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3.278m acres brought under rice cultivation against 5m acres target

LAHORE:Punjab Agriculture Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo has said that 3.278 million acres have been brought under rice cultivation against the target of 5 million acres. This year, the production target of paddy has been set at 4.940 million tons and 349 teams are working in the field which are providing technical guidance to the farmers in more than 7,000 villages for achieving this target. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting here Thursday.

Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force), Punjab M Shabbir Ahmad Khan, DG Agriculture Extension Dr M Anjum Ali, Chief Scientist Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad Dr M Akhtar, DG Agriculture Pest Warning, Punjab Rana Faqir Ahmed, attended the meeting.

Punjab Agricultural Information DG M Rafiq Akhtar, Principal Scientist Rice Research Institute, Kala Shah Kaku Syed Sultan Ali Shah, Director Agriculture Adaptive Research, Lahore Mushtaq Ali, Director Agriculture Extension Gujranwala Javed Akhtar and Director Agriculture (Extension) Faisalabad Abdul Hameed and other officers also participated while Director Agriculture (Extension) Gujrat, Bahawalpur participated online.

During the meeting, the situation of paddy sowing at the provincial level was reviewed. During the briefing, the Secretary Agriculture was told that this year, four million acres of basmati varieties are under cultivation while one million acres of coarse varieties of paddy are being cultivated.

An increase of 6.7 percent in the area under paddy cultivation has been reported in the last three years and during last year, 4.87 million tons of rice were exported and earned 3.05 million dollars.

On the occasion, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo directed the officials concerned to take special measures to further increase paddy exports. He directed to constitute Divisional Expert Groups in Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujrat and Gujranwala for technical guidance of paddy farmers to control harmful pests in these core areas and also technical advisory should be given to farmers regarding pest/insect control, pre-harvest interval spray (PHI) and Maximum Residues Limit (MRL) of spray on rice crop.

Punjab Agriculture Secretary has given further instructions that specific paddy related pesticide’s availability should be ensured in the market in the core paddy area while pesticides specific to other crops (cotton or wheat) will be prohibited in these areas to reduce the impact of pesticides on paddy crop.

In response to a question, Secretary Agriculture said that this year, the Punjab government is providing a subsidy of Rs10 billion on agricultural inputs to reduce the production cost of farmers.

Later, the representatives of Rice Exporters Association (REA) met with Secretary Agriculture, Punjab. During the meeting, Rice Exporters Association expressed fear of reduction in exports due to indiscriminate use of pesticides on paddy crop. Secretary Agriculture said that Punjab government is taking steps to increase the export of paddy so that the country’s foreign exchange can be enhanced.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1092589-3-278m-acres-brought-under-rice-cultivation-against-5m-acres-target QR Code

Published Date: July 21, 2023

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