Agriculture experts, progressive farmers and scientists have said that hybrid seeds have severely damaged chillies productions damage including the indigenous “Longi” chilli variety.

Besides, climate change, water scarcity and poor quality seeds have profoundly affected red chili production in Sindh, they said.They shared their views at a “National Symposium on Chilli Diseases”, organised by Sindh Agriculture University TandoJam, on Monday, which was attended by a large number of agricultural, research experts, delegations from different institutes, various universities of the country, the private sector, and farmers.

The Vice Chancellor Sindh Agriculture University Dr. Fateh Marri while speaking on the occasion said that Sindh was producing 82 percent of the total production of chilies in the country. The climate change, drought and poor quality seeds have reduced the production of chilies in the province, 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.

The President of the Chilies Growers’ Association Mian Muhammad Saleem said hybrid seeds had devastated Asia’s largest Chili market in Kunri adding 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.The Dean Faculty of Crop Protection Dr. Manzoor Ali Abro said there were currently 46 different diseases in the chilli crop.

Prof. Dr. Abdul Mubeen Lodhi said that due to various reasons, there is a risk of reduction in the quality of chillies productions damage per acre as well as its area under cultivation. Dr. Tariq Mukhtar and Prof. Pir Mehr Ali Shah said that the farmers were not aware of the attack of various bacterial diseases on the chilli crop; therefore, there is more responsibility on experts to manage the crop and deal with bacterial disease.

Among others, Dr. Imran, Dr. Saleem Aijaz, Shaukat Arain, Dr. Saqib Arif, Dr. Sabuhi Raza, Dr. Abdullah Ahmed, Dr. Muhammad Imran, Deans of different faculties including 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, students and farmers attended the symposium.

Source: This news is originally published by dailytimes

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