Latest agricultural researches should reach farmers as they can help them reduce their production cost and increase the country’s agricultural output, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam noted.

Presiding over a performance review meeting at Ayub Agriculture Research Institute – Faisalabad on Wednesday, the minister stressed upon research institutions to play a pivotal role in boosting the agricultural output of the country.

“There is a need for commercial scale implementation of agricultural projects, which will not only increase the profits of farmers but also meet the demand of people to stabilise the prices of agricultural commodities,” he remarked.

Lauding the performance of research scientists, Imam mentioned that the government, in collaboration with research institutions, was striving to increase the production of five major crops, namely wheat, cotton, maize, sugarcane and rice.

In this regard, a comprehensive policy would be formulated, he noted.

He detailed that wheat was being harvested at around 37% area in Pakistan.

“The second most important crop is cotton,” he said adding that its production had finally improved after many years.

Read Fertiliser shortage, price hike to dent wheat output

The government had announced Rs5,000 per maund cotton price for farmers, Imam recalled and added that prosperity of farmers and agricultural development in the country were among top priorities of the incumbent government.

On the occasion, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Chief Scientist Dr Akhtar revealed that his institution had introduced 659 varieties of different crops for general cultivation.

This included 90 varieties of wheat, 58 of cotton, 32 of pulses and more than 28 varieties of sugarcane, he added.

“Pakistan is the fourth largest sugarcane producer in the world, fifth largest producer of cotton, sixth largest producer of mango and guava, seventh largest producer of wheat and 10th largest producer of rice,” he highlighted.

“The research institute has ISO-certified labs where samplings are also checked,” he said, adding that the institution had deemed 3% pesticides and 3% fertiliser samples as “unfit”.

The meeting was also attended by Punjab Agricultural Research Board Chief Executive Abid Mahmood, Deputy Director Research Information Asif Ali and other agricultural scientists and media representatives.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2022.

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