MULTAN-Commissioner Multan division Bilal Ahmad Butt has said the development of agriculture sector is a must for Pakistan’s progress as the country’s 70 percent population’s employment is linked to that sector.

Addressing the participants of a prize distribution ceremony at Central Cotton Research Institute on Thursday, he stressed upon the farmers to adopt new technologies for farming to boost their produce and getting good price of crop.

He pointed out that the Punjab government took a number of steps like interest-free loans to the farmers, subsidy on fertilisers, seeds and pesticides as well as introduction of latest agricultural machinery to increase agricultural production in the province. He said that Pakistan farmers took 50 per cent less crop from their fields compared to other countries of the world.

“Our agricultural scientists need to fill the gap. They have to invent and introduce high yielding varieties. They need to do extensive research,” he asserted. He said that the Punjab government extended all out resources to the agricultural scientists and sent them abroad for research and training.

He said that cotton and its products constituted 51 percent of total national exports. He stressed upon the agricultural scientists to find out solutions to the problems currently being faced by this cash crop.

Speaking on this occasion, Director Agriculture (extension) Rana Munir Ahmad said that agricultural machinery worth millions of rupees had been given to 45 winners of crop competition. He said that competition of seven crops including mango, citrus, rice, corn, guava and potato had been conducted.