Senate’s Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research informed that due to the absence of proper crop zoning in the country, the area under cotton sowing was radically reducing by 26 per cent, posturing severe threats to the production of the main exportable cash crop.
Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah said that cotton arrival in the local market reduced by 700,000 bales this fiscal year as compared to the subsequent period of last year.
Crop zoning was very important for sustainable agriculture growth and national food security, stressing the need to standardize the industries in order to evade the crop shifting issues.
Crop zoning would also help in the efficient use of natural resources, including soil fertility, water and environment, he added.
The committee asked the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee to submit minutiae of the preparations for the cotton sowing, preparations made for Kharif 2019, and the accessibility of certified seeds, fertilizers and other inputs during the season to attain the set targets of production.
He informed the committee that about 8 million tons of carryforward stocks were accessible in the country, whereas the government had permissible the exports of 500,000 tons.
Wheat seed requirements for Punjab were estimated at 820,000 tons and out of the total required quantum, about 73pc certified seeds were available, whereas the total seed requirements during the current season were recorded at 1,085,000 metric tons and 30pc certified seed would be available for cultivation.
The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) chairman told the committee that the council had developed about 154 varieties of diverse crops, whereas during 2017-18, 27 varieties were developed and dispersed for cultivations.
The committee articulated its concerns over the non-implementation of its direction by Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supply Corporation to establish godowns in Umerkot and directed its head to put forward the particulars of correspondence on land accusation with the Sindh government.