*Agro-ecological zones should be established in the country – Mehmood Nawaz Shah
*Farmers sustain losses due to lack of marketing system and price mechanism – Nabi Bux Sathio
The agronomists, experts and officials drawn from Sindh Agriculture University, agricultural research, extension, private sector and progressive farmers have recommended the provincial and federal governments to give importance to the agricultural sector, as it is the only sector which can be a hope for the development of the country.
The experts gave a number of proposals while speaking at the Pre-Budget seminar organized by Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) at University Rest House on Thursday. The seminar was chaired by Dr. Fateh Marri, Vice Chancellor SAU.
Dr. Nihaluddin Marri, and Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Jamro from Agriculture Research Sindh, Dr. Islamuddin Rajput, Additional Director, Agriculture Extension Sindh, Dr. Aijaz Ali Khoharo Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, SAU, Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kambhar, Dr. Thamina Mustafa Nagraj, Syed Mehmood Nawaz Shah, Syed Nadeem Shah, Nabi Bux Sathio from Farmers’ Organizations, Zubair Channar and Abdul Haque from Forest Department and others participated.
Dr. Tehmina Mustafa Nagraj of SAU gave briefing on the importance and opportunities of agriculture and livestock, for the economic development of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Dr. Fateh Marri said that there is scope for research in agriculture, livestock and its by-products, pure seeds, high breeds of animals and investment in it for further research. The private sector should also invest in agribusiness, by-products, and agro-tourism, he said adding that higher yields including wheat, cotton, and dairy industry could be achieved.
“All agricultural products should be manufactured according to export standards,” he urged suggesting that all stakeholders should be consulted before formulating a budget and agricultural policy.
Syed Mehmood Nawaz Shah, Vice President Sindh Abadgar Board said that agro-ecological zones should be established in the country, the marketing system should be improved, importance should be given to rain-harvesting technology, and instead of importing edible oil, pulses, and other food items, their production and allocate more budget for research should be ensured.
Nabi Bux Sathio, Vice President, Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, said that due to a lack of marketing system and price mechanism in the country, farmers are not benefiting from agricultural production, while commission agent fixes the prices of agricultural produce. He said that the area under sugarcane and rice crops has increased due to non-implementation of agricultural policy, and since 2016. Rice is being planted on more than 200,000 acres.
He said that agriculture should be given importance in Tharparkar, Kohistan, and other areas and low-delta agriculture should be expanded. He said that there should be a forum for agriculture, irrigation, food, livestock, and forest ministers of the province, who should meet once a month and set their targets on agricultural development and also review it while involving farmers’ organizations in consultation.
Syed Nadeem Shah said that if dairy farmer increases the price of milk by five rupees, everyone criticizes it, and they complain against it, but if Tetra Pack rates go up in the industry, nobody asks them. He said that subsidies should be given to farmers on certified seeds and other commodities in the country.
Nihal Marri of ARI said that there is salinity in the soil in Sindh, therefore importance should be given to salty fruit-bearing forests in these areas, and the growing population on lush lands should be stopped.
Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Jamro of Agriculture Research Sindh said that palm oil and other crops should be planted in the coastal areas, which would generate a lot of revenue.
Dr. Islamuddin Rajput, Additional Director, Agriculture Extension, said that modern technology should reach the common farmer. Zubair Channar of the Forest Department said that Rs.100 billion could be earned from Horticulture Crop Value Addition.
Abdul Haque of the Forest department said that telemetry system should be activated in the province and crops should be monitored according to rainfall and weather conditions.
It was decided that all proposals will be forwarded to federal and the provincial government to incorporate in the forthcoming budget.
Professor Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Dr. Jam Murtaza Sahito, and others participated in the Agriculture Pre-Budget session.
English Language and Literature Conference
One day conference on English Language and Literature was organized by Z. A. Bhutto Agricultural College Dokri affiliated with Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam.
The purpose of the conference was to provide students with advanced agricultural education as well as English language proficiency and confidence-building and to make them aware of the importance of English literature and communication skills.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Allah Wadhayo Gadahi, Principal, Z. A. Bhutto Agricultural College, Dokri, said that English has become an easy language of communication between the nations of the world, and is an important language in the field of literature, education, and research.
“Our youth should learn English and regain their confidence, while agricultural and science-related materials are readily available in English on digital media,” he said.
Dr. Sultan Maitlo, Prof. Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Dr. Mahmood Jamro, Dr. Javed Shabbir Dar, Abdul Hameed Memon and others spoke on the importance of English language.
Principal Dr. Allah Wadhayo Gadahi distributed prizes among the successful students. (PR)