Event Title: Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research Presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad
Event Date: 2023-11-30
The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research convened today at Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah.
The session began with a comprehensive discussion on the non-availability of Urea Fertilizer for Sindh's growers. Chairman Shah conveyed multiple complaints received from farmers nationwide, emphasizing the critical impact on wheat crops in Sindh due to the shortage. Despite a reported surplus, the fertilizer was found to be scarce, with black market prices soaring to 5600 PKR, well above the controlled rate of 3560 Rs. The committee directed the ministry to collaborate with stakeholders urgently to address this pressing issue.
The committee then addressed a Starred Question raised by Senator Sarfaraz Bugti concerning alleged manipulations in the import of olive plants. A sub-committee, chaired by Senator Kamran Murtaza, was formed to investigate and report on the matter within two months.
Expressing concerns about 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 (PCCC) employees. With arrears exceeding 3 Billion Rs, the committee instructed ministry officials to engage with APTMA, addressing concerns and facilitating the recovery of Cotton Cess.
The committee was informed that PARC had developed two new wheat varieties. Chairman 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.
Regarding the transfer of BS 19 and BS 20 Officers of PARC from Sindh to Islamabad, the committee chairman directed a review of the decisions, emphasizing the return of officers contributing significantly to the region. Furthermore, the committee requested a report from PCC officials on new cotton varieties and their availability in the market.
The committee meeting was attended by Senators Sania Nishtar, Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, Seeme Ezdi, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, the Caretaker Minister for National Food Security and Research, as well as officials from PARC and PCCC.