LAHORE - Control on post harvest losses can result in availability of 25-40 per cent more fruits and vegetables in the country. These losses bring low return to growers, processors, traders and country suffers in terms of foreign exchange earnings besides reducing availability of vegetables and fruits for consumers, experts said at a training programme organized by SMEDA in collaboration with Post Harvest Research Centre, AARI, Faisalabad and Sargodha Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Thursday, a spokesman of SMEDA said here. Such a loss is not acceptable in the country like ours having huge portion of fertile lands and dependence on agriculture, they said.

They mentioned that agro-climatic conditions of Pakistan ranging from tropical to temperature allow growing 40 different kinds of vegetables and 21 different types of fruits, and there was need to reap maximum benefits out of these agriculture produce.

Meanwhile, in Multan, the agriculture department has urged the farmers to adopt relay-cropping technique to avoid wheat yield losses and get maximum benefits from the crop.

District Officer Agriculture Chaudhry Safdar while talking to APP informed that farmers have been advised to sow wheat by November 15 to get maximum yield. He lamented that 90 per cent of farmers sow wheat late which reduces yield remarkably. He stated that every passing day after November 20 would decrease 20 kilogram per acre yield. In relay-cropping technique, wheat crop was sowed in the standing crop of cotton which ensured maximum yield, the DO stated. Last year, agriculture department set target to ensure relay crop at 5,000 acres but relay cropping got appreciation and it was cultivated at an area of 30,000 acres.

He added that relay-crop would be ensured at 50,000 acres in order to enhance wheat production.