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    People beats rising temperature with Gur juice in KP

    People beats rising temperature with Gur juice in KP

    PESHAWAR (APP): Defeating an unemployment and poverty, Ehtisham Khan (28)- a “gur” juice saller was all smile after receiving a substantial profit of the sugarcane stored by him for ongoing summer season in Peshawar, attracting people in droves.

    A resident of Wapda Town Nowshera, the motivated youth had purchased 1,000 kilogram sugarcane from Charsadda district during last winter that enabled him to earn maximum capital in lucrative market of Peshawar where the commodity was being sold like a hot cake.

    “After my 4 years BS in Urdu Literature from Govt Postgraduate College Peshawar, I have started the gur juice’s business in 2000 to support my six member family after rejection of my applications due to lack of experience by public and private sector organizations,’ he said while presenting cold juices to the customers encircle him at Wapda Town.

    Assisted by brother, he said that a small glass juice was being sold at Rs 50 and large glass at Rs100 in local market, adding he had purchased 500 kilogram more sugarcane from Charsadda and Mardan keeping in view of its superior  quality and high demands.

    “To beat the scorching heat and keep ones hydrated for a longer time, gur juices being organic in nature are the best during sizzling heat” said Zeeshan Khan, a customer and an employee of Forest Department while during the mouthwatering drink mostly popular in KP.

    Besides high energy and cool feelings, he said that gur juice was also economical than other juices and beverages in local market.

    Keeping in view of increase productivity of sugarcane, the demands of its juices were also enhanced in Mardan, Peshawar and other cities and towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    Sugarcane is an important cash crop of Pakistan. It is grown on a large area of the country, and provides raw material to the large number of sugar mills that have been established in the country over the years.

     Some portion of the sugarcane crop is used for the production of gur (jaggery), especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The sugar industry in the country is the second largest agriculture-based industry after textile.

    The KP Agriculture Department data has revealed that sugarcane crop has a longer duration than the other cash crops in the country where  farmers require great skill and huge investment to cultivate the crop, and face a host of problems, including the increasing cost of inputs and labour as well as scarcity of water.

    The sugar industry comprises six per cent of the manufacturing sector and 13pc of the crop economy. The sugar sector provides direct employment to over one million people and has a market size of Rs501 billion as of 2021.

     The government has continuously increased the support price on sugarcane from Rs126 per 40kg in 2011 to Rs300 per 40kg in 2022 to incentivise the farmers to increase sugarcane production.

     Since 2011, the sugarcane production in the country has shown a cumulative growth of 36pc compared to a 42pc growth in the demand of the commodity while its cultivation as a percentage of the total cropped area increased from 4.3pc in 2011 to 5pc in 2021.

    The KP Agriculture Department statistics further revealed that sugarcane was cultivated on over 1.319 million hectare land during 2022-23 and this area was 4.7 percent more than the land under sugarcane cultivation during 2021-22.

    Pakistan had witnessed 2.8 percent increase in sugarcane production during 2022-23 producing 91.111 million tons crop against its production of 88.651 million tons during 2021-22.

    The Research Institutes of KP has developed about 28 sugarcane varieties and its scientists are endeavoring to explore varieties that may have desired economic characters and higher sugar contents.

     The scientists were also concentrating on sugarcane zoning by launching sugarcane awareness campaign.

    The growers were advised to use certified seeds instead of traditional varieties to get better yield and enhance their profitability.

    It is direly needed to evolve strategy for protecting farmers rights to secure their profits as well as better sugar production to ensure its availability on cheaper rates.

    The sugar sector needs a comprehensive and rather urgent transformation at all stages whereby the price control, import and export restrictions as well as interventions should be done away with once and for all.

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