KARACHI: FPCCI Businessmen Panel Secretary General (Federal) Ahmad Jawad on Tuesday sought the government’s urgent focus on agriculture sector to improve rural economy and associated livelihoods.
Ahmad Jawad, in a statement here, said policies and allocations were needed to ensure good prices for crops grown by farmers with equal attention towards minimum wastage coupled with food and nutritional security.
Risks, he said could be reduced through better implementation and monitoring of risk-mitigating policies.
Placing his great hopes on the PTI government and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Naya Pakistan” vision, Ahmad Jawad said concrete measures were expected in the coming annual budget for uplift of the agriculture sector.
In this context he particularly recommended steps to reduce prices of fertilizers and eliminating the role of middleman in agri-marketing as farmers could be frequently registered protesting against their exploitation by middlemen.
Mentioning that major crops and livestock are presently exposed to different diseases, mainly consequent to global warming and lack of efficient mitigation techniques, he said farmers were witnessed running from pillar to post to deal with the issue.
Regretting that previous governments had altogether ignored the challenges, Jawad said the PTI government was expected to start paying urgent attention towards steps required to enhance cotton production in the country and make arrangements to lift potato like crops from farms by modernizing the markets.
Solid steps were said to be equally required for promotion of “Halal Meat” exports that hold every potential to generate massive foreign exchange for the country, he added.
He mentioned that the country’s livestock sector contributed about 56.3% to the total value of agriculture and nearly 11% to the agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP).
Ahmad Jawad also proposed that horticulture sector be extended status of a full-fledged industry complimented with a incentive oriented policy for fruit and vegetable growers.
He reiterated that research culture must be developed to mainstream innovative technologies crucial to meet international quality standards and raise country’s horticulture exports.
“These are projected to be around $600 million for the outgoing fiscal year and is definitely much below than its actual potential,” said Jawad, also a former chairman of FPCCI’s standing committee on horticulture and agriculture produce.