ISLAMABAD: To increase agriculture production and ensure food security, the government has taken various measures to ensure availability of seed, fertilizers and pesticides and other important ingredients.
Officials in the ministry of National Food Security and Research told Daily Times here on Saturday that about 20 % seed of various crops is made available by both public and private seed sector under certification cover of Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD). The remaining seed requirements are met through farmer’s saved seed and informal sector. Additionally, 46,000 tons seed is also supplied by private seed importers to meet the domestic requirements.
Government facilitates the private sector to import required quantities of various pesticides / herbicides to fulfill farmer’s requirements. There is no shortage of these agro chemical in the country.
On the basis of assessment of fertilizer situation by the Fertilizer Review Committee, the fertilizer supplies are ensured through domestic production and imports. There is sufficient fertilizer to cater the Rabi season requirements. However, the government plans to imports 0.125 million tons Urea fertilizer to stabilize the supplies for Kharif 2014 season.
The government has also well aware over the sale of spurious and substandard agricultural inputs in the country and also takes appropriate measures to discourage it.
Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD) has been instructed to monitor and regulate the sale of spurious and sub-standard seed in the market.
Fertilizer quality is monitored by the Provincial Agricultural Departments. Inline with the provision of the Pesticides Ordinance 1971 and Amendment Act 1992 and 1997 pesticides inspectors from the provincial agriculture departments are mobilized to keep vigilance on the pesticide shops and warehouses of pesticide distributors to ensure quality of these products.
The officials further claimed that the government has taken steps to strengthen national and provincial research institutes to start/ develop hybrid seeds of various crops for increasing the per acre yield. The hybrid development programme includes crops like: Maize, Cotton, Rice, Oilseed crops, Fodders and some vegetables. To increase agricultural commodities and to make the country self- reliant in food the government is focusing on development and promotion of new high yielding various crops and fruit varieties. Research system in the country developed during last 3 years high yielding varieties of wheat (21), rice (1), sugarcane (6), and Oilseeds (5) which were approved and released for production.
Ensured supply of farm inputs for production of various crops, dissemination of good agricultural practices through provincial agricultural department using field visits and electronic and print media.
State Bank of Pakistan enhanced the agricultural credit allocation to the tune of Rs 360 billion against last year’s disbursement of Rs 315 billion.
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