Home News Commercialization Of Agri Projects Is Imperative: Fakhar Imam

Commercialization Of Agri Projects Is Imperative: Fakhar Imam

by APP

FAISALABAD, Jan 26 (APP):Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam said on Wednesday that commercialization of agriculture projects was imperative to enhance overall yield, coupled with reaching the fruits of new technological inventions at grass roots level.

Addressing a meeting of agri scientists at Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) here, he enumerated the agriculture setup of Pakistan and said that no doubt Pakistan was predominantly an agrarian economy.

“We have 196 million acres of total land, out of which, 50 million is being tilled and out of it, 75 percent is used for wheat cultivation. We have 5 major crops including wheat, cotton, rice, maize and sugarcane for which our scientists must focus on value addition which will certainly enhance the income of farmers and play a major role in weeding out rural poverty”, he observed.

He said that last year Pakistan harvested 7 million bales of cotton, whereas, 9 million bales were expected this year. Due to this additional 2 million bales, “We will add Rs 200 billion extra income to our agriculture sector”.

He said: “Textile has a loin share in our overall exports and we are planning to enhance our exports up to 30 billion dollars, out of which, textile share has been fixed at 17 percent.

He said the government was giving incentive to cotton growers and for the first time, during last 8 years, minimum purchase price of cotton had been fixed at Rs 5000 per 40 kg.

He said the government was also trying to enhance the yield of soya bean for which new technology was imperative as China had exploited this factor to stabilize its overall economy.

He said that fruits of agriculture research must be trickled down to farmers as it would not only enhance per acre yield but also cut down the production cost.

He urged upon the agriculture scientists to play their constructive role to enhance agriculture production and different varieties must be identified for different zones on agro-logical basis in order to get maximum yield of that particular crop.

Earlier, Chief Scientist AARI Dr Akthar said that Pakistan was fourth largest country in sugarcane production, 5th in cotton, 6th in mango and guava, 7th in wheat and 10th largest country in rice production.

He said that AARI had so far introduced 659 varieties of different crops for cultivation including 90 verities of wheat, 58 of cotton, 32 of pulses and 28 varieties of sugarcane.

He said that more than 15 ISO certified laboratories of AARI were also extending services to check the quality and efficacy of pesticide and fertilizer. Out of total samples, 3 % samples each of pesticides and fertilizers were found spurious, he added.

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The meeting was also attended by Chief Executive Officer Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB), Deputy Director Research Information Dr Asif Ali and others scientists.

Later, the federal minister also visited National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) and Nuclear Institute for Agriculture & Biology (NIAB) where he was briefed about the performance of these institutions.

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