LAHORE - Punjab Government is planning to conduct chemical analysis of soils consisting of 21 million acres and water analysis of one million tube wells to promote balanced use of fertilizers and reduce production costs.

This was stated by Rashid Mehmood Secretary Agriculture Punjab while presiding a meeting of Agricultural Scientists held at Ayub Agricultural Research Institute to review the agricultural research activities of Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku. The secretary agriculture asked the agricultural scientists to develop new hybrid rice varieties to increase rice export. Dr. Abid Mehmood Directore General Agricultural Research Punjab, Professor Dr. Iqrar Ahmad khan, Vice Chancellor University of Faisalabad, Agricultural Scientists, extension workers and farmers attended the meeting.

Secretary Agriculture stated that new crop varieties developed by agriculture scientists possess high yield potential but our average per acre yield is very low. Dr. Abid Mehmood informed the meeting that Pakistan is the 4th largest country in rice production and that the scientists of Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku have developed 24 new rice varieties. Prof Dr. Iqrar Ahmad informed that in order to increase rice production 80000 plants per acre are required whereas the farmers plant 50 to 60 thousand plants per acre. Dr Muhammad Akhtar Director Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku briefed the meeting that last year rice was cultivated on 4.5 million acres and 3.54 million tons production was obtained.