UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while addressing the meeting of tenure track system (TTS) teaching staff. Registrar Muhammad Hussain was also present on the stage.

The Vice Chancellor said the knowledge is generating with the large pace. It is must to transform the knowledge into goods and services in order to make progress and prosperity in the country. He said the teaching staff should develop opinion leader qualities to persuade farming community, other stakeholders and society regarding knowledge based techniques and solutions.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Electricity generation: Punjab plans to make crop waste usable

Punjab government has planned to utilise, around 28 million ton crop waste including husk from wheat, cotton sticks, besides waste from rice and maize to generate electricity and has decided to set up five biomass resource power generation plants including one 20 megawatt plant in Multan to overcome electricity shortage by exploiting vast green energy potential in the province. It is officially stated on Friday.

Official sources said that 20 megawatt plants would be set up each in Multan and Faisalabad, 10 megewatt capacity plants in Kala Shah Kaku (Lahore) and Rahimyar Khan, and a 2 megawatt plant in Daska (Sialkot).

The projects would be undertaken on public-private partnership mechanism and would add 62MW electricity to the national grid after completion. Electricity generation by exploiting green energy is comparatively cheaper and environment friendly. Kahlon said, a strategy was also being prepared to ensure availability of crop biomass, its supply system, required quantity and machinery required to generate power. Experts were engaged in devising a biomass management system with a view to reduce cost of transportation of biomass to desired places. It said that crop waste processing plants would also be set up to make crop waste usable for electricity generation.

Official said that a Crop Bio Mass Cell has also been set up in Punjab agriculture department to co-ordinate with the organisations and departments having expertise in generating electricity from green energy. The cell would also assess the quantity of biomass that can be collected, and strategy for its proper storage. Information/data regarding all kind of big and small crops grown in Punjab would be conveyed to the organisations having experience of biomass power generation or engaged in research on the subject so as to find opportunities of co-operation or partnership at national and international level to achieve the objective.

According to a recent survey of Punjab Agriculture Department, around 28 million ton crop waste including husk from wheat, cotton sticks, besides waste from rice and maize can be utilised to generate electricity. Moreover, research bodies including Agriculture Mechanisation Research Institute Multan, Agriculture University Faisalabad and others were engaged in exploring alternate means of energy and to finalise a set of doable recommendations to produce electricity from crop waste. It will help the government and its partners to finalise a flawless strategy to produce green electricity. The initiative taken by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was commendable and growers should extend their full co-operation by preparing a system to collect and keep crop waste for its utilisation to generate electricity, sources said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Wheat quota of flour mill suspended

Sindh food department on Thursday raided flour mills and suspended wheat quota of a flour mill. After receiving several complaints on the price issue, the food department has decided to take strict action against the flour mills that are selling wheat flour above the fixed price.

Although, Sindh food department has fixed wheat flour price of Rs 395 for per 10-kg bag. However, the commodity is not available at this rate in the market and millers are selling commodity at higher rates.

Flour mills and Chakki owners have increased wheat prices by Rs 2 per kilogram during last two days due to short supply of wheat grains. Presently, Chakki flour is being sold at Rs 50-52 per-kg. While, regular wheat flour price has surged to Rs 43 per kg as against fixed price of Rs 39.5 per kg.

Food department on Thursday conducted raid on a flour mill located at site area and suspended its wheat quota for non compliance of price condition. During the raid it found that the mill is being sold flour at Rs 42.5 per kg, some Rs 3 per kg higher than fixed price. Naseer Ahmed Jamali secretary food has also suspended Qamar Bhutto food inspector on the negligence of his duties.

Millers said that wheat grain prices at the open market are gradually increasing, therefore, they are compelled to increase the commodity prices.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Gwadar port: 49,387 tons of urea shipment arrives

First shipment of 49,387 tons of urea, imported by the state run grain trader, has reached Gwadar port on Thursday. In October this year, the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC), of the Cabinet,. directed Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to import 0.5 million tons urea to ensure sufficient urea supply during upcoming crop season.

Following the directives of ECC, TCP successfully awarded five tenders to the five different parties for the import of 0.5 million tons of urea. First consignment under this import has reached on December 5, 2013 from Oman, sources said.

As per schedule given by the supplier, the first ship namely "MV Bulk Costarica" carrying about 49,387 tons of urea has berthed at Gwadar port. Another shipment of 50,000 tons is scheduled to arrive on December 9/10, 2013.

Besides import of urea from international market, TCP is also importing commodity from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) against $100 million credit grant of Saudi Fund for Development. Under the credit facility so far some 164,000 tons of urea has reached Pakistan, while remaining quantity will arrive till December 2013.

It may be mentioned here that TCP is only responsible for import of urea, while its distribution, transportation and bagging will be handled by M/s. National Fertiliser Marketing Limited (NFML) to ensure timely availability of urea in the local market.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Government considers construction of KBD vital for Punjab: Punjab PA told

Provincial Minister for Irrigation on Thursday told Punjab Assembly that the government considered construction of Kalabagh Dam as vital for the province. Responding a question of MPA Dr. Wasim, the minister said that the opposition should help government in its efforts for construction of KBD and urged him to ask his government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to show a positive approach in this regard.

Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal asked certain legislators including Irrigation Minister Yawar Zaman, Dr. Wasim, Mahmud-ur-Rashid, Sibtain Shah, Mian Naim and Muhammad Rafiq to come to his chamber for evolving a consensus on Kalabagh Dam.

Responding a call attention notice, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told the house that 35 people including five policemen had been arrested for their alleged involvement in Rawalpindi violence.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

PSM clarification

The report published in Daily Business Recorder of 27th November, 2013 on PSM BoD meeting held in Islamabad on 26 November 2013 has, inter-alia, mentioned that dry fruits worth Rs 200,000 were served to the Board members. This aspect of the report is not only far detached from reality but is clearly aimed at creating undue alarm and sensation in respect of an organisation which is presently beset with difficulties and problems not all of its own making.

Serving snacks, refreshment, meals, etc during Board meetings is a matter of routine in corporate culture. This is also true of Pakistan Steel. However, due to the present financial crunch, even these usual expenses are being kept at minimum possible levels. It is pertinent to mention here that the current Board has voluntarily foregone its attendance fee. Business Recorder would have done well to highlight this gesture in the report to acknowledge the Board's concern and to create a positive impact on the reader rather than to confound with such irresponsible reporting, that too without checking on the facts.-PR
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

South Korean CG visits Agha Steel Industries

"Korea is one of the strongest countries in steel industries and there is a great potential for both countries to cooperate with each other in steel sector." These views were expressed by Consul General of South Korea, Chang-hee Lee while visiting the Agha Steel in Karachi, one of the largest steel mills in Pakistan. South Korean Consul General was accompanied by Resident Director of POSCO, Young-Ho Yoo.

The visiting delegation appreciated the systems and quality implemented at Agha Steel Industries to produce quality steel Rebars and Wire Rods. The Consul General, Lee, said "I am much impressed of the fact that Agha Steel mill produces best quality steel by utilising the most efficient computerised systems." Lee stressed the need for both countries to cooperate in order to develop Pakistan's steel industry promising so it can play a constructive role in building a brighter future for Pakistan.

Resident Director of POSCO, Young-Ho Yoo said under difficult steel infrastructure conditions of Pakistan, Agha Steel's achievement is marvellous. Executive Director of Agha Steel Industries, Hussain Agha, stated that Pakistan's steel consumption growth is imminent and being one of the largest steel manufactures in Pakistan, it is our duty to define the quality standards of our Industry. POSCO and Agha Steel's future is intertwined in Pakistan and we are hopeful to collaborate with them on many of their upcoming projects.-PR
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Vegetable prices ease in Karachi

The prices of onion, tomato and potato have been registering a downward trend during the previous fortnight due to arrival of fresh crop, giving some relief to financially squeezed Karachiites. The fresh crop is reaching the city's markets, which has largely helped stabilise prices.

The retailers expressed hope that the prices of fruit and vegetables may go further down in coming days due to better supply. The wholesale market is regarded as the most bustling vegetable market of the country where daily, some 500 to 600 trucks arrive from Sindh Interior, Punjab and Balochistan carrying vegetables and fruits worth millions of rupees to cater the requirement of the city.

The areas from where Karachi receives its vegetable and fruit supply include Badin, Gadap, Thatta, Thana Bola Khan, Hala, Hyderabad, Tando Allayar, Nasrpur and other adjoining areas besides Punjab, and Balochistan. Higher prices of the vegetables always spell financial problems for an overwhelming segment of the city.

For more than a month onion was sold in the retail markets and Bachat Bazaars at Rs 60 to Rs 80 per kg, tomato at Rs 160 to 200, potato at Rs 50 to 70 per kg which were heavy burden on financial resources of poor citizens. Onion .tomato and potato rates started sliding and currently onion is available in the markets at Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg, tomato at Rs 60 to 80 and potato at Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg.

Rates of other vegetables also registered downward trend. Some of the vegetable wanders said that lack of winter rains is worrisome for the farmers of cash crops, the same has resulted in mild weather conditions across the country brining benefits to tomato, potato and onion growers. The dry spell helped the crop to make a comeback and, as a result, tomato supply improved in the markets leading to decline in its price.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Engro gets 'Silver Award of Achievement' by WWF

Engro Corporation and its subsidiary business unit Engro Fertilizer Limited have been honoured with "Silver Award of Achievement" by WWF-Pakistan, during the 2nd Green Office network meeting. These awards were given for a substantial reduction in Engro's Carbon Footprints during the year 2011-12.

WWF's Green Office network meetings are aimed at bringing the corporate giants at one platform and share insights on energy efficiency and functionality within offices, unveil smart energy devices and discuss practical implementation and feasibility of Alternate and Renewable Energy sources for offices. This year, the meeting was attended by Ali Hassan Habib - DG, WWF-Pakistan, Aqrab Ali Rana, CEO Green Building Council, Dr Naghman Khan, International Ambassador University of Nottingham and MD of Future Energy Ltd, UK and participants from the corporate sector. M Siddique Sheikh, Advisor on Social Sector and Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on R&D was the chief guest of the event.

Speaking at the occasion, Ali Hassan Habib, DG of WWF-Pakistan said, "Careful consumption of the natural resources by improving the environmental efficiency of the offices can help us achieve our vision of energy efficient nation. Academia, business sector and civil society should take joint initiatives for reducing burden on environment." Engro is an environmentally aware and a responsible company, and is actively working on various projects of environmental sustainability.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

SABIC to supply 50,000 tons of urea next week

Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) will supply over 50,000 tons urea during next week under the credit facility provided by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). Source told Business Recorder on Friday that last two shipments under SABIC import from Saudi Arabia are on their way to Pakistan and with arrival of these consignments urea import against SFD credit facility will be over.

The first shipment under this credit facility is arriving today (Saturday). A ship namely MV Koronos Island (V-2) carrying 26,000 tons urea will reach Pakistan on December 7, 2013. The ship has already sailed from Al-Jubail Saudi Arabia and will offload the commodity at Gwadar Port. Another consignment of 25,000 tons urea will arrive on December 9, 2013 at the same port. The domestic market is witnessing urea shortage for last few years followed by gas curtailment to the fertiliser sector and despite having a production capacity of over 6.5 million tons the domestic fertiliser plants are unable to produce sufficient urea for domestic consumption.

Therefore, the federal government has decided to import urea from international market as well as Saudi Arabia under the credit facility. A commercial agreement was signed between Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and SABIC in December last year for supply of urea under $100 million credit facility provided by SFD. First shipment under SABIC credit facility landed here in February this year and SABIC assured to supply complete quantity by end-December 2013. The SABIC as per its agreement has dispatched the remaining quantity as per schedule.

The last consignment under SABIC import landed in November this year. So far SABIC has supplied 214,401 tons of urea and with arrival of these two shipments, the overall import under $100 million credit facility will reach 265,401 tons. Sources said the quantity against the credit facility depends on the international price. If the urea prices will be on higher side Pakistan will get less quantity while in case of lower prices, the country will have more supply from SABIC. Talking about the price, sources said that urea price is determined as per the specific and already defined price formula between TCP and SABIC and on every shipment average urea price of leading markets is applicable.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Post Harvest Factors Responsible for Maturity, Ripening and Deterioration of Horticultural Produce

1) Curing:

Curing is conducted immediately after harvesting. It strengthens the skin. The process is induced at relatively higher temperature and humidity involving suberization of outer tissues followed by the development of wound periderm which acts as an effective barrier against infection and water loss. It is favoured by high temperature and high humidity. Potato, sweet potato, colocasia, onion and garlic are cured prior to storage or marketing. In sweet potato, this condition is most rapid at 33 0C and relative humidity of 95%. Potato tubers are held at 18 0C for 2days and then at 7 0C – 10 0C for 10-12 days at 90 % relative humidity. Curing also reduced the moisture content especially in onion and garlic. Drying of superficial leaves of onion bulbs protects them from microbial infection in storage. Maximum safe temperature for onion curing at field is 37.8 0C for 3-5 days. Artificial curing of onions in crates at 40 0C for 16 hours reduces rot losses in storage.

2) Degreening:

Degrening is the process of decomposing green pigments in fruits usually by applying ethylene or other similar metabolic inducers to give a fruit its characteristic colour as preferred by consumers. It is applicable to banana, mango, citrus, and tomato. The time required to degree a fruit depends upon the degree of natural colour break and maturity. The higher the green colour and more mature a fruit is the less time is required to reduce the chlorophyll to a desired level.

Degreening is carried out in special treating rooms with controlled temperature and humidity in which low concentration of ethylene ( 20ppm) is applied. The ethylene should be supplied from a gas cylinders. These rooms are thoroughly ventilated to keep the Co2 level below 1% which does not allow higher colouring. If kerosene fumes are placed outside the degreening room , they enter the room through ducts by forced ventilation. Despite the fire hazard involved, kerosene fumes produce better coloured fruits than pure ethylene. It is due to good ventilation. The best Degreening temperature is 27 0C. Higher temperatures delay Degreening. The relative humidity should be 85-90%. Higher humidity levels cause condensation during Degreening and are associated with slow Degreening and increase in decay. Low humidity though checks decay, causes excessive shrinkage , shrivelling and peel break down.

In another method, frits in containers are sealed by 2 sheets of plastic film and water. the PVC ( 0.2mm thick) can also be used. The ethylene is introduced from a can of 4.2 litres capacity in the film which can cover 1.2 tonnes of fruits, the ethylene concentration becomes nearly 1000 ppm resulting in satisfactory colouring. After 15 hours the film is removed enforcing the fruit to air. Degreening takes 3 days. Ethylene accelerates decomposition of chlorophyll without significant affecting the synthesis of carotenoid pigments.

3) Pre-cooling:

High temperatures are detrimental to keeping quality of fruits and vegetables , especially when harvesting is done during hot days. Pre-cooling is a means of removing the field heat. It slows down the respiration of the produce, ,minimizes susceptibility to attack of microorganism , reduces water loss and eases the load on cooling system of storage or transport. Peas and okra which deteriorate fast, need to prompt cooling. Sometimes stage of ripening and level of field heat of produce also determine the need for pre-cooling. For example, unless tomatoes are avove 26.7 0C and ripening and level of field heat of produce also determine the need for precolling. For example , unless tomatoes are above 26.7 0C and ripening is to be delayed there is no need for pre- cooling.

In air cooling, cool air can be obtained from cold storage. Temperature should not be less than -10C to avoid freezing. Where night temperatures are low, doors of the store rooms can be opened for cooling in the night.

In water cooling, field heat is removed quickly. It is used for leafy vegetables to retain their texture and freshness. Ice can be added to bring down the temperature. However, temperature should be controlled to avoid chilling injury in cold sensitive fruits and vegetables. Hydro cooling at 12 0C to 15 0C with 500 ppm Bavistin increases shelf-life of mango. In Alphonso mango, it also reduces the incidence of spongy tissue.

4) Washing and Drying:

Most of the fruits and vegetables are washed after harvesting to improve their appearances prevent wilting and remove primary inculum load of microorganisms. Hence a fungicide should be used in washing water. washing improves shelf-life of bananas by delaying their ripening. After washing, excess should be removed which would other encourage microbial spoilage. Root and tuber crops are often washed to remove the soil adhering to these.

5) Sorting and Grading:

Immature diseased and badly bruised fruits and vegetables are sorted out, most of the countries have their own set of standards of domestic trade and for international trade, standards have also been defined. Grades are based on size, weight, colour and shape. Grading is done manually or mechanically.

6) Disinfestations:

Papaya, mango, melon and other fruits are susceptible to fruit fly attacks. Disinfestations is done either by vapour heat treatment at 43 0C with air saturated with later vapour for 6-8 hours by ethylene dibromide fumigation ( 18-22 g of EBD/ cubic meter for 2-4 hours. Residues of inorganic bromide must not exceed to 10vg/g) or by cold treatment ( exposure of fruits to near freezing temperature for a specified period).

7) Post-Harvest Treatment:

Post –harvest application of Bavistin ( 0.1%) and Topsin ( 0.1%) controls storage disease in mango. In Nagpur mandarins , hot water treatment with Imazalil ( 0.1%) , Bavistin ( 0.1%) and Benlate ( 0.1%) is most effective. A complete inhibition of sprouting of cool chamber ( evaporatively cooled) stored potatoes for 4 months and 5 months is achieved by spraying them with an aqueous emulsion of CIPC @ 50 mg/kg of tubers respectively before completion of dormancy period.

8) Waxing:

Fruits and vegetables have a natural waxy layer on their outer surface which is partly removed by washing. An extra discontinuous layer of wax applied artificially with sufficient thickness and consistency to prevent anaerobic condition within the fruits provides necessary protection against decay organisms. Waxing is especially important if tiny injuries and scratches on their surface are present. These can be sealed by wax. Waxing also enhances the gloss of fruits or vegetables. Therefore, appearance is improved, making them more acceptable.

If refrigerated storage facilities are not available , protective skin coating with wax increases the storage life of fresh fruits and vegetables at ambient temperatures.

There are two types of wax emulsion: Wax ‘W’ and Wax ‘O’.

The composition ‘W’ does not impart any gloss to fruits and vegetables and hence where gloss is required for improving marketability of the produce , composition wax ‘O’ is recommended. Both these emulsion contain 12 % total solids.

The application of wax emulsion to freshly harvested healthy produce protects them against excessive moisture loss, higher rate of respiration, heat buildup or thermal decomposition. Texture and quality of the fresh produce is maintained as near the fresh condition as possible for a long time.

The wax emulsion without fungicide does not protect fruits and vegetables against microbial spoilage. Therefore, suitable fungicides are added to the wax emulsion.

9) Ripening of Fruits:

Ripening transforms a physically mature but inedible plant organ into a visually attractive taste and smell sensation. It marks the completion of development and commencement of senescence with life of a fruit and is normally an irreversible event. Ripening can be achieved by the application of ethylene.

Accurate quantity of ethylene should be used in the ripening room at regular interval. A concentration of CO2 about 1% delays ripening. Hence, through ventilation Is essential ) marketing is alkaline using caustic soda.

10) Pre-packaging in Plastic Film:

Pre-packaging increases the shelf life by create a modified atmosphere with an increases in concentration of Co2 in the package. The packaging material used should provide reasonable access to oxygen. For this, beginning films like polystyrene and cellulose acetate are used. But together LDPE films which have high O2 and Co2 transpiration rates are more durable , the pouches must have perforation to transmit oxygen and carbon dioxide rapidly enough for the respiration of fresh produce. The pouch used reduces bruising facilitates inspection , reduces moisture loss and prevents dehydration. It also creates modified atmosphere.

In pre-packaging leaves, stalk, stem , etc. are trimmed washed cleaned and weighted quantities are put in pouches. Ethylene absorbents may be added to the package wherever required to retard the ripening process. Hydrated lime inserts may also be beneficial in controlling CO2 concentration within the film package.

UAF moot on pesticide management organised

Excessive use of pesticides is not only increasing the resistance among insects but also affects human health because pesticide residues contamination reaching at alarming level. The country imports 12,000 metric tons of active ingredients of pesticides in a year.

It was revealed by the speakers at an International Conference on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Fruits and Vegetable arranged by the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. The session was chaired by UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while Dr Oscar E Liburd from the University of Florida, USA was guest of honour

Professor Dr Oscar E Liburd said that it was need of the hour to adopt and promote the IPM techniques. Pesticides can be used as the last resort, he added. He said that over reliance on pesticides can have negative consequences including worker's safety issue, contamination of ground water, and negative effect on beneficial arthropods including honey bee and others.

He was of the view that the world population will touch to 9 billion by 2050. Keeping the situation in view, it is must to ensure the food security and safety to feed the growing population. Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan stressed the need to adopt the Integrated Pest Management in order to lowering down the impact of the pesticides. He said that IPM is an approach of pest management which considers the whole agro-ecosystem.

He said that Pakistan is cultivating fruits and vegetables on 4 percent of land. He said fruits production was standing at 0.70 million tonnes whereas vegetables share is 0.72 million tones. He said Pakistan's share in global market of fruits and vegetables is fetching $625 million. He said with the use of IPM, not only the production can be increased manifold but also a move to minimise hazardous affect on human health.

Plant Breeding and Genetic Chairman Professor Dr Abdus Salam Khan called for stepping up efforts to ensure the food security. He said that residues from the misuse of pesticides are major concern in many countries including Pakistan. He said that 28.5percent of fruits and 37percent of vegetables exceeded the maximum residual limits (MRL). Department of Entomology Chairman Professor Dr Jalal Arif said that it is a matter of grave concerns that Pakistan's annual losses to fruits and vegetables are standing as many as $200 million because of the attack of fruit flies. Almost 1/3rd of the total harvest is destroyed by the potential pest. He said that the use of pesticide in Pakistan has increased manifold in the last 20 years. The trend must be curtailed and replace with IPM.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Prices of flour, pulses, spices on the rise

Though prices of some vegetables decreased during the week past as compared to the preceding week, rates of flour, pulses, spices and rice registered a significant increase, reveals a survey carried out by Business Recorder here on Saturday. Traders and wholesalers in different markets of the twin cities of Rawalpindi/Islamabad revealed that due to sufficient supply, the demand-supply gap narrowed which resulted in easing vegetables prices.

They further maintained that pulses prices registered a significant increase during the week past. Price of entire range of pulses including mash washed moong, masoor and beans has gone up by Rs 8-10 per kg. Further shortage of flour was observed in some markets of the twin cities, it was being sold at Rs 830 per 20 kg bag against the government fixed price of Rs 790, wherever it was available. Similarly, rice prices each of Basmati and Supper colonel increased by Rs 5-10 respectively the week past as compared to the preceding week.

The survey noted a significant decline in vegetables prices past week as compared to the previous week. Tomatoes, which were being sold at Rs 150-180 per kg one week ago was now available at Rs 110-120 per kg, onions was available at Rs 75-80 per kg against Rs 90-100 per kg, potatoes at Rs 60-70 per kg against Rs 90-100 per kg, cabbage at Rs 60 per kg against Rs 90 per kg, peas at Rs 150 per kg against Rs 160 per kg, carrot at Rs 120 per kg against Rs 150 per kg, radish at Rs 70-80 per kg against Rs 100 per kg, arvi at Rs 60 per kg against Rs 70 per kg, cucumber at Rs 60 per kg against Rs 65-70 per kg, ladyfinger at Rs 120 per kg against Rs 130-150 per kg and shimla mirch was being sold at Rs 150 per kg against Rs 180 per kg during the week past as compared to the preceding week.

Eggs were being sold at Rs 120 per dozen against Rs 150 per dozen, reflecting a decline of Rs 30 per dozen during the week past as compared to the preceding week. Further chicken was available at Rs 150-160 per kg in different markets against Rs 170-180 per kg. Sugar, gur and ghee/cocking oil prices remained stable in the week past as compared to the preceding week.

The survey noted a mix trend in fruit prices as some prices increased while other registered a slight decline during the week past as compared to the preceding week. Apple was available at 120-180 against Rs 130-200 per kg depending on quality, banana prices registered increase as it was being sold at Rs 60-120 per dozen against Rs 50-100 per dozen, grapes were available at Rs 200-300 per kg and guava at Rs 60-80 per kg last week without any significant change as compared to the preceding week.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Iranian ban on Pakistani kinnow may inflict $40 million loss: PFVA

The ban imposed by Iran on the import of Pakistani Kinnow two years back, if not lifted immediately, may inflict a loss of $40 million in terms of revenue, according to All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) spokesman, Waheed Ahmed. Prior to the closure of Iranian market, Pakistan used to export 70 to 80 thousand tons of Kinnow to that country every year.

About the ban imposed by Russia on the import of fruits and vegetable from Pakistan, he said, hopefully it would be lifted by December 10. Negotiations in this regard are in advanced stage both at government and PFVA level and a decision in favour of Pakistan is likely to be taken soon, he added.

Pakistan exported 80 to 90 thousand tons of Kinnow worth around 56 million dollars until last year when suddenly Russian government announced a ban a few months back on the ground that the fruit did not meet the sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements. A Russian delegation is likely to visit Pakistan in January next to examine as to how far quarantine requirements are being adhered to here so that export of 'Aaloo' from Pakistan could be allowed. The country could fetch a handsome amount of foreign exchange in case exports of 'Aaloo' are allowed by Russia, he said.

Waheed Ahmed said that PFVA has set 300,000 tones export target for Kinnow this year. The association had exported at least 235,000 tones Kinnow worth $140 million last year against the fixed target of 200,000 tones. He said that export of Kinnow will start by December 1. Production of the fruit is expected to be 2,100,000 tones this year against the previous figure of 1,800,000 tones. However the crop is likely to be damaged in some areas which may slightly affect the overall production.

Increase in the target by 100,000 tones this year has been estimated mainly because of an expected jump in exports to Russia and Indonesia. The export figure of 300,000 tonnes may even be crossed if the Iranian market is tapped followed by an expected relaxation in banking process after the improving relations between Iran and the US. He said that Pakistan would earn at least $180 million revenue if the targeted export of 300,000 tones Kinnow is met this year.

On the other hand, Waheed feared, the cost of exports is expected to increase by 15 to 20 percent due to hike in petroleum prices, impacting on the cost of transportation, logistic, packaging, labour and products. This would also create a stiff competition with rival countries producing the same fruit, in the international market. It was encouraging; he said that after signing preferential trade agreement with Indonesia, exports are expected to take a jump this year as it is a market of 40,000 tones after Russia and Iran.

Waheed has however linked the export target with favourable law and order situation in the country and close co-operation among exporters, shipping companies, quarantine department, customs and other concerned government organisations. Exports had suffered huge losses due to long strikes of goods transporters.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Kitchen gardening: training workshop held

Punjab Agriculture & Meat Company and Pak Business Express conducted Kitchen gardening training workshop at Railway Station Lahore here on Saturday to educate the households regarding cultivation of vegetables at homes. PAMCO Horticulturist Muhammad Imran delivered presentation and on hand training on the occasion.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Excessive fishing: seafood exports decline by $2.861 million in October

The year-long excessive fishing caused a big plunge in fish and shrimp catch which is estimated to be about 40 percent lower this year, resulting in seafood export decline by $2.861 million in October this year, exporters said on Saturday. The country''s seafood export stood 8.10 percent lower to $32.449 million in October as compared to the $35.310 million in October last year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said.

"Overfishing round the year and use of banned nets by fishermen plagued the sea and reduced the seafood crop significantly during August-September period," said Pakistan Fisheries Exporters Association (Pakfea) Chairman Faisal Iftikhar. In terms of volume, the country''s seafood export also suffered a fall of 2,221 metric tons or 15.13 percent to 12,456 tons in October this year as compared to 14,677 tons in October last year, the PBS said.

However, seafood export in July-October 2013-14 increased to $117. 651 million from $98.732 million in the same period 2012-13, depicting a rise of $18.919 million or 16.43 percent. Faisal attributed the decline in catch to continuing fishing activity round the year without any halt to let the sea increase its seafood crop. He termed the fisheries situation "too bad", saying the government has to act to maintain fish and shrimp stocks in its seawaters.

Similarly, in terms of quantity, seafood export moved up to 48,729 tons in July-October this year from 41,851 tons in the same period last year, showing an increase of 6,878 tons or 19.16 percent, the PBS said. Chairman Pakfea said the annual catch at the country''s sea is drastically falling which has its implications when it comes to seafood export. The fall in catch this season is reckoned between 30 percent and 40 percent, which held back the seafood export.

"The government is not interested in understanding the annual decline in seafood catch and the banned nets are widely used in the daily operation on seas," he said, adding that the authorities have to ensure implementation of two months annual fishing ban to help grow fisheries stocks, which are depleting fast.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Prime Minister urged to save 'sinking' tractor industry

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take measures to save the sinking Tractor Industry otherwise it would have serious repercussion. Pakistan will have to import tractors against precious foreign exchange besides rendering thousands of workers as well as vendors jobless, said Khawaja Muhammad Usman President of Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry in a press statement issued on Friday.

He said that Pakistan is going to face severe food crises in the coming years due some reasons. The tractor indigenous industry plays vital role in uplifting of agriculture sector and provide job opportunities to millions. Over 90 per cent parts of tractors are produced in the country.

In the year 2010-11 Pakistan produced and sold over 75,000 tractors meeting 100 per cent requirement. It is to be noted that Pakistan is the cheapest tractor manufacturer in the world. Now government has imposed 17 per cent sales tax, which badly hit the tractor industry.

On the hue and cry of the Tractor Industry, the government decided to redress the grievances and it planned to implement ST in three stages ie, 5 per cent first year and 5 per cent in second year and 7 per cent in December 2013.

There is loss of production from 75,000 tractors two years before to 30,000 tractors this year. The Tractors indigenous industries have gone to standstill and more than 60 per cent reduction in employment due to no demand from tractor assemblers since July 2013.

It is said that currently the impact of 10 per cent GST translates into an increase in tractor prices from Rs60,000 to Rs100,000, which has significantly hampered the farm mechanisation and affected the production of tractors as well as farm machinery. It is warned that the impact would be further aggravated in January 2014 as the GST will increase from 10 per cent to 17 per cent resulting into further drop of 40,000 per annum tractor sales and yields of crops threatening food insecurity is and social upheavals.

He said that Pakistan is already having low acreage and per acre horse power (HP) is 0.6 /per acre HP of India is 1.01/ per acre China HP is 1.57/ Japan per acre HP is 2.834. To meet the level of India, we need addition of one lac tractors per year for 8 years.

Whereas sugar cane yield is 40 per cent lower, wheat & cotton yields are 20 per cent lower, basmati rice is 40 per cent lower and milk yield per animal is 80 per cent lower against the global benchmark.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Punjab produces two million tons of basmati rice in 2013

Punjab produced two million tons of fine basmati rice this year which is 0.25 million more than the production of previous year, Director General Agriculture Extension Services, Dr Anjum Ali told Business Recorder on Friday.Last year Punjab produced 1.75 million tons of superior basmati rice.

Dr Ali said that paddy crop was planted over 2.9 million acres in the province during Kharif season of 2013-14 which was 0.5 million acres more than the area under rice cultivation last year. He said though paddy crop over 0.15 million was washed away during torrential rains and floods in the rice growing areas of Gujranwala division, yet production of two million tons of superior basmati was quite satisfactory in these circumstances.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

'Pulses traders intend to earn Rs six billion unjustifiable profit'

Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) Dr Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal has alleged that traders of pulses intend to earn Rs6 billion unjustifiable profit by increasing their prices from Rs15 to 25 per kilograms despite production of 600,000 tons of different pulses including grams, masoor and mash.

In a statement issued on Friday, Mughal that 100 million people of Pakistan are living under the poverty line.

The traders of pulses seeing the cartels of flour millers but vegetable and fruit sellers had joined hands and increased the pulses price.

He said that a 'Daal Plate' at roadside hotels is now being sold at Rs50 per plate, which was earlier available at Rs30 per plate.

'Poor people can only see flour, vegetables, pulses and fruits but cannot eat and purchase these commodities,' Mughal said.

He said that gram crop was purchased from its growers by the traders in May at the rate of Rs38 per kilogram was now being sold at Rs80 per kilogram thus minting 100 per cent profit by traders and shopkeepers.

He said that recent increase in the prices of all the daily use items reflect that government's grip is weakening day-by-day and if the situation is not tackled at the earliest then this hike would not only result in increase in suicides but would force the masses to come on roads for protection of their rights.

Agri Forum Chairman proposed that the government should help the growers for producing one million tons of grams, 200,000 tons of masoor and 200,000 tons of mash pulses in the country.

Government should take steps to check the hoardings and profiteering to ensure provision of these daily use items to the poor on affordable rates, he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Demand of tobacco crop up by 18.37 percent

The tobacco demand of the companies for crop 2014 increased by 18.37 percent as compared to last year as demand of all 34 companies stood at 78.36 million kilograms, said sources in Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB). The lion share of the total demand 36.40 million kilogram would be purchased by Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) followed by Philip Morris (Pak) Limited with 3.70 million kilogram.

Other companies included Khyber Tobacco Co, Souvenir Tobacco Co, Frontier Associates and Shams Enterprises would purchase each 1.50 million kilogram crop while Frontier Leaf Tobacco would purchase 1.20 million kilogram tobacco. Similarly, Frontier Punjab Trading would purchase 1.00 million kilogram and remaining crop would go small tobacco companies.

Out of the total demand of 36.40 million kilogram, Pakistan Tobacco Company would purchase 34.50 million kilogram of the variety of Flue-Cured Virginia, 1.1 million kilogram Dark Air-Cured of Gujarat and Okara and 0.8 million kilogram of White Patta while Philip Morris would purchase 23.15 Flue-Cured Virginia and 1.23 million kilogram of Dark Air-Cured of Gujarat and 0.1 million kilogram of White Patta.

The project requirements of Flue-Cured Virginia and Dark Air-Cured for tobacco crop 2014 are higher by 19.30 percent and 50 percent whereas for White Patta and Burley reduced by 27 percent and 10 percent as compared to crop 2013.

The tobacco board advised the growers to execute agreements with tobacco companies of their own choice and plan production of tobacco for 2014 crop while keeping in view the demands of the industry to avoid problems in the marketing of tobacco crop 2014.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Metallurgical coke: PSM Board approves emergency supply

Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) Board of Directors has approved emergency procurement of metallurgical coke, sources close to acting CEO toldBusiness Recorder. Giving details, sources said, at PSM iron ore is melted in blast furnace for extraction of iron which is then converted into steel. To produce heat for melting, metallurgical coke is required which is produced from coal.

Hence, for production of met coke, coking coal is essential which are not available in Pakistan. Similarly, iron ore available in Pakistan is of inferior quality which can be used after blending it with some good imported iron ore. Hence, PSM has to improve coal and iron essentially for its production.

At its full capacity, PSM requires around 1.8 million tons of iron ore and around 1.2 million tons of coal. Hence, at least two ships per month of coal of about 50,000 tons each are required when production is to be maintained at full capacity.

Due to financial constraints for a long period PSM could hardly manage to receive 5 shipments of coal during 2012-13 against the required 24 shipments. This quantity was consumed economically by running the Mill at bare minimum capacity. However, the position worsened as the last shipment of coal was received in May 2013 after which no LC could be established for procurement of coal despite the fact that PSM has following valid long term contracts for procurement of coal for which the PSM is not hindered in lifting cargo after opening the LC: (i) M/s Anglo American Metallurgical Coking Coal Ltd, Australia 250,000 tons Moura Dawson Coal (HV)per year;(ii) M/s Vale Coal, Australia, 250,000 tons Glennies Creek Coal (HV) per year;(iii) M/s Wesfarmers Curragh, Australia, 250,000 tons Curragh Coal (LV) per year and ;(iv) M/s Teck Coal Limited, Canada, 200,000 tons Grizzly Creek Coal (MV) per year.

Due to consistent financial constraints and realising the fact that LC for 50,000 tons coal cannot be established unless bailout is received, PSM floated tenders for procurement of coal in a smaller quantity ie 10,000-20,000 tons on FOR (DDP).

In FOR (DDP) local bidders participate and offer their bids. They arrange the shipments either from Iran or India being nearer and having lower freight costs. The detail of efforts made by PSM for procurement of coal is as follows: (i) BMD requested Finance Dept to establish LC for one shipment of high volatile Moura Dawson Coal having ETA on June 15, 2013 and one shipment of low volatile Curragh Coal by June 31, 2013; (ii) Finance Dept revealed that NBP regretted to establish above LCs on the plea that "LC will be opened on availability of cushion in the credit line"; (iii) BMD asked Finance Dept to establish LC for procurement of 50000 MT (+1- 10 percent) high volatile coal which is still awaited; (iv) tender No. BMD/01/Coal/FOR (DDP)/13 was floated/published by BMD on June 4, 2013 in local newspapers and technical offer was opened on June 21, 2013. Only a single offer was received from M/s Logistic Resources. Commercial offer was opened by BPC on July 10, 2013. Offered coal price was Rs 25206.30 PMT, which was reduced to Rs 21342.02 PMT by the supplier. Consequently, the tender was scrapped due to high price; (iv) PSM management decided to float another tender for procurement of coal on FOR(DDP) basis; (v) tender No. BMD/02/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 was published and two offers were received from M/s Sharp Filters and M/s Siddiqsons. The offer of M/s Siddiqsons was technically rejected; (vi) commercial offer of M/s Sharp Filters was opened. Rs 14600/- PMT was finalised; (vii) S.E. - Incharge (COBP) raised a note indicating that existing coal stock will be completely depleted on September 11, 2013. The same was referred to Finance Department, wherein the remarks of A/CFO for opening of L/Cs are "pending till bailout package received"; (vii) contract signed with M/s Sharp Filters against tender No.

BMD/02/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 for procurement of 20,000 MT (+1- 10 percent) medium volatile coal; (viii) tender No. BMD/03/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 was published in local newspapers for procurement of 10000-20000 MT low/medium volatile coal on FOR(DDP) basis; (ix) tender No.BMD/04/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 was published; (x) tender No.BMD/03/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 opened and 2 parties M/s Sharp Filters and Siddiqsons participated which were technically cleared by the TSC; (xi) tender No. BMD/01/Met Coke/FOR(DDP)/13 for procurement of 10,000 MT (+/-10 percent) of Met Coke published in leading dailies; (xii) tender was opened. Three parties M/s Sharp Filter, M/s Siddiqsons and M/s Ali Shan, Lahore participated. The offer of Ali Shan was not cleared technically.

The sources said due to liquidity crunch PSM was constrained to float tender for procurement of coal in small quantities ie 10,000-20,000 MT on FOR(DDP) basis wherein payment is to be made in PKR after receipt of material. The first tender was scrapped by the BPC due to very high price offered by the supplier.

The source said M/s Sharp Filters who signed the contract on 26.08.2013 against tender No.BMD/02/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 nominated the vessel MV. Al-Naser on 06.09.2013 which arrived at load port (Bandar Abbas) on 9 September, 2013. Meanwhile acute shortage of transport occurred in Iran due to transportation of grain. M/s Sharp Filters requested to extend the shipment period up to October 31, 2013 due to transportation problem in Iran. M/s Sharp Filters again requested on November 5, 2013 to extend the delivery period up to November 30, 2013 due to problems being faced regarding hiring of vessel etc.

"Due to shifting stand of the supplier on daily basis for one reason or the other, PSM in order to find out the factual status on ground and to witness the availability of coal at Mines Site/Depot and transportation issue, sent a two member delegation to Iran from September 23, 2013 to October 4, 2013. The delegation confirmed the availability of coal and its transportation problem from mines to port. After getting clarification, the PSM delegation returned. Thereafter the loading of coal was delayed due to dispute between the ship owner and the supplier on demurrage issue which came into notice of PSM management on October 8, 2013," sources added.

On October 11, 013 the vessel was placed in outer anchorage waiting for its turn for berthing. On October 19, 2013 a barge struck the vessel and damaged it with a cut of about 3 meters on shell plate. The vessel berthed on November 2, 2013 and manual loading started on March 3, 2013 due to faulty crane and vessel berth at Port Qasim by November 21, 2013 with cargo of 4336 MT. M/s Sharp Filters is to be pursued for the remaining cargo to deliver as soon as possible: however, M/s Sharp Filters has not so far given any confirmed date of delivery.

PSM has received offers from M/s Sharp Filter and M/s Siddiqsons against two tenders of coal ie BMD/03/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 opened on September 9, 2013 and BMD/04/Coal/FOR(DDP)/13 opened on October 03, 2013. PSM has also floated a tender for procurement of 10,000 MT Met coke, which was opened on October 22, 2013. Three Bidders viz M/s Sharp Filters, Siddiqsons & Ali Shan Enterprises submitted their bids. The offers of M/s Sharp Filters and M/s Siddiqsons have been cleared technically by the TSC. Their commercial offers are yet to be opened and were delayed for two reasons: (i) the first experiment of FOR(DDP) tender for procurement of coal has not been proved successful as yet and the same party, ie, M/s Sharp Filter has again participated in both the tenders; and (ii) According to sources, constitution of new Board procurement committee was pending which was constituted on October 29, 2013.

The sources further stated that keeping in view the problems/hurdles, PSM is left with only following options as allowed in PPRA rule 42 for emergency procurement:- (i) to look into the possibility of availability of coke in local market; (ii) to look into the possibility of entering into the direct contracting/negotiated tendering with the suppliers of coke in the shortest possible time; and(iii) to publish the tender in the leading news papers for procurement of coke.

PSM made concerted efforts to accomplish three options. First PSM has been able to procure Met. Coke of Poland origin from M/s ICI who offered 500 MT at a cost of Rs 44,506/- PMT ex-works (Khewra) excluding GST and transportation cost from Khewra to Bin Qasim. Purchase order was issued on October 01, 2013 and supply received during 06-08 October 2013. Another 357 MT Met. Coke of Polish origin was procured from M/s ICI which was available at KPT on 10.10.2013. They offered this Coke @ Rs 47,272/- PMT excluding GST and transportation cost from Port to Bin Qasim PSM. M/s ICI offered the two consignment of Met Coke to PSM as a good will gesture and on "no profit no loss" basis.

Second 500 MT of Met Coke was procured from M/s Haidery agencies on October 11, 2013 which was of Italian origin @ Rs 48,400/- PMT including all expenses for supply the coke at PSM except GST. It should be noted that this coke was of (+) 80mm size which is normally 15 percent to 20 percent higher in price than the Coke of 25-80mm size. The met coke received on October 15, 2013.

Third PSM signed two contracts for procurement of 1000 MT Met Coke each of Indian origin from M/s Haidery Agencies on October 9, 2013 and October 28, 2013 respectively @ Rs 37,000/- PMT (FOR PSM) excluding GST. Supply started from November 05, 2013. More than 923 MT Met Coke has been received so far. Later on M/s Haidery agencies informed that their material has been bonded by the Customs Authorities. The matter may go in litigation and there is no likelihood of further supply in the near future.

The sources further added that about 550 MT Met Coke of Indian origin procured from M/s Tariq Trading Corporation @ Rs 37,000/- PMT (FOR PSM) excluding GST. Contract signed on 23.10.2013 and supply was received during 24-25 October 2013.

About 200 MT Met Coke of Indian & Chinese origin of (+) 80mm size was procured from M/s Tariq Trading Corporation @ Rs 48,000/- PMT (FOR PSM) excluding GST. Contract signed on 14.11.2013 and supply received during 15-17 November. 2013.

About 90 MT Met Coke of Indian origin of (+) 80 mm size was procured from M/s F.F Trading Corp on 02.11.2013 @ Rs 48000/- PMT (FOR PSM) excluding GST. About 375 MT Met Coke of Indian origin of (+) 80 mm size was also procured from M/s F.F Trading Corp @ Rs 48000/- PMT (FOR PSM) excluding GST on November 10, 2013.

About 110 MT Met Coke of Indian origin of (+) 80 mm size was procured from M/s Pakistan Business Center on 02.11.2013 @ Rs 48,000/- PMT (FOR PSM) excluding GST. About 85 MT Met Coke of Indian origin of (+) 30 mm size was procured from M/s Pakistan Business Center on November 13, 2013 @ Rs 41,500/- PMT excluding GST (Ex-godown).

A contract for procurement of 1600 MT (+/- 10 percent) Met. Coke of 30-80 mm size of Indian origin has been signed with M/s Madina Auto Industries on November 13, 2013 @ Rs 42,000/- PMT excluding GST (FOR PSM). The supply has started from November 19, 2013 due to strike of goods transporters.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

Friday, 29 November 2013

Methods Used for Harvesting and Delaying Ripening

Fruit ripening process involve the action of a group of chemical substances produced by plant itself, plant hormone. Chemist have synthesized compounds which function as the natural plant hormones do and have achieved some success in controlling the vital process of ripening of fruits and vegetables.
The chemicals may be broadly classified into those that: i) hasten and those that ii) Delay ripening.
They include all categories of plant hormones, absorbents waxes and other substances.
Except C2H4 action of each is generally indirect.
I) Chemicals that Hasten Ripening (Accelerate Ripening):
1) Ethylene and Ethylene Releasing Compounds:
A more important break through in C2H4 effects and physiology is the chemical synthesis of Ethephon because C2H4 is released from this compound. Thus all biological effects attribute to C2H4 gas are duplicated by aqueous solution of ethephon.
2,4 – Chlorophenythio triethyl amine hydrochloride (CEPTA) are also a ethylene releasing early in the season to obtain marketable fruit with premium price. In mangoes where in Anthracnose is a problem; ethephon treatment shortened the ripening period, giving no time for the development of Anthracnose in some citrus hastening chlorophyll degradation.
2) Abscisin:
Application of Abscisin accelerates senescence in detached fruits and leaves. ABA treatment of oranges resulted in accelerated breakdown of chlorophyll and increased synthesis of cartoenoids. Ripening of banana slice was also accelerated by ABA ( Vendrell 1970).
3) Ascorbic Acid and Hydroxyethyl Hydrozine (BOH):       
Ascorbic acid, Cu-EDTA ( Cupric ethylene diamine tetracetate) and BOH were found to include C2H4 formation , when sprayed before harvest.
4) Acetylene and Calcium Carbide:
Calcium carbide ( CaC2) treatment to enerate aletylene is also used to, hasten fruit ripening in banana and citrus.
Gas chromatographic analysis of the smoke from any burning material such as leaves, twigh or straw , showed that the active ingredients were C2H4 and acetylene is needed to obtain the same rate of Degreening by C2H4.
5) Alcohol:
It is reported that among the several alcohols, such as Ethanol, Hexanol, Octanol, Heptanol etc, used in dip treatment of green tomatoes prior to ripening. Hexanol immersion seemed to accelerate the ripening of the tomato fruit.
6) Fatty Acids:
Olerification has been known as a practise to hasten fig fruit maturation. Since the 3 rd century BC studies were conducted to elucidate the physiological mechanism of Olerification and applied various kinds of oils and related chemicals to the eye of fig fruit in a day or two, fruits treated with several vegetable oil began to increase in size reaching full colour and maturity within few days. By fatty acid oxidation in the cells of fruits acetaldehyde or C2H4 are derived which are volatile substance and hence induces enzymatic activities for early ripening.
II) Chemicals that Delay in Ripening:
1. Kinins and Kinetins:
 These chemicals were shown to delay chlorophyll degradation of leafy vegetables, spinach peppers, beans, cucumber and others. The growth effect is a retardation of yellowing by maintaining high protein level on the applied tissue.
2. Gibberellins:
Post harvest treatment of GA markedly retards ripening of tomatoes, guava and banana then effect on ripening was indicated by lowered respiratory rate retarded climacteric and delayed colour change.
Pre-harvest sprays of GA were shown by Kitagawa to have a striking effect in decreasing the rate of development, maturation ripening of Kaki fruits and lemons and navel organs because fruit will remain on the tree beyond normal maturity. Some of the effects feel firmness delayed accumulation of cartoenoids on ‘Navala orange’ higher TSS and Ascorbic acid in lemons. GA probably increase peroxidise and catalase activities.
3. Some Auxins (CIPA and NOA) :
Pre-harvest foliar application of CIPA at 25 ppm and NOA at 25 ppm delayed the physio-chemical deterioration of ‘Coorg’ mandarins in storage.
The improved marketable condition of treated fruits after storage was due to reduced weights loss and retention of Vitamin-C.
4. Growth Retardants ( MH and CCC):
MH: The effect of MH on the ripening process varies with different type of fruit and may depend on the application time and amount of chemical absorbed. Harvested mangoes dipped in 1000 and 2000 ppm, MH showed delayed ripening. Many studies have been reported on the inhibitory action of MH in storage sprouting of onions, radish, sugar beet, turnips, carrot and potatoes.
CCC: Shelf life lettuce was duffled and deterioration in quality of broccoli heads and Aspragous spare was retarded by immersion of the cut stem bases of dipping the vegetables in solution of CCC.
5. Metabolic Inhibitors:
Cycloheximide and Actimomycin –D:
Flesh softening, chlorophyll degradation and C2H4 synthesis were severely inhibited by cylocheximids treatment. When Cycloheximide was applied to fruits that had begun to ripen, ripening proceeded at a reduced rate, similar effects on ripening were also observed on pre-climacteric fruit treated with Actinomycin-D, C2H4, did not reverse the complete inhibition of ripening imposed by Actinomycin-D.     

 6. Vitamin-K:
Vitamin K and Vitamin K3 has fun demonstration to inhibit ripening in banana at temperature as high as 140F.
7. Maleic Acid:
Maleic Acid in any acetate retarded to the ripening of Jarnaica, Banana, Pineapples, Citrus, and others but it is of transient effect.
8. Ethylene Oxide:
Mangoes treated with ethylene oxide also show a definite delay in ripening. Ethylene oxide may be an endogenous metabolic antagonist of C2H4.
9. Na-DHA (Sodium Dehydro Acetic Acid) :
In strawberry, it is found to delay the ripening and reduced rate of respiration.
10: Carbon Monoxide:
In mushroom used to extend storage life four fold.
11. Ethylene Absorbents:
Waxing, low O2, High CO2, and ripening inhibitors are sometimes combined to prolong storage life. Though endogenous C2H4 is always a problem. Banana is packed in film bag containing KmnO4 ( to absorb C2H4). A commercial preparation of this absorbent called “Purafil”. Alkaline KMnO4 on a silicate barrier proved effective in the complete absorption of C2H4 from Bananas held in sealed Polythene bags.

Respiration and Transpiration in Relation to Harvesting, Packing, Transportation and Storage

Most of the physio-chemical changes occurring in harvested fruits are related to oxidative metabolism including respiration. Bio- physiological disorders storage life, maturity commodity handling and many post harvest treatment, because of the vast scope of respiration, the rate of respiration is good index. Respiration is usually associated with a short storage life deteriorating in quality and in good value.
Naturally, as the fruit increase in size the total amounts of CO2 emitted by the fruit increase also, but as the fruit becomes bulky the respiration rate decreases continuously for climacteric fruits, the rate is minimum at maturity and remains rather constant, even other harvest non-climacteric fruits ripen on the tree. If they are removed sooner the rate of respiration slowly, dwindles. Small potatoes will have a higher respiration rate then larger one. As in transpiration surface phenomenon may be invoked. Small sized tissues have a larger surface area exposed to the atmosphere hence more oxygene can diffuse in.
Between 32 and 95 0F the respiration rate of 2 to 2.5 for every 18 0F in temperature, suggesting that both biological and chemical process are effected, Application of C2 H4 significantly affects the time scale required to reach the climacteric peace and immediate rise in respiration occurs after C2H4 application. Rate of respiration of carrots and antichoke, increases with an increasing supply of oxygene
Proper Carbon dioxide concentration prolongs the storage life of fruit and vegetable due to respiratory inhibitors. The effect o G.R vary with different tissue and depend on the time of application and the absorbed by the plant Sapota fruits have a higher respiration rate with a pre-harvest spray of 1000ppm MH.
Respiration Drift:
Many tropical fruits and vegetables exhibit a rapid increase in respiration during ripening. These are conventionally called climacteric fruits and vegetables. A rapid increase in respiration during ripening fruits showing no such respiratory pattern is non climacteric. The world “Climacteric” was coined by kind and West (1925). However, many of the so called non climacteric fruits show a rise in respiration rate with a con-comitontrise in C2 H4 Production.  
Rhodes (1970) postulated that the respiratory drift typical of non climacteric fruits might be displayed at a more appropriate physiological age of under more appropriate storage condition.
Another important criterion for distinguishing a climacteric fruit from a non-climacteric fruit on is the response to C2H4 application. A non climacteric fruit will react to C2H4 treatment at any stage of its pre-harvest of post harvest life. Whereas, a climacteric fruit will exhibit a respiratory response only if the C2H4 is applied during pre-climacteric stage and becomes insensitive to C2H4 treatment after the onset of the climacteric rise.
Iwata et al. (1969) proposed three types of respiratory pattern of harvested fruits. These are:
a. The Gradual Decrease Type:
In this type the respiratory rate gradually decrease through ripening process. E.g. Citrus fruit.
b. The Temporary Rise Type:
In this type the respiratory rate increase temporarily and full ripeness occurs after peak respiration of tomato, banana, mango, avocado, etc.
c. The Late Peak Type:
In this type the maximum rate of respiration is shown from full ripe to over ripe stage of Japanese persimmon, Strawberry, Peach, etc.
Respiration is a process wherein, stored food material is broken down by oxidation releasing CO2, H2O and energy in from of heat.
Fruits can be climacteric or non-climacteric depending upon the presence or absence of occurrence of peak in CO2 production during ripening. The rate of respiration and intensity of respiration are important factors for storage. By decreasing this two storage life can be enhanced.
Transpiration is the loss of moisture from the fruit surface resulting in shriveling of the produce.
Factors Affecting Respiration and Transpiration:
Various factors affect these two process i.e Respiration and Transpiration
i) Temperature
ii) Humidity
iii) Nature of skin
iv) Maturity
v) Surface area of fruits/ vegetables
vi) Nature of surface coating
vii) Mechanical damage.
In respiratory metabolic pathway three phases occurs:
Breakdown of polysaccharides into simple sugars. Oxidation to surpass to pyruvic acid. Aerobic transformation of pyruvates and other organic acids into CO2 H2O and energy. Proteins and fats also serve as substrates in this breakdown process. During this process different kinds of products are formed.
R.Q: It is the ratio of CO2 released and O2 intake. It is useful to determine the nature of the substance used in respiration completing the respiratory reactions indicates degree of aerobic acid and anaerobic process.
R.Q: It is an average value of substrate respiratory contribution. It is relative contents of C2H and O2. Generally, if RQ is 1 surpars are metabolized.


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