University of Karachi (KU) is spread over multi acres land, having 4 exit and entry main gates from four different areas of megacity. Apart from several buildings of educational faculties, laboratories & departments; KU campus is enriched of housing a separate building of higher education commission, administration block, several canteens, residential colony for employees, bungalows for professors including big official residence of Vice-Chancellor, separate hostels for boys & girls, official rest house for KU guests, parking lots, big mosque, parks, sports grounds, Rangers living camp, water storage facility, and, above all, huge agriculture land, most fertile for quality farming and growing variety of seasonal vegetables & fruits.
While a small portion of agriculture land is being used to grow vegetables and fruits seasonally, its big portion is lying deserted, demanding attention to make it useful. It does not come-up to materialize due to lack of interest of concerned quarters and probably shortage of funds.
One of the main reasons of price-hike of vegetables in Pakistan is the below standard quality of seeds under use of growing vegetables. Such seeds produce un-tasty and quality-less crops, consuming more time to grow, disclosed by one of expert in agricultural farming, on a 'TV show'. He says, concerned price control authorities are not keeping in view this main factor to improve growing and control price-hike.
Good quantities of vegetables grow in Punjab, Baluchistan and KPK, comparing to farming in province of Sindh. There is huge gap between 'demand and supply' in all provinces. In order to meet the demand, vegetables are transported inter-province by air & surface, bearing extra cost that inadvertently is added to selling price, contributing to price hike.
This can be controlled at least for big population of Karachi as well, by utilizing the fertile agriculture land of Karachi University, lying deserted, for years.
Proper utilization of KU farming land through use of quality seeds will produce the following results: firstly, the vegetable will grow in more quantities, secondly, the cost of inter-province transportation will be curtailed, and thirdly, crop will feed whole Karachi and its adjoining parts, releasing the burden on other provinces. If the crop grows further, it can also be shared with other provinces and exported.
In view of the importance of huge fertile agriculture land of KU, kind attention is solicited from honorable Governor of Sindh-cum-Chancellor of Karachi University, Vice-Chancellor, Sindh Chief Minister and Registrar-University of Karachi, in national interest.
This can be used as a tool to maximize growing and control on price-hike. Out of cultivation, its earning will contribute to KU grant, meeting other projects of education in general, University of Karachi in particular and overall, in national interest.
Hasan Adil Malik (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020