LAHORE

Provincial Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed on Sunday said a bumper potato crop was expected as potato had been cultivated on over 400,000 acres of land this year.

He said cultivation was 3.5 per cent higher than the last year, says a handout issued here on Sunday.

He said that a record 3.8 million tons of potatoes were produced last year whereas total domestic requirement was 2.9 million tonnes. Quality seed was available to farmers this year, he said and directed that a watchful eye should be kept on potato crop and exporters should make arrangements for the export of surplus production abroad at the right time.

Dr Farrukh Javed directed that the Agriculture department Extension Wing should also provide training and necessary information to cultivators to save their potato crop from potential frost.

The minister further directed the department to arrange correct estimate of the expected potato yield for ensuring due return to the farmers.

He said that a meeting should be arranged with the potato growers and exporters for apprising them of factual position. The minister said that huge foreign exchange could be earned through timely measures while farmers could also get proper return for their labour.

He said that Pakistani agri products were famous in the world for their high quality and taste adding that government was also exploring new international markets for local agri items so that agriculture sector could be developed.

He said that agriculture sector Punjab had made remarkable progress during last few years and the large scale export of Kinnu, rice and potato was a proof to this fact. He said the government would export surplus potato so that farmers could be saved from economic crisis.