Lahore: Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi has said that modern and improved nutritional varieties of wheat have been introduced to remove the deficiency of zinc, boron and iron in the daily diet. Varieties are not only resistant to diseases but also have high productivity.
He expressed these views while addressing wheat seminar organized in Khanewal in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and NGOs (Agahee, Gain and Harvest Plus). The Agriculture Minister said that 68% of the population in Pakistan while one-third of the people in the world are deficient in minor nutrients. Present government is taking steps to alleviate nutrient deficiencies and ensure food security at the national level. Under the Agricultural Emergency Program, mega projects worth Rs. 300 billion are being implemented which will not only increase per acre yield of crops but also help in alleviating nutrient deficiencies. The wheat varieties which have been prepared by the Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad not only have good resistance against various diseases but good amount of zinc and iron found in these. He said that wheat crop is cultivated on the largest area in Pakistan. This crop also contributes to the economic stability of the farmers. Further increase in yield per acre is essential to make the wheat crop more profitable. This year 1 million bags of approved varieties of wheat are being provided at a subsidy of Rs. 1200 per bag and seeds of approved varieties of wheat are being sown on a total area of 10 million acres. Exhibition plots, seminars and Farmers’ Day are being organized to introduce modern production technology to the farmers. He further said that the National Program for Increasing Wheat Production per Acre with a significant amount of Rs. More than Rs. 1 billion in modern agricultural machinery and other agricultural inputs are being provided on subsidy. Farmers should take advantage of the facilities to reduce the cost per acre of cultivation and increase production and profit per acre. The Agriculture Minister further said that farmers should increase the use of machinery in agriculture so as to reduce production cost and cultivate more area and increase production per acre.
Additional Deputy Commissioner General Khanewal Akhtar Hussain Mandhir, Mubarak Ali Sarwar, Munawar Hussain, Qaiser Saeed and others also addressed the wheat seminar.