KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that his government was making all-out efforts to provide quality certified seeds of different crops to the growers at affordable prices to improve per acre yield.

He stated this while presiding over a meeting of Sindh Seed Corporation (SSC) at the CM House on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by Senior Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Minister for Agriculture Ali Nawaz Maher, chief secretary Siddique Memon, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Agriculture Shahid Gulzar Shaikh, Managing Director SSC Dr Iqbal Saeed and others.

Shahid Gulzar Shaikh, briefing Chief Minister, said that there were eight basic seed farms of SSC. These include 2898 acres Lodra (Shikarpur district) farm, 372 acres Pai Sakrand (Nawabshah) farm, 1041 acres Setharja (Khairpur) farm, 122 acres Kotdiji (Khairpur) farm, 1474 acres Ghotki farm, 112.27 acres Ruk (Ghotki) farm, 100 acres Sangi (Sukkur) farm and 110-acre Lakhi (Shikarpur) farm.

Managing Director SSC Dr Iqbal Saeed said that different seed varieties have been provided to growers. The wheat varieties provided so far are TD-I, Kiran 95, Imdad 05, SKD-I and Benazir, IR-3701 of cotton and two varieties of paddy, Irri-6 and KS-282.

He said that during the last four years (2011-2015), Rs140.266 million have been spent on all the eight farms for developing seed varieties against which Rs286.448 million were earned. Similarly, Rs507.484 were spent on the marketing of the seed against which income worth Rs638.004 million was generated. In other words, during the said period the SSC utilized Rs647.751 million against which an income of Rs924.452 million was generated. The net profit has been calculated at Rs276.701 million.

CM Qaim appreciated the efforts of the SSC and urged it to develop such seed verities which not only require less water but also survive in flood situation.

Manila and Thailand have developed such varieties of rice which survive in flood situation. The seedling of such rice verities survive even after remaining in water for eight days, the chief minister quoted.

Secretary Agriculture said that there were a Rs443.767 million liabilities against SSC which include Hesco and Sesco bills, repair and maintenance of seed processing plants, and damages sustained at Lodra and Ghotki farms due to heavy flood of 2010.

Chief Minister directed the chief secretary Siddique Memon to look into the issues of SSC and give him report so that required funds could be released to improve its performance and clear its liabilities.