Farmer-friendly policies needed to boost agriculture sector: Senators

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Senators on Monday urged to take appropriate steps at all levels to boost country’s agriculture sector and making farmers’ friendly policies to attain maximum agriculture yield. They were participating in the discussion in the Upper House on “Multiple problems being faced by agriculture sector in the country.” PPP’s Senator Taj Haider moved the motion to discuss the matter in the House. Participating in the discussion, Senator Taj Haider said that there should be proper policies for agriculture sector as local farmers were facing several problems. He said that progress in the agriculture was not possible without giving benefits to farmers.
He said all options should be considered to improve the agriculture sector. There was a need of land reforms in the country, he added. Senator Mohsin Leghari said that input cost in agriculture was high in the country which needs to be reviewed. He added due to this situation, farmers were facing hardships. He said that credit availability for farmers should be improved to get better inputs besides taking others steps to encourage farmers. Senator Lt Gen Abdul Qayum urged for food availability, accessibility of food and utilization and sustainability of food production in the country. He said that water resources should be improved and water wastage be avoided in the country.
He said that in this new era, agriculture was still being considered as backbone of economy of any country. He urged to guide the provinces so that they had maximum water and other resources to boost agriculture sector. Senator Usman Kakar said land reforms were must to develop agriculture sector. He added relevant laws related with agriculture sector needed to be changed and made more farmers’ friendly. He said that subsidy should be given even on diesel to facilitate the farmers. He said maximum production could be achieved with innovative steps besides focusing on research activities.
He said that mark-up on bank credit for agriculture sector should be reduced so that the relevant people could avail that facility and use the amount for boosting agriculture sector. He said that efforts should be made in search of international market for sale of locally produced fruits and vegetables. He added training should be arranged for local farmers while there should be no load shedding for agriculture sector. Senator Janahzeb Jamaldeni said that agriculture was the backbone of country’s economy which should be the main focus of policies. He added for agriculture development in Balochistan province, concrete steps were required at all level. He said there was no system of water reservation in Balochistan and urged to build more dams to store water for its proper utilization. He said that farmers’ friendly policies should be made particularly for Balochistan province.
Senator Mir Kabeer said that canal system was better in all provinces except Balochistan province which should be improved. He said due to unavailability of canal system in the province, local farmers were facing various difficulties. He said that due to that situation, the rural population was gradually shifting to urban areas to earn for their family. He said with proper farmers’ friendly policies, the local agriculture sector could be developed.
Senator Kalsoom Parveen said that nine districts of Balochistan had good production of olive oil, which had great demand in the Middle East. She said Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) should consider this aspect and make plans in this regard. Senator Mohsin Nazeer said that ingredients which were essential for boosting agriculture sector including availability of credit for farmers, research on using quality seeds and encouraging farmers to use scientific way of farming to attain maximum production. Senator Ilyas Balour said that more dams were the need of the hour for improving water storage capacity. He said that concrete policies should be made for improvement of agriculture sector.
Senator M Hamza said availability of water was must in agriculture sector. He said canal system was there but there was a need to further improve this system to ensure providing water to extreme end. He said that such policies should be initiated which were farmers’ friendly to get better results from them. Senator Rehman Malik said steps should be taken to get maximum agriculture yield. He suggested that public-private sector partnership should be encouraged in Balochistan province to boost agriculture sector there. He said that policies should be made to stop water wastages in Balochistan and other provinces to give better future to next generation.

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