FAISALABAD: Punjab Agriculture Minister Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha on Saturday said adoption of latest agricultural methods was imperative for increase per acre production and alleviate poverty and hunger.
He said that awareness about latest agricultural trends at the doorsteps of farming community will help shift from traditional way of farming to modern one in order to compete with the rest of the world.
He was addressing the concluding session of International Entomological Congress arranged by the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) at the New Senate Hall, UAF, Saturday.
The minister said that the government was determined to uplift the agricultural sector which is backbone of our economy and contributes 21 per cent to gross domestic product.
He said that the government had brought "Kissan Package" to give relief to farming community, enabling them to cultivate the crops and to address their problems.
He said that the government provided subsidy of Rs 39 billion to reduce prices of inputs for facilitating the farming community.
He said that they had cut down the prices of electricity for the farmers that will lower the cost of production.
He said that the government was also providing free seed to the farming community.
He said that the government was providing interest-free loans worth Rs 100 billion to small farmers.
He said that Pakistan was an agrarian country and our majority population was associated with the sector.
He urged the researchers and scientists to develop climate resilient new crop varieties.
UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the agricultural productivity in the major crops was facing the stagnant.
For which step up efforts are needed to address the issue at the national level.
He said that the cotton crop production declined by 40 per cent last year.
He said the UAF had developed a short duration germplasm of cotton PB 896 this year that will prove best variety.
He said that the UAF was the only institution in the country which was is ranked in the top 100 universities of the country.
Chairman Entomology Prof Dr Jalal Arif said that pink ball worm will boost due to global warming, specifically, increases of 1.5-2.5 C in average temperatures would greatly enhance winter survival and allow expansion of pink ball worm.
He said that last year, the county suffered 4.5 million tonnes bales of cotton due to pink ball worm. Dr Thomas A Miller from the USA said that pink ball worm is costing US cotton producers more than $32 million each year in control costs and yield losses.
He said that Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is among the most environment-friendly insect pest control methods.
DG Extension Prof Dr Anjum Ali Buttar also spoke the occasion.