Government urged to reopen sunflower seed supply centre in Punjab, Sindh
December 03, 2012
Peerzada Abdul Ali Zakir Usmani President of Anjuman Kashtkaran Punjab demanded of the government to reopen the Sunflower seed supply centre in Punjab and Sindh, which was catering to growers by supplying more than 155,000 tons of sunflower seed on subsidised rates.
He also demanded to raise its support price to Rs 2,400 per 40-kg in order to enhance edible oil production in the country. Peerzada said despite 23 percent increase in production during one year, the government has shut down seed supply centres in Punjab and Sindh.
The federal government ensured the sunflower growers that it would with the support of oil extracting companies announce increase in the sunflower support price from the existing Rs 1,700 to Rs 2,100 per 40-kg. Though, oil seed companies have assured the government that they would purchase sunflower from farmers at Rs 2,120 per 40-kg yet they were not fulfilling their commitment. Zakir Usmani said that enhancement in sunflower support price could not only help encourage balanced crop system but would also reduce dependence on imports and thereby save billions of rupees. He said that Pakistan has been importing edible oil worth more than $2.4 billion annually and the figure might go up to $2.6 billion owing to price fluctuations on rupee-dollar parity.
Sunflower seeds contain about 42 percent of high quality edible oil and this crop is grown on an area of 270,000 hectares in Pakistan with a production of around 375,000 tonnes sunflower seed and 1,440-kg per hectare yield, but the production is low as compared to major sunflower growing countries like China, United States and Argentina but our per acre production is better than the developing countries, he said.