ISLAMABAD - The government has directed the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSCRD) to ensure availability of certified seeds of all major crops to growers in order to cope with the devastation in national agriculture sector due to recent torrential rains and flash floods in the country.

This was told by Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Zafar Hassan while addressing the inaugural secession of the two-day national conference on “Efficient integrated nutrients management technologies for enhancing wheat productivity in Pakistan” here Tuesday. He said that unavailability of certified seeds was the major obstacle in productivity enhancement of all major crops including wheat.

The event was organised by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) as it was intended to host series of events that are aiming at to finding ways and means to enhance productivity of all major and minor crops, including oil seeds and vegetables to tackle with growing domestic needs. Besides, he said that proper awareness of farmers about the use of high yielding, certified  seeds verities were need of hour to convert local growers from use of conventional seeds to high yielding quality seeds enhance productivity of wheat, which was staple food grain of the country. The other factor which were contributing in low productivity of crops were shortage of irrigation water, absence of modern agriculture implements and unavailability of fertilizers on time of crop sowing, he said, adding that the many fold increase in the prices of fertilizers, climate changes, natural disasters and lack of awareness about modern research were the other bottlenecks in agriculture sector growth and development. 

Zafar Hassan further informed that wheat was the main crop of the country, which was being grown over 22 million acres to fulfill local dietary needs. He said that average output of wheat in the country was recorded at 30 mounds per-acre, which was lowest as compared the output of developed economies of the world. He said that lower productivity of wheat was another challenge as it was insufficient to tackle with increasing demand of growing population, adding that under such circumstances, the responsibilities of local agriculture sector has further increased to maintain food safety and security. He also asked for enhancing the use of bio-fertilizer in order to reduce dependency on costly imported fertilizers, besides encouraging the production of organic agriculture products for profit maximisation as well as protect the local eco-system and environmental degradation. The federal secretary expressed the hope that the outcomes of the conference would be helpful for formulation of a comprehensive policy to enhance per-acre output of wheat, by sharing the knowledge and experiences of local as well as foreign experts. 

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman PARC Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali said that the council was making efforts to extend the outcomes of its research and development to the door steps of