ISLAMABAD - The Provincial Seed Council of Sindh has approved two new sugarcane varieties for general cultivation across the country to boost the crop production in the country.

The approval of the new varieties were given in a meeting of the Provincial Seed Council Committee held here on Wednesday at Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC). The approved varieties including Thatta-326 and Thatta-2109 were developed at PARC's National Sugar and Tropical Horticulture Research Institute Thatta. These varieties will boost productivity and help farmers to uplift their livelihood. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdul Fatah Soomro, Ex-Director, NSTHRI said that Thatta-2109 and Thatta-326 were developed through exotic fuzz of the bi-parental cross obtained from Hoama, Louisiana, USA.

They are early maturing varities with high cane and sugar recovery potential, good ratooner, good germination, fast growth habit in all growth stages, he added.

He said that new crop varieties and latest technology will help to boost sugarcane production, adding that new ways of cultivation and genetically improved seeds helps farmers to grow more and play their more effective role in agriculture sector development.

It is worth mentioning here that sugarcane crop would be cultivated over 1.1642 million hectares of land across the country during crop sowing season 2017-18.

Sugarcane production targets have been fixed at 68.517 million tons during the period under review for getting an average yield of 58,824 kg per hectare.

In Punjab Province sugarcane crop would be cultivated over 0.728 million hectares of land to produce about 44.00 million tons of the commodity.

Meanwhile, the crop would be cultivated over 0.320 million hectares of land to produce 19.0 million tons of sugarcane by producing an average 59,375 kg crop per hectare.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, the sugarcane to be cultivated over 115,000 hectares and 0.7 thousand hectares of land respectively.

The crop output targets for both the provinces have been fixed at 5.482 million tons and 3.50 million tons respectively by producing an average 47,470 kg and 50,000 kg.