LAHORE: Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar said that federal and provincial government was doing work on war footing for the rehabilitation of agriculture sector and boosting up the production of cotton and grains and they were taking bold decisions for the welfare of farmers and 2021 would be the year of farmers in the province.
He was presiding over a meeting of Punjab Agriculture Committee (PAC) which was specially formed on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Government said that Pakistan needs to apply new technology and benefit from the world experience to enhance its cotton production and we are convincing farmers to adopt the modern technology to enhance per acre yield. Ch Sarwar said that Government was considering supplying well-germinated and disease resistant certified seed and fertilizers on concessional price to farmers besides granting them subsidy.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Hussain Jehania Gardezi, Chairman CPEC Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa ((retd), Punjab Agriculture Committee (PAC) member and Director Pakistan Textile Council. Noted industrialist cum agriculturist, ex-President of Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) and sitting President of Dera Ghazi Khan Chamber of Commerce & Industry and ex-provincial caretaker Minister for Industries Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi, renowned industrialist & Fatima Group CEO Mian Fawad Mukhtar, Rashid Langarial, Federal Secretary Agriculture, Asad Gilani, Punjab Agriculture Secretary, Additional Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Naufil, Dr Rana Muhammad Asif Vice Chancellor Agriculture University Multan, Dr Asif Tanvir Vice Chancellor Agriculture University Faisalabad and Kissan leader Khalid Mehmood Khokhar and others .
Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said, “currently, Pakistan has a shortfall of 5 million cotton bales, and we would have to safeguard the interests of farmers to attract them towards cotton produce. Farmers from sprouting to harvest season worked in the field almost every day from morning till night. but they were incurring losses due to climate change, terrible diseases and insect pests in cotton. He suggested that Government should grant at least 15,000 per acre subsidy and support price of “Phutti” (raw cotton) at Rs.5,000 per maund besides ensuring supply good quality seed, fertilizer and pesticides. He further suggested that Government should import high quality cotton-seed from developed countries and we should take all stake holders on board for this mission.
After minutely listening the proposals and suggestions of the participants, Federal Minister for National Food security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that this is a very important meeting of Punjab Agriculture Committee because all the participants were fully aware of the causes of low cotton production and They had delivered good and serious suggestions to grant a relief to hard pressed cotton growers.
Other participants drew the attention of the government towards the import of cotton worth Rs.3 billion from different countries to run the textile sector and to meet the demand of the foreign buyers. We would have to import well-germinate and high quality seed to save our foreign exchange by meeting the target of cotton production which may increase to 20 million bales. Later, all the proposals were approved by the committee and send to concerned ministries for implementation.
On the occasion, Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Hussain Jehania Gardezi hailed the efforts of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar for restoration and rehabilitation of agriculture sector. He told that meeting his ministry was doing its best to enhance the cotton production and he declared that all suggestions of the members are feasible and beneficial to farmers which would help in revival of agriculture sector.
Federal Minister for National Food security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam said that proposal of Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi regarding grant of subsidy of Rs.15000/- per acre and announcement of support price at Rs.5000/- per maund were excellent and government would announce these facilities after the approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.
At the last Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar said that Punjab Agriculture Committee was working for the revival of agriculture according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and its benefits would soon be reached to farmers.—PR
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021