Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Khan Bosan sought cooperation between the public and private sectors to promote agriculture.

He disclosed that the country had one million tonnes of wheat stock while a bumper wheat crop was expected during the current season. He was addressing a seminar on the role of quality seed in food security. It was organised by Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department in collaboration with the Seed Association of Pakistan. The minister said that he had sent the summary of Seed Act Bill and of the Patients Rights Bill to the prime minister, and hoped that these bills would be passed soon. He said that profit in agriculture for the farmers was necessary, while admitted that their profit was decreasing.

“The public and private sectors should unite for the betterment of agriculture sector. For this purpose, the role of small farmers is important. Seed sector in agriculture is being neglected. When we compare the sector with the world, the situation is not satisfactory especially regarding the availability of seed,” he said.

He added, “The government and the private sector are responsible for the low-quality seed especially in Sindh province. Supply of quality seed is very difficult. However, I want to convert the agriculture into a profitable sector.” The minister said that for betterment in the department, he had suspended an officer who was from the Post Office Department but the court granted him stay orders.

“Timely sowing, certified seed, balanced use of fertilisers, pesticides and proper irrigation are necessary to improve yield and it could boost the national economy,” he said.

On the occasion, SAP Chairman Rana Salman Mehmood Khan said that a help desk should be established at FSCRD Islamabad. FSCRD DG Syed Muhammad Nasir said that cotton seed was now in positive direction and Rahim Yar Khan had become a hub of seeds. He said that quality seed will be available for the grower in upcoming season.

He said that the availability of quality seed worth 1.5 billion dollars was expected for the growers in the next year. Director General Agriculture Extension Dr Anjum Haider said Rahim Yar Khan was significant district which produced one million cotton bales. He added that the government was planning to launch a project of vegetable seeds worth Rs400 million in the Punjab.