ISLAMABAD -Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan here on Monday called upon the agriculture scientists and donor partners for disseminating agri-research and innovation to the door steps of farmers living in far flung areas of the country.

Addressing the USAID and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) funded Balochistan Agriculture Project and demonstration of mechanical sheep shearing system at National Agriculture Research Center (NARC), the minister said that the programme will help to set new dimension for the livestock sector, particularly the wool industry of the province. The system was designed to modernize shearing practices in Balochistan under which the new equipments cut the shearing time by six-fold and produce higher quality wool.

The project will help to improve shearing process and will enable farmers to sell wool to better paying markets and to earn more income as the wool industry is an important source of income and jobs in the province.

He said the initiative will help to enhance livelihood of poor farmers besides creating more job opportunities and enhance farm income to alleviate poverty from the province.

Sikandar Bosan said that government will utilize all its possible resources for the development of Balochistan particularly the agri-sector of the province for the prosperity of the people. He said that the project will not bring desired results until its finding not conveyed to the farmers living in remote areas and small holdings for their productivity enhancement.

“We need to work for the rehabilitation of range land for producing healthy sheep which will also help to enhance their productivity and improve wool quality”, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, FAO Manager for USAID funded Balochistan Agriculture Project, David Doolan said that FAO was helping farmers in remote communities to adopt modern wool related practices. He said that wool industry is an important source and jobs in Balochistan which has an estimated 12 million sheep and earn US$ 5 million in annual revenue from wool clips. He said that eight master trainers were also trained from different districts of Balochistan which would further train 20 farmers on modern sheep shearing.

He said that according to estimates these improved practices can increase the revenues of Balochistan wool industry to US$ 20 million per year.

Meanwhile, the Minister for National Food Security and Research also chaired a meeting of “Wheat Traveling Seminar”, and reviewed the wheat crop position across the country.

The meeting informed that crop output was satisfactory and targets set for the current season will be achieved as wheat sowing witnessed four percent increase in Punjab.

The minister directed the field extensions to perform their duties and educate farmers about crop management.