Pest attacks and diseases main cause of rejection of Pakistan’s agricultural products in international market: Experts

Karachi: Pakistan ranks one of the top ten agricultural countries of the world but unfortunately its exports are hampered by pest attacks on crops. Various diseases and pest attacks are the main cause of rejection of country’s agriculture products in international market, experts said.

Speaking at a one-day seminar on ‘Effects of pests and diseases on Agriculture exports’, organized recently jointly by the departments of biochemistry, botany and food science & technology at Karachi University, Mubarak Ahmed, Director General, Agriculture Research Centre, Southern Zone, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, said several incidents of rejection of country’s agriculture products in the world market have been reported. “The main factor of it is pest attacks & diseases on crops and reminiscence of pesticides in the fields,” he told.

Dr. Ehtisham of Karachi University said government continues making efforts to increase the exports of mango, kinnoo, wheat, rice and other products but couldn’t achieve required results due to pet attacks and diseases.

Dr. Athar Tarique informed that a new disease has attacked the citrus fruit like kinnoo and grapefruit in some other countries therefore the growers and bio-scientists in Pakistan should be aware of it and take precautionary measures.

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed of Atomic Energy Research Centre Tando Jam told that banana crop has been affected by bunchtop disease and opined that virus-free plants could be cultivated with the help of biotechnology.

Chairman, department of biotechnology, Dr. Mustafa Kamal said pest attacks on plants could be detected at early stage with the help of molecular biology that would help increase exports of mango and grapefruit.

Dr. Tariq Khan of Plant Protection department spoke on how the agriculture products could be saved from pests and other diseases coming from other countries.

Qazi Ehtisham of Progressive Fumigation Company informed that their company plays role in eradication of pests and diseases from rice crop through fumigation.

Acting VC, Prof. Abuzar Wajdi, Dr. Nusrat Jalil, Dean, Faculty of Science and others also spoke.