KARACHI - Seeking special attention of the government for agriculture sector the growers have demanded that more subsidies should be given on fertilizer and other agriculture inputs in upcoming budget of FY2008-09. The office bearers of farmers' organizations of Punjab and Sindh while talking to The Nation said that the government should start policy initiatives to enhance agriculture productivity for benefit of growers, consumers and economy of the country. Ibrahim Mughal, Chairman Pakistan Agri Forum, while talking to The Nation emphasized that the agriculture loan must be increased from Rs200 billion to Rs500 billion in upcoming budget and hurdles in way of getting agriculture loan for small growers/farmers should be eliminated. Keeping in view increasing trend of prices especially fertilizers, government should bear at least 50 percent financial burden in the form of subsidy on agriculture inputs while fifty percent reduction should be announced in the prices of agriculture inputs, Mughal proposed and said these prices must be fixed for the period of three years. Advocating the need of more subsidies on agriculture inputs, he reminded that India and other agriculture countries were providing relief to their growers through various subsidies. The rate of electricity for irrigation purpose must be reduced to half against commercial tariffs and research institutes should be established for introduction of new agri seeds and enhancement of agriculture products, he suggested. The minimum support/procurement price of wheat should be fixed Rs800/-40 kg, sugarcane Rs80/-40 kg, sunflower Rs2000/40-kg and cotton Rs2500/-40 kg in next fiscal, Mughal demanded, adding that support price of two verities of super basmati and fine rice should not be less than Rs1000/-40 kg and  Rs600/40 kg. Mughal further said the present exemption of 12.5 acres on agriculture income tax must be increased to 25 acres for growers in next fiscal as area under cultivation has decreased due to increasing prices of agri inputs, water shortages and other reasons.     He demanded that Punjab Agriculture Research Institute should be re-given under the control of government from private sector. While president Sindh Abadgar Board Abdul Majeed Nizamani and Mahmood Nawaz Shah unveiling the budget proposals said Sindh was only allocated 10 percent of the total agricultural credit. With the share of 25 percent in the national agricultural production this share needs to be enhanced to 25 percent. They further said the paradox was that even the 10 percent allocated was not fully utilized and better utilization of the agri credits should be ensured. For judicious utilization of agri credit disbursement they suggested that the crop specific one window campaign should be run before the sowing of that crop in   areas where that specific crop is grown while the Union councils should be the focal points of these judicious credit operations. Private Sector Banks have about 80 percent of the agri credit business, these should be targeted to disburse loans, they said adding that three major public sector banks including HBL, ABL, and UBL should be encouraged to participate in the one window campaigns. Pass books should be issued to all growers especially smaller ones to facilitate them in getting loans. They demanded an increase in farm research from 0.3 percent of the GDP to 0.6 percent as Pakistan was lagging far behind in this sector.