Pakistan Hi-Tech Hybrid Seed Association has warned that the recently imposed General Sales Tax is likely to increase the seed prices in the country by 25 percent, forcing the farmers to use traditional uncertified low-yield seed of various food and cash crops.
” The imposition of tax has badly affected country’s nascent hybrid seed industry; But it will ultimately come hard on the farming community who are already facing the shortage of fertilizer,” Chairman of PHHSA , Shahzad Malik said while talking to members of Agriculture Journalists Association here Wednesday.
He said that the development of hybrid rice varieties and their succesful cultivation in Sindh and Punjab had led to double the paddy crop over the last 11 years i.e. from 4.03 million tonnes in 2010 to 8.41 million tonnes in 2021.
” The taxes imposed under Mini budget may hamper the process of hybridization in paddy and other important cash and food crops,” Shahzad Ali Malik warned.
He said that the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) had already rejected the imposition of the GST on seeds as such levies could only lead to reduction in the production of raw materials for these two sectors.
PHHSA Chairman said that there was need of hybridization of wheat and cotton seed too as China and India had been able in trippling their cotton production by producing hybrid BT cotton vrities.
Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan’s leading plant breeding expert,Dr. ShafiqurRehman said that cultivation of certified wheat seed can lead to a 15 percent increase in the cereal production. But the imposition of GST was likely to jack the per acre wheat seed expenditure by Rs 700.
He said that the promotion of maize hybrid seed had increased the corn crop production from 6 million tonnes to 8 million tonnes.
ChairmanREAP, Ali Hussam Asghar said that his association was against the imposition of GST on seed sector.
He said that it was the certified paddy seed that helped increase the rice exports from US $ 300 million to US $ 2 billion in a period of 15 years.
President Agriculure Journalists Association, Muhammad Luqman,President LEJA, Sudhir Chaudhary and General SecretaryAJA , Amjad Mahmood also spoke on the occasion.