Rice, sugarcane, chillies, tomatoes are going to give bumber crop season
Interview with Syed Nadeem Shah — Senior Vice President, Sindh Abadgar Board
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself, please:
Syed Nadeem Shah: I have done my masters in business administration (marketing). Besides farming, I have ample social activities too. I am Senior Vice President Sindh Abadgar Board (farmers’ association) Vice President National Reformers’ Forum, President Cancer Patients’ Welfare Society, Member Sindh Agriculture University (academic), and in many government bodies/groups.
I have been looking after my farm for last 45 years and have made drastic changes in farming i.e leaser leveling, tunnel farming, vertical farming and adopting latest technologies.
PAGE: How would you comment on the crops output in Sindh this year?
Syed Nadeem Shah: ALHAMDOLILLAH, crop output is good in Sindh except onions in the wake of serious virus attack, still not diagnosed. Cotton crossed 3 million bales and heading towards 4 million bales. INSHA ALLAH rice crop, sugarcane, chillies, tomatoes are going to give a bumper crop.
PAGE: Could you share your perspective about spike in input cost?
Syed Nadeem Shah: Input costs are skyrocketing followed by fragile marketing system. There is no cost benefit ratio. Besides, non-availability of fertiliser and pesticides, adulteration in seeds, fertilisers and pesticides are big issues. There is no level playing field.
PAGE: Agriculture plays a vital role in Pakistan’s GDP. Your views:
Syed Nadeem Shah: 70% population is directly involved with agriculture sector. We provide raw materials to textile, sugarmills, flour mills, cotton ginning, rice factories etc besides mango pulp, juices, cereals. etc.
PAGE: Rice is grown in fertile lands of Sindh and Punjab region where millions of farmers rely on rice cultivation as their major source of employment. Your views:
Syed Nadeem Shah: Rice crop is partially staple food after wheat. It is a major exporting crop. Its straws are being exported too as fodder and are used locally also. It provides tremendous opportunity to labour, while planting and harvesting. It’s the cheapest available food for consumption. As suggested by Engineer Javed Qureshi to adopt rice/mustard planting will prove to be a win win situation. As we will be able to reduce our edible oil import bill of 3.5 billions dollars.