Islamabad—Agriculture experts at a seminar held here expressed serious concern over decline in farmers’ income and less use of advanced technology that was resulting in poor per acre yield of various crops and growing poverty in rural areas.
World renowned agricultural Shaukat Khan who had been associated with World Bank, USAID and other international institutions, in his key-note address, cautioned that the non-seriousness and disintegrated approach at the government’s level towards agriculture could bring disastrous impact on country’s overall economy.
The seminar organized by the Institution of Engineers Pakistan, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Center (IEP-RIC) was an interactive seminar, presided over by the Chairman IEP-RIC Eng. Hafiz M. Ehsanul Haq Qazi. Prominent engineers Arjumund Shaikh and Prof. Dr. Attaullah Shah (Vice Chancellor City University) also took part in the discussion, underlying the need of paying greater attention to agriculture to get rid of poverty.
Shaukat while giving detailed presentation on sustainable agriculture development, major issues and problems related to it, stressed that wide-income gap among bread-earners of rural and urban areas should be bridged to maximum extend in order to encourage the farmers to concentrate on development of their agriculture land.
He regretted that agriculture-related institutions at public and private sectors talked much but failed to deliver on the ground and achieving their stipulated objectives. He also called for better use of modern technology for developing efficient crops’ development system.
He deplored that currently about 40-year old tractor and cultivator agriculture machinery is in use, which shows callousness at the level of policy-makers.
He also called for short and long-term measures to reduce income inequality and poverty in rural regions. He said they could overcome certain hurdles and anomalies by adopting development plan at Union council’s level.
Lack of investment trend in agriculture, as compared to other sectors is also a matter of serious concern.
Agriculture is back-bone of the economic and it deserved utmost priority in policy-making. He hoped that in the coming budget pro-agriculture measures would be taken to ensure country’s better future.
Chairman IPE-RIC Hafiz Ehsan said that they would continue holding such events to provide professional input to the government and other relevant institutions. Such activities are also aimed at sharing and transferring the experience and knowledge of the seniors with young professionals.
IPE, a body of seniors engineers wish to play its positive and constructive role in the country’s socio-economic development, he added.