ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R), Syed Fakhar Imam Wednesday said that Pakistan can do paradigm shift in agriculture. Chairing Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) about Khareef season in Islamabad, Syed Fakhar Imam said that agriculture can be a leading sector of country’s economy. He was of the point of view that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also stressed on importance of agriculture. Syed Fakhar Imam added that agriculture will be part of main stream economy of country. The high powered meeting formally started with statistics on wheat. Last year the target of wheat production was 27 mn tonnes. This year there is a shortfall of 1.4 mn tonnes. This year 79.95% target is achieved for procurement. Syed Fakhar Imam said that we have to increase wheat production. We need to have a breakthrough of high yield wheat variety through genetic engineering.He said that our country has best irrigation system which is not optimized properly. He said that wheat is 36% of cultivated area of Pakistan. On the other hand Food Security Commissioner, Dr Waseem mentioned that after many years our country has produced chick pea more than the target i.e. 540,000 tonnes. So this year there will be saving of Rs.87 mn as there will be less chick pea import. This year production is increased to 23.71%.Last year potato production was 4.4 mn tonnes. While this year its production is 4.43 mn tonnes.Balochistan has bumper crop of tomato this year. Syed Fakhar Imam said that we need to increase production of oil seed(Sunflower, Canola, Rosehip seed and Mustard).IRSA representative mentioned that this year 9% water will be more available for Khareef season. Pakistan Meteorological Department represent ative mentioned that Potohar and Kashmir region will receive heavy rainfall in next 3 months that can be devastating for crops.But there will be impact on rice crop. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) representative mentioned that 95% target of agriculture credit will be achieved this year. Similarly this year target of rice is 7.9 mn tonnes,maize is 6.7 mn tonnes, moong bean is 1lakh 40 thousand tonnes, Mash is 10 thousands 3 hundered tonnes and chilkies is 1 lakh and 21 tonnes. Dr.Waseem,Food Security Commissioner asked the participants to update the status of last year FCA meeting decisions.FSC&RD made it clear that they are working on mechanism for production of Pulses and fodder seed in Balochistan.FSC&RD did meetings with 3 companies of Balochistan. Syed Fakhar Imam said that we need to update seed technology. The representative from Balochistan mentioned that Balochistan Agriculture Department is working on it and need support from FSC&RD. Secretary NFS&R, Omar Hamid asked for more coordination between Balochistan and FSC&RD.It was also discussed that FSC&RD need to make mechanism for delegating power to provinces to inspect seed at distribution level. All provinces showed consensus on it.PMD mentioned that weather forecast is provided to farmers on daily basis. Dr.Falak Naz, DG Department of Plant Protection(DPP) also briefed about white fly insecticide products. Syed Fakhar Imam said that white fly is becoming resistant to insecticide so we need to sophisticate insecticide products. Secretary NFS&R,Omar Hamid asked provinces to provide NFS&R with updated list of insecticide. Fakhar Imam ordered to create awareness regarding international protocols for export of fruit and vegetables. The awareness must be given at grass root level. He asked to implement international protocol at level of growing crops, internal and external market. This is the only way to modernize agriculture in Pakistan. These protocols are the frontiers we have to break.
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