The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) on Saturday demanded the provincial government to provide Rs one billion subsidy for sowing sunflower, a less water-intensive crop, on 200,000 acres of land. The demand was made at the weekly meeting of the SCA, which was chaired by SCA Vice President Nabi Bux Sathio. Representatives of the ICI Pakistan Limited including Abdul Ghaffar Khanzada, Saleem Khanzada and others also attended the meeting and briefed farmers about the sunflower crop. The farmers asserted that if the provincial government took the initiative of promoting sunflower crop, it would provide up to Rs.100 billion earning to the state’s economy, besides meeting the local requirement for sunflower oil. Nabi Bux Sathio emphasised on the need of growing such crops in the country which were not water intensive so that certain harmful effects of water scarcity could be mitigated. According to him, the country required 3.27 million ton sunflower oil every year but the country’s farmers only contributed 0.24 million ton. “Pakistan has to spend $3 billion for importing the sunflower oil,” he claimed, adding that the burden on the country’s forex reserves could be relieved by cultivating the crop locally. He asked the Sindh government to follow the Punjab government’s initiative and provide Rs5,000 per acre subsidy for 200,000 acres in the province. “Punjab has been providing this subsidy to the farmers for the last two years,” he observed. The office bearers and other members of SCA including Abdul Karim Talpur, Muhammad Khan Sarejo, Syed Khadim Hussain, Nawaz Samejo, Aslam Turk, Muhamm Bux Junejo also attended the meeting. Faisal Vawda’s media talk Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on Saturday talked to the media in Jamshoro, and said that the provincial government of Sindh needed to ensure provision of ‘proper’ share of water to Karachi or otherwise, the federal government could halt water supply to Sindh. He vowed to prevent injustice being done to the people of Sindh and Karachi altogether. Meanwhile, several people expressed annoyance after Vawda’s warning to stop water supply to the whole province, and demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan to take notice of the matter immediately as it was considered discrimination against the general public of Sindh. Published in Daily Times, October 21st 2018.