Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research in its meeting on Friday was told that wheat crop sowing in Pakistan till 15 November has been on an area of 0.362 million hectares against a target of 8.833 million hectares which is at 4.098 percent of the target area. The Committee observed that about twelve days of sowing are left and sowing has been very low owing to the water shortage in country.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah here at the Parliament House on Friday and was attended among others by Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi, Senator Gul Bashra, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Secretary National Food Security and Research, Chairman IRSA, Managing Director PASSCO and representatives of provincial agricultural departments.
Committee was given details about wheat seed varieties available across the country and asked the ministry to furnish information of public and private sector seed outlets in Punjab and Sindh. The Committee was told by the Minister that Prime Minister’s task force on agricultural sector reforms concerning water conservation and yield increase and cost of production reduction has been working actively and soon progress will be announced.
The Committee was told that as of 1st November 7,706,331 bales of cotton have arrived. The number for last year was 8,134,404 bales and this year has a percentage change of -5.26 which will be minimised once all cotton bales arrive. The committee observed that there is low investment in seed quality in Pakistan and measures should be taken to give incentives to international companies to invest in Pakistan. The ministry told the committee that the rules of Seed Act and Plant Breeders Act have been formulated and once a registry is in place, matter will be taken up with international companies.