FAISALABAD: Punjab Additional Secretary for Agriculture Beenish Fatima has directed agriculture experts to enhance joint and coordinated efforts to overcome whitefly and pink bollworm attacks on crops, which are inflicting losses of billions of rupees to the agriculture sector.
She said this while chairing a meeting reviewing projects worth Rs75 million on the management of whitefly and pink bollworm. The meeting was held at the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF). Entomology Department Chairperson Dr Jalal Arif, Pest Warning and Quality Assurance Director General Khalid Mehmood and others were also present on the occasion.
Fatima said that under the Punjab Agriculture and Research Board (PARB) project, various institutions, including UAF, Ayub Research Faisalabad, Cotton Research Institute Multan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Agriculture University Multan and Nuclear Institute for Biology Central Cotton Research Institute were working together to overcome the issue of pest attacks.
She hoped that collaborated efforts will bring tangible results.
She stressed the need to identify the cause and best methods to overcome the issue.
The agriculture official maintained that the provincial government was taking all possible measures to develop the agriculture sector.
Pest Warning and Quality Assurance DG Khalid Mehmood said that plant protection measures help increase per hectare yield and control pests.
He added the Punjab government was taking revolutionary steps for the uplift of the agricultural sector in terms of subsidy, promotion of modern trend etc.
Meanwhile, Punjab Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood said that all possible resources were being utilised to promote the scope of high value agriculture in the province.
He said that department experts were providing training on shifting technology to growers so they can produce high value crops.
He pointed out that they were convincing the growers about the production of various fruits and vegetables and promoting date, mango, seasonal and unseasonal vegetables in South Punjab.
Mahmood said that fruits, vegetables and their by-products were being promoted on an international level. He said that work was in progress on various projects to enhance horticulture crops.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2018.