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LAHORE: The Pakistan Kissan Movement (PKM) while challenging the figure released by the Punjab Agriculture department of having a sugarcane production of 744 maund per acre in the province has said that the claim of the Agriculture department is not correct.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, PKM Secretary General Chaudhry Hanif Gujjar claimed that sugarcane production in Pakistan is 450 maund per acre which is a matter of concern for the farmers and the country.

He claimed that zoning system is being observed in all the sugarcane growing and sugar trading countries. When zoning system was in practice in Pakistan, average sugarcane yield per acre was equal to India, which was 750 maund per acre. Now the average sugarcane yield due to their better research facilities had reached 1,150 maund as compared to 450 maund in Pakistan, which is a matter of concern for the farmers and the country.

The PKM secretary general further said that figures for average per acre yield of sugarcane 744 maund as mentioned by the Punjab Agriculture department are not correct.

He said 750 maund per acre average yield was during sugarcane zoning system 1970’s. In that period sugar mills used to provide seed and fertilizer and technology to sugarcane growers.

When Zia government abolished the zoning system, sugar mills discontinued the support of providing seed and fertilizer to sugarcane growers. The government let the farmers be on their own and did not fill the gap by coming forward in providing technology and inputs in the seed, as a result the yield in the country has come down to 450 maund per acre.

He said during his last visit to Ayub Research Institute, Faisalabad, he observed that there were 15-20 PhDs who had got training from abroad on government expenses. They were sitting idle and doing nothing.

Chaudhry Hanif Gujjar appealed the Prime Minister of Pakistan to intervene and pay special attention to promote research and development in all crops, otherwise Pakistan will permanently become a food importing country despite being an agricultural country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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