LAHORE                     -                Accusing federal and provincial agricultural ministries of failing to combat locusts attack in Pakistan in general and in Punjab in particular, Farmers Bureau of Pakistan (FBP) has demanded resignation of relevant ministers.

Talking to a group of journalists here on Wednesday, FBP President Dr Zafar Hayyat said that the agriculture sector has badly been ignored and mismanaged by the government. The Locust which entered into Pakistan almost one year back has grown in number and posing a big threat to the different crops under cultivation, he said.

“The issue has been raised with the concerned persons but it seems that the leadership, the federal and provincial agriculture ministers didn’t have the capacity and vision to address the things in depth.

The government has recently realized the seriousness of the situation but we believe they lost the precious time in which with little resources the locust attack could have been controlled.

Looking at the situation now, and the extent to which locust have spread, seems will take of lot of resources to control its growth and total elimination.

We therefore demand the resignation of current federal and provincial ministers, especially of Punjab who badly failed to comprehend the whole situation”, he said while demanding the government to appoint leadership who understands the issue of agriculture in depth.

Another important issue which requires immediate attention is the cotton crop. Cotton crop had very important role in agriculture as well as the value added industrial sector. The government failed to realize the situation and did not include it in its Agriculture Emergency program. “We demand that Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately take notice and ensure inclusion of cotton in emergency program”, he said.

Farmers of Pakistan already are into deep financial crunch. Every step should be taken to reduce their cost of production. This year corn growers suffered a lot in Kharif season and now Rabi crop was in the process of cultivation.

The private seed companies raised the prices of the seed despite the fact that farmers suffered huge losses in Kharif crop.

“All the private companies who are importing corn seed should immediately start producing at least 25 percent of the seed locally and should ultimately produce 100 percent in the country, in some agreed timeline. This will not only reduce the prices of corn seed but will also help in job creation”, he said.