The National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) reported theft of millions of rupees from its premises. According to reports, around 264kgs of garlic worth millions of rupees were looted from the NARC’s premises. This resulted in a huge loss to Pakistan.
As per the official documents, culprits stole 16 bags with around 264.77kg of newly developed high yield Garlic seed (HG-1). The theft comes ahead of the garlic growing season which starts in October.
Director-General National Agriculture Research Council ordered an inquiry into the matter and constituted a committee to probe the theft from the NARC store.
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The committee will investigate and pinpoint the culprit(s) involved in the theft. It will also fix the responsibility on the officer(s)/official(s) who showed carelessness in the matter.
After thoroughly investigating the matter, the committee will prepare and submit a report.
Due to the theft, there are now concerns that the market will face a shortage. Consequently, the breakdown in the supply chain will adversely affect the farmers.
The stolen garlic seeds usually reach the markets where private sellers sell them at the price of rupees three to four thousand per kilogram.
A new variety of garlic
Last year, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council developed a new variety of high-yielding garlic. It has a production potential of 24 tonnes per hectare.
A spokesman of the PARC said that the leading scientist Humayoun Khan along with a team of co-breeders started working on the variety. Moreover, Chairman PARC also informed that to bring research-based agricultural solutions NARC established Research and Development programs.
In addition, Pakistan’s production of garlic is low as compared to top-yielding countries. Top garlic-producing countries in the world include China, India, Bangladesh, and Egypt. As a result, Pakistan imports from China i.e. approximately 46139.8 tonnes.
Above all, the COVID immensely affected garlic import.