Five Policies over Five Crops to boost up production: Fakhar

The value addition and the adaptation of the international standard are prerequisite to earn the foreign exchange. It is matter of grave concern that we import edible oil and pulses worth billions of the rupees instead of the producing at the domestic level: Syed Fakhar Imam

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Islamabad: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam has said National Agriculture Commission will be set up for the development in agricultural education and research sector. Chairing a meeting at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, he said that that increment in per acre production, value addition, empowering small farmers, tangible research in agriculture and rural development were prerequisite for the uplift of the country and food security. He said the government has mapped out comprehensive five policies on five major crops in order to boost up per acre productivity, ensure food security and agriculture development. He said this year, per acre what production has boosted up which was stagnant for the last ten years, resulting in the significant increase of 2.2 million ton in the national wheat production. He said that it is increased by 1.5 ton per acre. Talking about the cotton, he said that production of cotton in Punjab is touching 4.5m bales at an increase of approximately 8.5 per cent from last year. Overall cotton production is likely to reach 8.46 million bales. He said that the attack of and Whitefly , pinball worm and CLCV remained significant which had adversely affected the production of cottonHe also shed light that provision of certified seed, value addition and mechanization was one of challenges in which agriculture experts should play their pivotal role. He said that the government has disbursed Rs 4 billion credit to the small farmers community, less than 12 acre, which is the 90 percent of the farming community He said the provision of quality school and health facility was essential at rural level that will lower down burden in the cities and the will help strengthen the rural development Talking about fruits, he said that country was producing the excellent fruit but export is the negligible. He said that the value addition and the adaptation of the international standard are prerequisite to earn the foreign exchange. He said that it is matter of grave concern that we import edible oil and pulses worth billions of the rupees instead of the producing at the domestic level. Talking about research, he said that the spending on research and development remained minimum from 1991 to 2012 in Pakistan. The impact can be seen on the per hectare production of major crops like wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton and maize. He said that agriculture council must be set up to analyze the demand and supply of agricultural students in the country. He said that under cultivation land in the country was 50 million hectares out of which 32 million is the irrigated. He said that we had ignored the agriculture sector for the last 25 years that is a matter of serious concern. He said that agriculture sector is a powerful sector that was employing 43 percent of man force. He said that neighboring countries are progressing with a large pace whereas we were far-lagging behind in modern agriculture practices. He added that no nation can make the development in the modern era without investing on Human Resource Development. We need to learn from the other nations experiences the modern seed technology will not only reduce the production cost but also make the crop profitable. This will enable both the farmers and the country to move towards prosperity. He said that we had been ahead of China and Korea five decade ago. But now we are far lagging behind. The both countries invested on education and learn from other nations experiences. He called for curriculum reforms in the agriculture and reverse engineering. UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that FSc Agriculture should be revived that will help produce the dedicated agriculturists. He said that agriculture as a subject must be revived at the school level. He said that the blend of corn and wheat be introduced to cope with increasing malnutrition issue. He said that with the help of KOICA Pak Korea Nutrition Center had been established at the UAF to fight with challenge. He said that UAF was making all out efforts of the farming community, agriculture and rural development with help of trained manpower, research and outreach. He said that there is the need to bring the reform in the educational system to facilitate the people living in rural areas. Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Anas Sarwar said that the quality milk producing center must be set up. He said that country was importing animal vaccination worth billions of rupees. All deans gave the presentations on the occasion.

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