Fkhar chairs meeting review wheat output, cotton sowing

ISLAMABAD:Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Monday was apprised about the major crops including cotton and wheat production in the country.

The minister chaired a meeting, which was also attended by the Agriculture Minister Sindh, Ismail Rahoo, Secretary Agriculture Sindh, Agri Minister Balochistan Engineer Zamarak, Secretary Agriculture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)

and Secretary Agriculture Punjab participated.

Agriculture Minister Sindh told that cotton would be cultivated over 600,000 hectares.

So far sowing on 50% area has been completed in lower Sindh and showed their concern on high input prices especially DAP, Urea and pesticides and seed quality .

Secretary Agriculture Punjab said the cotton would be planted on 4 million acres , so far sowing on 13% area has been completed.

He informed the subsidy program of provincial government on cotton seed, and fertilizers.

Punjab seed council has approved 15 new cotton varieties and subsidy on whitefly pesticides would be disbursed through Kisan Card in southern Punjab.

The provincial government is also working on trace and track of cotton seed so that quality seed can be reached to growers.

Minister for Agriculture Balochistan informed that they were going to expand cotton cultivation in 20 districts.

He informed the cotton quality of Balochistan was much higher than other provinces. Balochistan was the first province to produce organic cotton with non -GMO seeds, he added.

They sought federal government’s help in bio fertilizers, bio pesticides and related machines and field equipment.

Secretary Agriculture KP said southern districts of KP like D.I Khan, Banu, Tank and Luky Marwat were best suited for cotton cultivation. However, cotton in KP had competition with sugarcane and urged support of federal government to set up a ginning factory in the area to address the marketing issue of the province.

He further added KP had potential to produce cotton seed for rest of the country, adding this way value added cotton production could compete with sugarcane.

The provinces informed the federal minister that Punjab would produce 19.6 million tons of wheat, Sindh 4 millin tons, Balochistan 1 million and KP would produce 1.2 million tones of wheat.

Agriculture minister Sindh affirmed that they would participate in the subsidy program offered by the federal government as chief minister Sindh had approved the summary and would write to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in next week.