LAHORE – Seed Association of Pakistan (SAP) has accused the Punjab Food Department and district governments of creating hindrance in procurement of the “certified wheat seed” by the seed companies. The officials of the Punjab Food Department and district governments are not only restraining the seed companies from procurement of certified wheat seed but also stopping or confiscating their transport. Neither the officials of the food department nor district governments are competent or qualified to differentiate between “grain” and “seed”, said a letter written by the SAP Chairman Ch. Asif Ali to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Minister for Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Food Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan and others. The letter said that “seed” is a Federal Subject under the Seed Act 1976 Amended 2015 and regulated by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research through the Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department (FSC&RD), which is the sole regulatory authority with jurisdiction over all matters concerning “seed”. It maintained that private sector produces 88 per cent of the total certified wheat seed produced in Pakistan, which itself accounts for only 44 per cent of the targeted national requirement. Despite assurances of non-interference in procurement of the seed companies the District Food Controllers with support of the officials of district governments across the province have blocked the procurement and movement of the “certified wheat seed”. The Association requested the Prime Minister and other government representatives at the helm of the affairs to intervene in the matter, otherwise prevailing situation may affect sowing of next season.