Our Staff reporter FAISALABAD - The Punjab government has demanded the federal government to immediate import fertilizer in a bid to avert the crisis as the country is under the grip of sever fertilizer shortage for current Rabi season, said Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh here on Thursday. He was addressing Kissan convention held in connection with golden jubilee celebrations of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad as chief guest. He said that like other part of the country, the Punjab is also facing shortage of 0.4 million tonnes of fertilizer against the total requirements of 2.2 million tonnes in the province. He said the federal government had imported 38,000 tonnes of the fertilizers but it is far below against the requirement of fertilizer and now, the federal government should import it without wasting any time to meet the requirements of farming community. He said that out of total 38,000 tonnes imported fertilizer, the Punjab government had been provided the share of only 4,000 tonnes. He also recommended putting the price tag on the bags of fertilizer as he said shopkeepers are fleecing the customers with both hands by taking advantage of bag with no price tag. He added the prices of fertiliser had soared 200 percent in couple of months due to various factors. He said the Punjab government is committed to ending the crisis and appropriate actions were being taken and the federal government was also being apprised of the administrative and legal matters in this regard. Giving detail, he elaborated the Punjab government initiatives in agriculture sector and said that as many as 20,000 tractors had been distributed among farmers transparently above all discriminations on subsidized prices. The Punjab government has provided Rs4 billion in subsidy to strengthen the agriculture contributing a lion share in the GDP of the country. He said in the same way, the government has allocated Rs2 billion to the Punjab Agriculture Research Board that will be spent on 53 research projects for boosting agriculture sector. He said that the government had also seized fake medicines and agricultural materials worth Rs35 million during the campaign against the adulteration mafia under the directive of the Punjab CM. He maintained that different agricultural inputs and tools had been distributing among the tillers on subsidized prices by giving a subsidy of Rs1 billion for promoting the mechanization in agriculture sector, adding that 0.17 million packets of seeds of different vegetables had been distributed among the masses keeping in view the trend domestic cultivation of vegetables under the Chief Minsters Kitchen Gardening Programme. UAF Vice chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmed Khan stressed the need for increasing per acre production of the wheat as he said that the county is getting 30 mounds per acre but with the usage of modern technique, the country has the potential to get the 80 mounds per acre. He said that the objective of convention is to educate the farmers about the modern techniques and breeds in a bid to increase production of agricultural in the country. He said although the country is blessed with four seasons, best canal system and best ecological system but due to traditional ways of farming, we are lagging behind in the agriculture. He said we were focusing on only five crops but the atmosphere of the country is suitable to growing 500 crops. Director General Agriculture Extension Punjab Dr Anjum Ali said that due to new breeds of wheat, the per acre production had increased manifold as he said that the production had been standing in 2006-07 at 28 mound per acre while it is now 30 mound. He informed the farmers about the methods and new technology to increase the production of wheat. He said new five new varieties of the wheat has been approved that will bring more positive results in next years. Faculty of Agriculture Dean Prof Dr Muhammad Ashfaq, Director Wheat AARI Makhdoom Ali, Dr Akram Khan from Australia, Dr Khan Farooq from Reserch institute for conservation of sahiwal breed, Jhang, Dr Ahsan Ullah and other agricultural experts also spoke on the occasion. Later, the Minister Agriculture inaugurated the wheat sowing at the agronomy farm of the university by using the Australian agricultural machinery. He also witnessed Kabadi Match and competition of tug-of-war held in connection with the Rabi festival under golden jubilee celebrations of UAF.