Focusing the agriculture

ECONOMY of every state depends on three sectors i.e agriculture, industry and commerce. These three are interrelated with each other as progress or retrogress of one sector effects the other two. Our being an agrarian economy, the agriculture gains are of much importance than any other sector as it not only feeds the people but also provides raw material for industry and is a base for foreign trade.
About sixty to seventy percent of our population is directly or indirectly linked with the agriculture sector yet it is most deplorable that successive governments did not go beyond mere lip service for the development of this vital sector of the economy. If we look across our border, the agriculture sector in the Indian Punjab is completely mechanised and is highly subsidised. Agri inputs such as seeds and fertilisers are provided to farmers at very low rates, which helped India significantly enhance its agri yield. Our land in Punjab was also once known for its fertility but with the passage of time this characteristic eroded due to shifting of focus towards industry. Moreover unplanned land grabbing by influential land mafias everywhere in the country also brought havoc to agriculture and environment. To ensure self-sufficiency in food grains, it is necessary that federal and provincial governments give serious consideration to enhanced productivity in agri sector to help reduce poverty and stimulate growth. Better incentives to our hard working farmers such as provision of subsidised seeds and decreasing the input cost will ensure better food security. We are glad that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif while realising the importance of agriculture sector has announced a package of Rs 100b for farmers. Being a doer, we are sure that he will not only implement the package in letter and in spirit but also take other requisite steps to fully revive this neglected sector.

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