Hybrid seeds can only tackle food shortage in Pakistan: Shahzad

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Hybrid seeds can only help a lot to tackle food shortage in Pakistan with bumper production which can even be grown on less fertile land in arid areas as well.

Talking to a delegation of progressive farmers from Layyah led by Muhammad Rashid Bhutta here Sunday, the Chairman United Business Group (UBG) in the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Shahzad Ali Malik said in the wake of Russia-Ukraine conflict, wheat prices have risen globally about 60 percent which has brought immeasurable consequences to whole of world.

Wheat imports from Ukraine accounts for nearly 40% of Pakistan’s total wheat imports, he said adding that Pakistan also witnessed food inflation upto 40% in July compared to corresponding year.

He said as the staple food crop in Pakistan, wheat is planted in nearly 40 percent of cultivated area and accounts for 70% of total agricultural production but yields are not upto international standard because of the absence of use of best quality seeds and lack of subsidies on essential inputs.

He said sadly, a heat wave swept through South Asia this summer, a “silent death” that affected wheat crops.

He said use of non certified seeds and irrational use of fertilisers are factors responsible for low yields.

Shahzad Ali Malik said Dr Abdul Rashid of Guard Agricultural Research and Services conducted research on hybrid rice on self help basis in 2010 and successfully evolved new variety of hi tech hybrid rice which has brought revolution in agriculture particularly in interior Sindh that enhanced the profitability of rice growers with bumper production.—APP

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