Pakistan, Punjab keen on cooperation in agriculture

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Chandigarh, Mar 24 (UNI) A high powered 18-member delegation of progressive farmers from Pakistan led by Farmers Associates Vice Chairman Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi today called on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and evinced keen interest for technology transfer in the field of agriculture and animal husbandry to increase the production both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The members of the delegation, here to attend a week-long workshop on Total Agriculture-cum Field Visits: Farmers Connecting India and Pakistan through knowledge-sharing on agriculture, shared their experiences with the Chief Minister about improveing the quality of wheat, cotton, maize, barley and sugarcane crops substantially in Pakistan.

They also dwelled on the prospects of allied agriculture in terms of animal husbandry, fishery, dairy, bee-keeping, horticulture and floriculture as traditional agriculture is no more remunerative and profitable.

Expressing concern over the depletion of ground water table, the delegation, Mr Gardezi informed the Chief Minister that 92 per cent of Pakistan's agriculture depended on canal irrigation which was quite efficient and hardly 8 to 10 per cent relied on tubewell irrigation.

He invited Mr Badal to lead a delegation of progressive farmers to study the cropping pattern of Pakistan and impressed upon him to initiate steps for technology transfer between the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and Agricultural University, Faislabad especially in the crops of cotton in which their country had excelled in the production of long staple cotton.

Mr Badal said that Punjab had made significant contribution in the production of wheat and sugarcane with high quality and maximum yield per acre as compared to Pakistan.

Mr Badal also pointed out that Punjab had a proven track record and rich experience of quality production of kinow which could be replicated in Pakistan too as both countries had almost same soil texture and climatic conditions.

The Chief Minister asked the delegation to undertake a programme to improve the quality of milch cattle through a technology exchange programme between the Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Ludhiana and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore.

Mr Badal said that the buffalo breed of Nilli Ravi and Murrah besides Sahiwal breed of cows could be further improved in Punjab through mutual cooperation in research and development programme.

UNI PS MMS1914

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