Lahore: Provincial Minister for Agriculture, Malik Ahmed Ali has said that mango clinics will be set up at tehsil level so that the mango growers could be provided facility of diagnosing the diseases of mango trees from mango research centres.
He disclosed this while addressing the annual meeting of Mango Growers Cooperative Society Limited Multan. President Mango Growers, Syed Zahid Hussain Gardezi and renowned mango farmers of South Punjab attended the meeting. Provincial Minister said that he has always raised the voice for the rights of farmers at the floor of assembly but number of problems relate to federal government and due to its wrong policies, farmers are being exploited. He said that farmers are facing problems of fertilizer at high prices, agri medicines, electricity, diesel and shortage of water which is the powers of federal government. He said that federal government has no mechanism of fixing the prices of fertilizer and prices of fertilizers are increased through SMS on mobile phones. Provincial Minister said that under a self-made system, artificial shortage of fertilizer is created and billions of rupees are being earned through import of fertilizer by commission mafia. He said that agriculture sector is being ruined by levying sales tax on agri inputs. Malik Ahmed Ali said that Punjab government is spending Rs.36 billion for the development of agriculture sector. He said that rupees two billion have been released for 53 projects of Agriculture Research Board. He disclosed that Research Board has developed 80 varieties of seeds of various crops including eight seeds of BT cotton. He said that dialogues are continuing with South Korea, Japan, America and other countries in connection with various projects for the uplift of agriculture and livestock sectors. He assured the mango growers that Punjab government will extend full cooperation for resolving their problems.