KARACHI: Copyrights to hybrid manufacturing units and foreign seed importers should be ensured to save crops from spurious seeds, agro-people and seed experts said. The government will not be able to meet various crops’ production targets unless it blocks use of fake seeds and use of pesticides and germicides on wheat, cotton and other crops without expert opinion, they opined. The farmers are suffering with financial loss due to attack of virus on their crops besides low yield. Rana Abdul Sattar, former chairman Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, Shakeel Ahmad, Chief of Sindh Agriculture Forum and Ghulam Rabbani of Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association were of the view that the related ministry and departments should consider obtaining foreign assistance for the development of hybrid seeds and facilities of Research and Development (R&D) in this sector. Poor water-management besides absence of R&D facilities and non-coordination between government and real stakeholders of the sector has been affecting the different crops production of the country. They stressed for adopting modern agricultural practices to improve and upgrade the cropping standards in Pakistan. They urged the need for improving diversity of cultivars, eco-friendly and cost-effective pest management practices, efficient supply system, commercialisation of variegated and alternative usage of crop produce. Rana said quality and the volume of the cotton crop, especially the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) variety of cotton would not improve until use of uncertified seeds prevails. Pakistan will not able to achieve next cotton crop target in (2017-18) unless production of quality seeds, supply of quality inputs and water availability is not assured, he maintained. Ghulam Rabbani said there was need of experts from multinational companies in the field in order to help and guide growers to produce quality seeds. He said only three seed institution, one in Sindh and the others in Punjab cannot produce and cater to the supply of quality seed to the growers in their respective areas. Due to lack of competency, the farmers would face financial crunch while country would likely import around 3.5 million bales of cotton in next crop season to meet the textile sector’s requirements. He said a vast cotton belt in Sindh and Punjab would be remained prone to attack of mealy bug and reddening of leaf, where 90 percent of BT cotton crop has been sown. The federal government set the target of around 14 million cotton bales for the crop season 2017-18. Punjab produces above 10 million bales while Sindh produces more than three million bales of cotton. The vast cotton fields in Multan Division have been affected with mealy bug and other virus attacks in past due to use of uncertified seeds. Around 90 percent of the total cultivation is Bt cotton in Sindh while 50 percent is in Punjab. Multan division is the largest traditional cotton production area in the world, which produces approximately 750,000 bales during a crop season. During wheat growing season in 2016, there were reports of stripe rust, a predominant and widespread disease, stated Shakeel Ahmad. The pragmatic results showed that growers who had access to certified-wheat seed were able to achieve higher crop yields, higher income as compared to farmers having no access to certified wheat seed. No severe penalty or punishment to spurious seed sellers or producers has been reported, which is the big question mark for ruling administration, Shakeel asked. Present day hi-tech seed is capable of increasing crop output many times, thus giving a sound return on investment and safeguarding crops against pests. This practice should be brought into consideration how could research in hi-tech seed be grown.