Govt patronizes organic farming to address poverty, malnutrition

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Secretary Agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ateel said that government was patronizing organic farming at nearly 4000 acres to address issue of Malnutrition and poverty in tribal areas of Koh-e-Sulaiman.

Talking to APP, Saqib Ateel maintained that the area was new for agriculture and clear from use of extensive pesticides.

So, start of agriculture with organic inputs and practices compatible with organic farming can help yield best results, he apprised.

In the country, the use of insecticides, pesticides and artificial fertilizers increased manifolds during the past 3- 4 decades.

The secretary agriculture south Punjab regretted on damage caused due to the indiscriminate usage of excessive pesticides and fertilizers which not only leave residues in soil, water and air but also have adverse effects on the non-target organisms such as pollinators, parasitoids, predators and wild animals.

About organic farming in Koh-e-Sulaiman areas, Saqib observed that the government was providing technical and financial assistance.

For this purpose, nearly 4,000 acres including wheat (3000-acres), sorghum (150 acres), bajra (500), vegetables (94 acres), date palm (6 acres), Citrus (27 acres), Olive orchards (75 acres) and some others were sown in the area, with assistance (technical, financial) of the government.

Saqib apprised that it was tried to restrict the use of chemicals on crops in the area through awareness sessions, held regularly with the peasants of the area.

Similarly, extract of plants such as neem, kortuma, aak, tobacco and hing etc have been found very effective against insects control.

About other measures, the secretary agriculture south Punjab Saqib stated that organic plant protection technology packages compatible with organic farming were being developed.

The behavior of pests will also be studied altitude wise with special reference of temperature and humidity.

Economic analysis of the vegetable plots treated with organic pesticides in the project area with same crops treated with inorganic pesticides in settled area of the province will also be made, he disclosed. —APP

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