Quality seeds play key role in boosting agriculture production: Shahzad Malik

ISLAMABAD, May 19 (APP): Chairman,Pakistan Hi-Tech Hybrid Seed Association Shahzad Ali Malik Thursday said that quality seed always played a key role in boosting agriculture production to meet ever increasing food staple needs of challenging growing population explosion.
Talking to a study tour group of 4th semester students of Department of Communication and Media Research, School of Communication Studies Punjab University led by Ms Rida Nowsherwan, he said the use of high quality seeds was one of the most important elements in increasing agricultural production in any farming system as well as a cornerstone of any successful agriculture program.
This element had become more crucial than ever for providing enough food security for the rising number of population in the world which was expected to exceed nine billion by year 2050,he added.
He said the production of high quality hybrid seeds did not happen by chance, adding that each step in the production system from planting the proper variety in appropriate time to following weed control practice,fertility program, harvest in the right time,cleaning the seeds,storage and shipping was critical for achieving high quality seeds.
He said quality seed was the fundamental element in crop production which not only doubled and tripled the yield but also decreases cost of production considerably besides preventing spread of weeds,diseases and pests.
Responding to question about levy of 17% sale tax on all kinds of agricultural seeds, he urged the government to withdraw it without loss of time to avoid shifting of its burden on poor people besides fully protecting planned Chinese investment on “China Hybrid Agriculture Model and Transfer of Technology ” under phase-II of CPEC.
He said increase in sale tax would influence envisioned investment avenues in agriculture sector and act as disincentive for Chinese investors, adding that agriculture together with agro-based products fetches sizeable chunk of the country’s total exports earnings. Pakistan is in direct competition with the top agricultural produce exporting countries of the world and levy of 17% sales tax agriculture seeds will result in a sharp decrease in Pakistan agricultural yields and hit export targets.
He urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who had most successful CM and former President Lahore chamber having good economic vision to withdraw ST in the larger national interests of overall economy of the country.