Maize sowing remained low in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the yielding target unachieved set for 2011-12, while wheat sowing improved during the period, said an official. “A target of around 3,000 metric tons set for year-2011-12 missed due to lack of farmers to sow maize seeds in their agricultural lands both in plain area and far-flung districts of the province.
Owing to availability of surplus seeds during 2010-11, the more 4,000MTs seed for production wheat had been distributed among farmers in entire districts and the production target also achieved last year, the official added. “The basic reason of recording low production of maize seed was due to not sowing in spring weather, and less interest on part of farmers to sow seeds in their cultivable lands, said Mohammad Khan, Director Seeds, at Directorate of Agriculture and Extension, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“We need to sow maize seeds in spring weather to achieve the target, but farmers are mostly cultivate vegetable, sugarcane, and other crops instead of sow maize in their agricultural lands”, he added.
Despite that, he said, they are trying their level best to sow maximum maize seeds in the province. Approximately, a total demand of seeds of the KP province is around 60,000MTs while we are producing less due to various reasons, particularly financial constraints, and lack of sufficient storage capacity, the official informed.
He, however, said that they had achieved a set of 4,000MTs of sowing of wheat seed and distributed it among farmers in the entire province. “Mostly farmers are using local seeds in their farming lands instead of approach to authorities to get various varieties of seeds, Khan informed.
“Our province seeds are totally certified by Federal Seeds Certification authority, as more than 13 seeds were locally produced, including Atta Habib, Fakhare Sarhad, Batool, Pir Sabak 2004, Pir Sabak 2008, Pir Sabak 2005, Zam, Tahran, Hashim, Saleem 2004, and other high quality of seeds, the official said. “We have the capacity to product surplus wheat seeds, but there was lacking sufficient seed storage capacity, Khan added.
He informed they had stocked seeds at three main storage centres, in D.I.Khan with total capacity of storage 2,000MTs, Mardan 1,000MTs, Bannu and Bunner 300MTs, while in Peshawar 500MTs. But, he said they were faced difficulties to stock other crops like maize due to limited capacity of storage at three main pool facility in the province. “We have planned to develop a PC-I for establishment of enhancement of seeds-quality and expansion of existing seeds storage capacity”, he informed.
The provincial seed director said the financial constraints were the main hurdles to cultivate seeds in surplus and meet the set targets. Despite that, he said they had managed to yield around 5,000MTs wheat seeds, approximately (8000 maan), distributed among all farmers in entire districts of the province.
“About 10 per cent of farmers took fully benefits from high hybrid seeds facility”, he added. He said the KP province is totally dependent on Punjab to meet its requirement of seeds, while farmers also directly purchase seeds from private sector.
He stressed that farmers training regarding production of seeds was imminent, which could not only helpful to achieve yielding target, but also improve cultivation of seeds in the province. Whenever, we can produce seeds in surplus quantity, exports to Afghanistan and Bolachistan province, he informed.