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January 7, 2019

27pc decline in sugarcane cultivation in Punjab this year


January 7, 2019

FAISALABAD: The Agriculture Department has underlined the need for adopting new cultivation technology in addition to develop high yielding and disease resisting varieties of sugarcane to get maximum production.

This was stated by Director Agriculture (Extension) Chaudhry Abdul Hameed here on Sunday.

He informed that the area under sugarcane cultivation had recorded a steep decline of 27 per cent in the Punjab this year whereas in Faisalabad, it recorded 15 per cent decline.

Explaining the statistics, he told that last year sugarcane was cultivated on 269,000 acres of land in Faisalabad whereas this year it was cultivated on 227,000 acres of land.

It would certainly affect the overall production of sugar in future which was currently being available in surplus quantity to be exported.

He told that there were five sugar mills in Faisalabad with total crushing capacity of 29,800 tons per day.

Although the sugar mills had started crushing but they are unable to get enough sugarcane to run their mills with full crushing capacity.

He told that currently per-acre yield of sugarcane was around 622 maund, which was less than the international standard. Highlighting the importance of sugarcane, he said it was an important cash crop of Pakistan. Sugar industry was the second largest agro-based industry in the country, consuming sugarcane as raw material for producing refined sugar. Some portion of the crop was also used for the production of brown sugar, locally known as Gur, especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he added. He further informed that Pakistan was the fifth largest country in terms of cultivated sugarcane area but it was a matter of concern that it was lagging far behind than the developed countries in terms of per hectare production of sugarcane.

He said that the department already launched a vigorous campaign to educate sugarcane growers to select only high yielding varieties for cultivation which had maximum sugar content. Similarly, new varieties were also being encouraged which needed less water as compared to the existing varieties which needed multiple watering to get proper yield, he added. He told that the government had already issued directive to ensure payment of sugarcane at Rs 180 per maund to the growers.

Weeds decrease 42pc wheat production: The farmers should make proper arrangements for timely removal of weeds as it badly affected the yield, which caused reduction in wheat production up to 42 per cent.

A spokesman for the Agriculture Department told the agency that the weeds not only reduced the quantity of crop production, but also played a major role for damaging quality of the grains.

He said that after the comprehensive survey, the agricultural experts observed that the weeds caused up to 42 per cent production loss in wheat crop, 41 per cent loss in cotton crop, 39 per cent loss in rice crop, 35 per cent loss in sugarcane crop, 47 per cent loss in maize crop, 55 per cent in pulses, 45 per cent loss in oil-seed crops and 89 per cent production loss in vegetable crops.

The weeds not only absorbed nutrients of the crop plants but also provided suitable environment to pests, which were injurious to the crop production.

Therefore, the farmers should take immediate steps to remove the weeds from the crops for getting maximum production, he advised.

26 criminals arrested: The police have arrested 26 criminals, including 14 proclaimed offenders, from Faisalabad district during last 24 hours. The police also recovered seven pistols, 1.531 kilogram charas and 90 litre liquor from their possession.

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