ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security on Friday asked the officials to suggest ways to bring international companies like Monsanto, Bayer and ICI to Pakistan for hybrid seed production technology after the successful passage of Plant Breeders Rights Act.

The meeting, which was held under chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, expressed concern on continuous absence of chairman PARC from the meetings and asked for provision of details of his frequency of visits abroad.

It was told that the target for cotton seed sowing for 2018-19 in Punjab was 2.31 million hectares and the sowing was on area of 2.29 million hectares while in Sindh the sowing was on 0.42 million hectares against the target of 0.62 million hectares. The overall sowing area in Pakistan was told to be 2.71 million hectares against the target of 2.95 million hectares. The targets in Punjab saw a positive percentage increase of 11.5 percent and in Sindh a negative percentage of 31.0.

The Committee decided to call chairman IRSA to the next meeting to take update on water availability for the upcoming sowing season.

The Committee was also told in detail about the wheat exports statistics over the years. The allocation of wheat export for 2017-18 was termed to be 2,500,000 tons while the exported wheat amounted to 1,761,870 tons. The members sought details as to how much raw wheat is exported and what percentage of the export is in form of wheat products and also decided to give recommendations to the provincial governments regarding the same.