MIRPURKHAS - Caretaker Minister for Agriculture and Supplies Khair Muhammad Junejo has said that mango has become identity of Mirpurkhas in the world and abadgars of this region have been continuously hosting a mango and summer fruits festival here for the last 53 years.

He said that the Sindh Horticulture Research Institute in Mirpurkhas had played an important role to continue holding the mango festival here. He was speaking at the prize distribution ceremony at the concluding day of the 53rd National Mango and Summer Fruits Festival here on Sunday.

The ceremony was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Mirpurkhas Zahid Hussain Memon, Secretary of Agriculture Sajid Jamal Abro, landlord Tanvir Gondal, Chairman of Management Committee of Mango Festival Muhammad Umer Bughio, SSP of Mirpurkhas Nazeer Mir Baher, Director General of Agriculture Extension Hidayatullah Chajro and Director General of Agriculture Research Noor Muhammad Baloch.

He said that agriculture research and extension department should prepare plans to support small abadgars. He said that about 160 mango varieties were displayed today. He said that there was worst shortage of water in the province and these problems would also be faced by abadgars in future. He said abadgars should adopt a policy to save water. He said that drip irrigation system was better and people could improve the agriculture system using this system and using a cheap procedure to increase per acre yield. He advised abadgars to cultivate more than one orchards to get more benefits than other crops.

Deputy Commissioner Zahid Hussain Memon said that local abadgars were facing challenges of shortage of water, climate change etc and they made this festival successful. He said that aim of this festival was to create awareness among local farmers regarding modern technology. He said that doors of district administration for abadgars were open for support and cooperation.

Bughio lamented that sugar mills were not paying money to sugarcane growers. He lamented that cane commissioner was avoiding to take legal action against defaulter sugar mills . According to the law, he said, affected abadgars had submitted their applications to cane commissioner and he should take legal action against defaulter sugar mills under the sugarcane act. He urged the caretaker minister for agriculture to take legal action against cane commissioner and defaulter sugar mills to ensure payment to growers without any delay.

Earlier, the chief guest visited the mango and summer fruit stalls and expressed his interest in the varieties of mangoes.