Islamabad, March 07, 2018 (PPI-OT): Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security in its meeting on Wednesday has expressed deep concern and disappointment that sugarcane growers in all provinces of Pakistan are not being paid appropriately and the minimum price laid down by the Sindh High Court is not being implemented by the provincial government. The Committee apprehended that cultivation of sugarcane will be seriously affected this year and growers will shift to other crops.

The meeting was held with Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah in the chair here at the Parliament House in Islamabad and was attended among others by Senators Hamza, Mohsin Khan Leghari, Zafarullah Khan Dhandla, Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikander Bosan, Secretary National Food Security and Research, MD PASSCO and other officials from the ministry. The Committee recommended to the federal and provincial governments to evolve a mechanism to have a fair, reasonable price of sugarcane in Pakistan.

The Committee Chairman noted that this situation has been created due to bad planning of government and the reported rebate of sugar export will only benefit the sugar mill owners. The amount should be made available for the farmers by cutting down the production cost of sugarcane crop.

The Committee reviewed the overall performance of the Standing Committee during the last three years which included resolving the matter of 1400 acres of land of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) by repeated instructions and consistent determination, passage of seed amendment bill, plant breeders act, resolving the matter of irregular appointments in Zarai Taraqqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), resolving wheat procurement issue between Sindh Government and PASSCO, and making the Kunri Chilli Drying Plant operational.

The Committee was told by the minister that after much ado the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) which was previously managed by the ministry of textile has now come under the control of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. The Committee decided that the upcoming committee will have the work of PCCC on its agenda and will monitor its functions.

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