ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research asked the Ministry of National Food Security to urgently address complaints of farmers regarding non-availability of urea fertiliser for the wheat crop in the country.
Despite a reported surplus, the fertiliser was found to be scarce in the market with black market prices soaring to Rs5,600 per bag, well above the government-controlled rate of Rs3,560 per bag, Chairman of the Committee Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah said while presiding over a meeting of the committee in Islamabad on Thursday.
Mr Shah conveyed to the committee multiple complaints received from farmers nationwide, fearing critical impact on wheat crop in Sindh due to the fertiliser shortage.
As Mr Shah expressed concern over the issue, a comprehensive discussion took place on the non-availability of urea fertiliser. The committee was informed that Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) had developed two new wheat varieties.
Mr Shah recommended compiling a list of progressive farmers for better outreach, suggesting a monthly newsletter to inform farmers about agricultural advancements. Additionally, the committee advised PARC to liaise with farmer associations in Sindh and Punjab.
Expressing concern over the non-recovery of cotton cess from textile firms over the last five years, the committee highlighted its adverse impact on cotton research and delayed payments to Pakistan Central Cotton Committee employees.
Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2023