Stakeholders of agriculture sector have expressed severe reservations over Punjab government’s draft of new agriculture policy 2018.
The agriculture businessmen addressed that the new policy 2018 made by the government, does not make sure a level playing field for domestic consumers.
Agriculture sector stakeholder point of view is that the new draft will benefit multinational companies that are working for the province and emphasized that the seed development, manufacturing, marketing, exports and imports are a federal subject.
The policy proposes establishment of a new institution, the Punjab Seed Registration and Regulation Authority (PSRRA) will be comprehensive in its ability to authorize companies to pursue “enlistment” and be subject to a truth in labelling system.
Under the truth in labelling the obligation to maintain seed quality will be shifted to private companies to develop and test varieties and self-report their characteristics on label.
The claims on label will be checked by Punjab Seed Registration and Regulation Authority (PSRRA) and fines and other sanctions can be imposed for false claims.
Proposing such a parallel regulation system in Punjab for the same sector, when the federal government is already controlling the seed business, will create excessive hassle for the seed industry.
It will be counter-productive and such proposals have already been rejected by stakeholders in previous meetings. The proposed reforms in seed sector are against the interest of farmers and local seed producers.
Seed Association of Pakistan (SAP) President Shafiqur Rehman addressed that all companies should be allowed only the certified seeds otherwise sanctions should be imposed for the claim.