LAHORE – The Farmers Bureau of Pakistan (FBP), a representative body of progressive growers, has appealed to the government to enact policies to counter the climate changes.
FBP has demanded that the government declare an agriculture and climate emergency to aid the prevailing crisis and counter the imminent adversity.
Addressing the members of Agriculture Journalists Association (AJA) at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, FBP founding members Dr Zafar Hayyat, Mian Shaukat, Aamir Hayat Bhandara and Imran Shah Khagga expressed concern regarding the erratic weather conditions and lack of promotion of new technologies in the agricultural sector. “Cotton, rice and corn crops have almost been ruined because of erratic weather, heatwave, loose control on seed trade and lack of innovation in the agriculture section. A 40% loss in rice and maize crops is being projected,” said the founding members of FBP.
They said that a majority of farmers opted for rice and maize crops due to the poor performance of cotton but the lack of awareness and information brought upon the utilisation of seeds that were not suitable for southern climate. They also expressed concern that the agriculture sector may register a downward growth this year. They implored that the government step in and take immediate measures in the form of improved policies and introduction of seed varieties than can bear the strains of climate change.
“The formula of pesticides being marketed are outdates, and the pests have become resistant to it. The import bill amounts to billions of rupees but such medicines have no effect against pests and are rather causing illness amongst the humans,” said Imran Shah Khagga, a progressive grower.
Mian Shaukat, farmer and seed producer, told the gathering that 75% of rice and corn has been affected by the rise in temperature at the time of pollination. He said rice and maize were found to be devoid of grains. He further stressed that a law should be enacted for monitoring seed trade.