Agriculture Experts, Progressive Farmers, and Scientists, while addressing to Symposium, have said that Hybrid seeds have severely damaged Chilies’ production, including the indigenous “Longi” chili variety, climate change, water scarcity, and poor-quality seeds have profoundly affected Red Chili production in Sindh.

A “National Symposium on Chili Diseases” was organized by Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tando Jam, on Monday, which was attended by a large number of agricultural, research experts, and delegations from different institutes, various universities of the country, the private sector, and farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor SAU, Dr. Fateh Marri said that Sindh was producing 82% of the total production of chilies in the country. Climate change, drought, and poor-quality seeds have reduced the production of chilies in Sindh, he said, adding that a research group consisting of cultivators and other stakeholders would be formed to tackle diseases in chilies and solve commodity problems.

Mian Muhammad Saleem, President of the Chilies Growers’ Association, said hybrid seeds had devastated Asia’s largest Chili market in Kunri, he said that seed and pesticide companies should apply bar codes to assess the quality of their products. He suggested that a “Chili Development Board” be set up to address these issues.

Dr. Manzoor Ali Abro, Dean, Faculty of Crop Protection, said that there are currently 46 different diseases in the Chili crop. Prof. Dr. Abdul Mubeen Lodhi said that due to various reasons, there is a risk of reduction in the quality of Chili per acre as well as its area under cultivation.

Dr. Tariq Mukhtar, Professor, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, said that the farmers are not aware of the attack of various bacterial diseases on the Chili crop; therefore, there is more responsibility on experts to manage the crop and deal with bacterial disease.

On this occasion, Dr. Imran, Dr. Saleem Aijaz, Shaukat Arain, Dr. Saqib Arif, Director of Karachi University Dr. Sabuhi Raza, Dr. Abdullah Ahmed, Dr. Muhammad Imran, Dean of different faculties Dr. Qamaruddin Chachar, Dr. Aijaz Ali Khooharo, Dr. Syed Ghiasuddin Shah, Dr. Altaf Siyal, Dr. Abdullah Arijo, Registrar Ghulam Mohiyuddin Qureshi, Dr. Syed Ziaul Hassan Shah, Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kambhar, heads of various academic and administrative departments, teachers and students, farmers were also attended the event

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Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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