MULTAN, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – Nov. 21, 2021): South Punjab Agriculture Minister Saqib Ateel said the government is patronizing organic farming on nearly 4,000 hectares to address the problem of malnutrition and poverty in the tribal areas of Koh-e- To tackle Sulaiman.
Speaking to APP, Saqib Ateel claimed the area was new to agriculture and free from extensive pesticide use. Hence, beginning farming with organic inputs and practices that are compatible with organic farming can help achieve the best results, he said.
In the country, the use of insecticides, pesticides and artificial fertilizers has increased many times over in the past 3-4 decades.
The South Punjab Agriculture Minister deplored the damage caused by the indiscriminate use of excessive pesticides and fertilizers, which not only leave residues in the soil, water and air, but also have a negative impact on the non-target organisms such as pollinators, parasitoids, predators and wildlife have animals.
Regarding organic farming in the Koh-e-Sulaiman areas, Saqib noted that the government was providing technical and financial assistance.
To this end, nearly 4,000 hectares including wheat (3000 hectares), sorghum (150 hectares), bajra (500), vegetables (94 hectares), date palm (6 hectares), citrus (27 hectares), olive groves (75 hectares) and some others were sown in the area with government support (technical, financial).
Saqib said attempts have been made to limit the use of chemicals on crops in the area through awareness-raising events held regularly with local farmers.
Similarly, plant extracts like Neem, Kortuma, Aak, Tobacco and Hing etc. have been shown to be very effective against insect control.
Regarding other measures, the Minister of Agriculture of South Punjab Saqib said that organic crop protection technology packages would be developed that are compatible with organic farming. The behavior of pests is also examined in terms of height with special consideration of temperature and humidity.
An economic analysis of the vegetable fields treated with organic pesticides in the project area with the same plants that have been treated with inorganic pesticides will also be carried out in the populated area of the province, he said.
As part of the project, the farmers were motivated to sow such plots as much as possible. The organic orchards will not only feed the local population, but also help to achieve maximum yields.
Saqib added that the future plan to expand the scope of organic farming for pest control on vegetable and fruit plantations will continue the use of beneficial insects in the area with the help of bio-labs, particularly in southern Punjab, Saqib said.
Similarly, the government will also help build organic outlets to help farmers and other citizens who want to enjoy organic food, Saqib concludes.