Karachi, May20: Engro Fertilizers, Pakistan’s premier seed-to-harvest solutions provider, has partnered with the Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam, to organize a mega seminar on cotton production technology to help boost crop productivity and farmer’s livelihood.
Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar (Secretary Agriculture Sindh) was the chief guest on the occasion, while Dr. Fateh Muhammad Marri (Vice Chancellor, Sindh Agriculture University) presided the event. Khusrau Nadir Gilani (Chief Commercial Officer, Engro Fertilizers) and Hidayatullah Chhajro (DG Agriculture) were guests of honor at the event, which was also attended by more than 300 progressive farmers and other important stakeholders from the agricultural sector.
In his inaugural address, Dr. Fateh Muhammad Marri said that cotton had a lion’s share in the country’s agricultural sector and, as a raw material for the textile sector, played an integral role in promoting exports to earn foreign exchange for Pakistan. Hidayatullah Chhajro (DG Agriculture) added that the provincial Agricultural Department was committed to facilitate and improve the livelihood of farmers in Sindh as cotton was an important cash crop.
Speaking on the occasion, Khusrau Nadir Gilani (CCO Engro Fertilizers) highlighted that an estimated 1.5 million farming families grow cotton in Pakistan, making it one of the most important cash crops. However, Pakistan’s cotton production has been in steep decline for several years and although has recovered a bit to 7.4 million bales this year, but is still far below the potential. As a result of lower output, cotton has to be imported, thus, leading to loss of valuable foreign exchange and competitiveness of the country’s textile exports. Therefore, Engro Fertilizers envisions to support the government and other stakeholders to transform the agricultural landscape of Pakistan through its innovative products and services, and capacity-building sessions of farmers.
He added that that this seminar was aimed at training farmers in improved harvesting, and best crop and fertilizer management practices for increased profitability. Higher productivity and crop earnings would, consequently, encourage farmers to increase cotton cultivation area and support the economic development of Pakistan.
Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar also briefed the audience about the measures being taken by Government of Sindh to support the farmers. He appreciated Engro Fertilizers and the Sindh Agriculture University for this collaboration to increase awareness among farmers related to technology transfer and improved cotton-growing practices. Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar urged the farmers to follow expert recommendations shared and grow more cotton to improve their farm income and support the country’s GDP growth. Mahmood Nawaz Shah, a progressive farmer and Vice President of Sindh Abadgar Board, also thanked Engro and the University for arranging the seminar and shed light on the challenges faced by the farmers.